Last fall I surveyed some students about the movies they watch. On the survey form, I asked them to list three to five of their favorite movies. Then, I asked them to list the three worst movies they’d ever seen. Nine students responded to the survey. I was very surprised that I ended up with a list of forty-five favorite movies with NO duplications! This says to me that there’s a great deal of variety in people’s movie tastes. One movie, Dumb and Dumber, made both the best and worst lists!
Some of the favorite movies fell into the “classics” category, such as The Color Purple (“I love all old black films that give you an idea of how history was in the past, or movies in general that tell a history of the past.”), The Godfather (“This dark drama is metaphor for every dysfunctional family.”), Out of Africa, and The Sound of Music. Star Wars. Steel Magnolias, Schindler’s List (“It is a terrible and beautiful portrayal of humans at their most depraved and transcendent.”), and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory were also named.
Maybe these two comments sum up the emotional factors that go into our feelings about movies: “All Dogs Go to Heaven has been my favorite film since birth. My mother would sit me in front of a television with a bottle and wouldn’t hear a peep from me until it was over. I enjoy every single song, and as I matured, I love the dialogue.” Or this one: “Remember the Titans might be my all-time favorite film. It teaches about overcoming racial, physical, emotional and mental adversities. The movie also teaches perseverance, which is something I practice in my life.”
Now, onto the worst movies. Two movies and their sequels were noted twice as really bad movies. These are Saw (“It’s scary that people love to see other people suffer, fiction or not, it’s sick.”) and Scary Movie. Black Swan, Bruno, The Hills Have Eyes, Hot Tub Time Machine (” . . . jumps out because I paid money to see it in the theater and it was awful. And I like a lot of bad comedies.”), and Norbit also made this list. Other criticisms of worst movies included corny jokes, lewdness, the movie not matching its advertisements, and incomprehensible themes.
For more on this topic, take a look at the feature films college students are watching on Swank’s Top 100 list. At GPC we strive to offer movies to suit all tastes. We have popular titles, romantic comedies, dramas, children’s movies, documentaries, and some television series. Use the GIL catalog to find your next favorite movie. [Images from imdb.com. Quotes used with permission.]