Catherine shares her picks for a movie night at home this weekend.
September has been a crazy month, and as much fun as I’ve had traveling, catching up with friends, and executing events (basically my day job), I am looking forward to a full 48 hours of R&R. I am foregoing my original plan for a staycation, because I’m eyeing a new pair of Rag & Bone boots as a present to myself for fall. Instead, I’m planning to cozy up in my apartment, get a couple extra hours of shut-eye, read a book (has anyone read The Bone Season?), and catch-up on Netflix. While Scandal is currently streaming on my account, I’m going to do something I haven’t all year: watch a full-length movie. With a glass of wine and a giant bowl of popcorn in hand, I look forward to revisiting one of my classics.
As I brainstormed films I wanted to rewatch this weekend I found a common theme among them: they are all set in Los Angeles. While a couple play up the stereotypes of La La Land, the rest of them show L.A. from an original and refreshing perspective.
- Love & Basketball: The romance that guys and girls alike agree on. The story that made me believe in fate. Omar Epps is Quincy McCall and Sanaa Lathan is Monica Wright, childhood neighbors in L.A. whose love of and devotion to the game brings them together time and again throughout their lives. Double or nothing… don’t forget the tissues! (or maybe they’re just for me)
- My Girl 2: Vada Sultenfuss is one of my favorite characters of all time: smart, independent, kind of a loner, and a writer. Set in 1974, My Girl 2 is the sequel to My Girl in which Vada Sultenfuss is assigned an essay about someone you admire but have never met, so she travels to Los Angeles on her spring break to do research and learn about her mother. With a reluctant escort (her uncle’s girlfriend’s son), Vada makes her way around the city meeting a cast of oddballs and learning as much about herself as she does her mother.
- (500) Days of Summer: It is not a love story. It is a story about love. And if you haven’t seen it already (one of my friends recently admitted to this), please take this weekend to catch up. This is one of those movies that you swear is set in Manhattan or Chicago, because it’s understated and makes references to beautiful architecture. The fact that it is set in Los Angeles blows minds and excites Angelenos; they get to see their city in a completely different light. (Most people do not spend much time in DTLA–downtown L.A.). Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, and the scene when they’re driving through DTLA will make you fall in love with a city (whichever one you’re in, probably).
- Troop Beverly Hills: Maybe it was the star/city tour of L.A. I went on for a team activity yesterday and passing the Beverly Hills Hotel (Nefler, Bungalow 4!) that put me in the mood for this cult classic from 1989. Shelley Long is newly-divorced housewife Phyllis Nefler who steps up to the plate when her daughter Hannah’s (played by the multi-talented Jenny Lewis) Wilderness Girls leader quits, leaving the troop to fend for themselves. With a troop of stereotypical Beverly Hills teenagers (all with total L.A. parents) and cameos by their real-life L.A. neighbors, this movie will have you reaching for s’mores—or, if you’re lucky, Girl Scout cookies—to go with your wine.
- Father of the Bride: Set in San Marino (the gorgeously quaint and affluent subset of Pasadena), Father of the Bride stars Steve Martin as penny pinching/controlling-father George Banks