Saturday, April 25, 2009

Top 10 Movies: Dramedy

Schofizzy's Top 10 Movie list conitues this week with the category of Dramedy. Dramedies have always been one of my favortite genres of film. The ability to write seemless dialogue that is genuine and always feels real is a true talent and every film on this list definately deserves it's ranking. Every director on this list is also one of my favorite directors and always has my attention fixated on their next projects regardless of what they may be. Without further ado I bring you Schofizzy's Top 10 Dramedies....

10. Sideways
Alexander Payne's film Sideways is always a pleasure to watch. Paul Giammatti is an amazing actor and has proven it time and time again, but his dry satire here in Sideways is unsurpassed and one of the reasons I always watch anything Giamatti is in. Thomas Haden Church undoubtedly deserved his Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor here in Sideways, and always stirs constant laughter with his distraught character work. Sideways, like any great dramedy, is dialogue driven and provides a romping good time every viewing.

9. The Puffy Chair
Ahh the Duplass Brothers...These guys are just great and The Puffy Chair is a perfect mumblecore dramedy that I watch anytime I see it on. Written by Mark and Jay Duplass and directed by Jay Dupless The Puffy Chair follows Josh (Mark Duplass) as he drives across country with his best friend and girlfriend to get his father a LazyBoy recliner for his birthday. The dialogue throughout The Puffy Chair is perfect and never waivers from it's dark and dry wit. Mark Duplass, Rhett Wilkins and Kathryn Aselton show off their ability to carry a film that relies solely on their delivery in the dialogue driven film. If you have never seen anything the Duplass brothers have done, I highly recommend The Puffy Chair, if you like any of the other movies on this list you'll love it.

8. Punch Drunk Love
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of Hollywood's most talented directors and Punch Drunk Love is a perfect example of his amazing range in telling a story. Punch Drunk Love marks the first film where Adam Sandler shows us that he can do something of worth outside of slapstick and sophmoric comedy. Sandler's performance throughout Punch Drunk Love is mesmerizing while also igniting great laughs time and time again. I particularly love Barry's (Adam Sandler)relationship with his sisters throughout the film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman delivers a flawless performance as Dean Trumbell and reminds us why he has recieved the much deserved acclaim. Punch Drunk Love is probably the least repeatedly rewatched film on this list for me, but it is still a wonderfully written film that delivers in both laughs and intrigue.

7. Bottle Rocket
Wes Anderson's breakout film is wonderful and a sign of great things to come. Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson's dialogue that was written for Bottle Rocket is hiliarious and makes me laugh endlessly every time I watch. The Wilson brothers are brilliant together and the hijinks they get into throughout the failed caper are what make this film such a classic. Owen Wilson and his perfect deadpan delivery carries the film, while his brother Luke does a fabulous job portraying the love sick male. Bottle Rocket instantly drew my attention to Wes Anderson and since, I have always sought out and loved his work. Wes Anderson is also one of the best directors working in Hollywood today. There is no doubt Bottle Rocket is a outstanding film and always worth re-watching.

6. Sixteen Candles
John Hughes is a mastermind when it comes to the teenage dramedy and Sixteen Candles stands the test of time as one of the funniest and realistic accounts of High School exsistence in middle America. Like any Hughes films, the cast of Sixteen Candles is superb, with Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, John Cusack, Joan Cusack and who could forget Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong. The story of Sixteen Candles is simple enough, but the dialogue just feels like something we would've been apart of during our High School years. Hughes flawlessly depicts all of the social stereotypes of a typical High School and overall Sixteen Candles is always a pleasure to watch.

5. The Breakfast Club
"Don't you, forget about me...don't, don't, don't!" Yeah, The Breakfast Club is legendary. John Hughes follow up film to Sixteen Candles jumps right back into the mind and life of a High School student in middle America. The Breakfast Club takes a more serious look at the stereotypes and peer pressures teen face in High School. The film is wonderfully written and absolutely stirs laughter every viewing. Judd Nelson the rebel, Emilio Estevez the jock, Anthony Michael Hall the nerd, Ally Sheedy the misfit and Molly Ringwald the princess all ideally capture their characters personalities. Paul Gleason is hiliarious as the tough guy Mr. Vernon who is watching over the five students while they serve Saturday School. The Breakfast Club is a timeless film, one that I will even watch the tv edit of and I hope it never recieves the remake treatment.

4. Hotel Chevalier/The Darjeeling Limited
From the opening frame to the final credit Hotel Chevalier/The Darjeeling Limited is a unblemished film. Wes Anderson's last film follows three brothers, who have not spoken in over a year since the death of their father, and travel through India together. Like any Anderson film, The Darjeeling Limited does a superior job at portraying the inner-family dynamics or quarks. Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody are infallible as the disconnected brothers. The dialogue between the three is outstanding and each actors delivery gets funnier everytime you watch. Like all of Wes Anderson's films the soundtrack to The Darjeeling Limited pulls you into the film and effectively matches each scene with the selected music or song. Hotel Chevalier the 13 minute short before The Darjeeling Limited is also amazing and Schwartzman's dry deadpan delivery with Natalie Portman is brilliant. Hotel Chevalier/The Darjeeling Limited like any Wes Anderson film, is highly rewatchable and grows on the viewer after every viewing. It is also the only Wes Anderson film not to have recieved a Criterion edition! Get on that Criterion!

3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou never gets old and is Wes Anderson's funniest movie hands down. Not only is it Wes Anderson's best work it is also Bill Murray's. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is definately a film that grows on you one that has Anderson's best dialogue and is flawlessly delivered by the entire cast. Murray and Own Wilson are deliver superior scenes together and Angelica Huston and Jeff Goldblum both deliver hilarious supporting performances. More than any other Anderson film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou has countless lines that can be endlessly quoted and referenced, "Can I call you Stevesy?," has always been my favorite. The film is fabulously put together with storytelling, dialogue, humor, vibrant animation and as always, a Wes Anderson soundtrack, is definately something special. I can't even count how many times I have watched this movie, but I do remember one particular month where I think I watched it every single day.

2. Clerks
The film that put Kevin Smith on the map is a no brainer for a Top 10 Dramedy list. Clerks is a fantastic piece of indie cinema. Smith's dialogue is perfectly written to match the everyday language within the lower to middle classes in America. The low budget nature of the film has been copied endlessly, but never matched and who could ever forget about one of the greatest comedic teams in Silent Bob and Jay. While Smith has sullied the name of Jay and Silent Bob in his later efforts like Jay and Silent Bob Strikeback and Clerks 2, here in their first film they go unblemished. Dante and Randal played by Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson are equally classic characters, however O'Halloran has since proved that Clerks was by far his best effort. O'Halloran and Anderson played off eachother so naturally throughout the 1994 film and deliver some of the greatest written dramedy dialogue. The debates they would get into are simply what fanboys and geeks have talked about for years and Smith captured that in every way. Smith is a mastermind when it comes to writing dialogue and Clerks is and will always be just a classic in the dramedy category of film.

1. Swingers

"You're so money and don't even know it," the famous line Vince Vaughn delivers to Jon Favreau in the film that put the two of them on the map. Swingers is easily the greatest dramedy ever written and has two of the best performances of the past few decades. Favreau and Vaughn truely are great in this film and have some of the funniest shared scenes from the 90's. Vaughn with his mile-a-minute delivery and Favreau's constantly troubled performance make Swingers, a hilarious movie going experience, one that can be enjoyed over and over again. Swingers is directly responsible for making every southern California resident interested in going to the local bar called The Dresden, which is featured early on in the film. Favreau's scene where he calls a girl numerous times he met at the Dresden is one of the most memorable scenes illustrating just how awkward it can be trying to call a girl you've just met. I love this movie, can watch it anytime it is on and recommend it to people who have never seen it all the time. Swingers is a classic and easily deserves it's number one spot!
What say you? What are your favorite dramedies? Strikeback....


Finally, someone with a list I can respect. How about the next best 10???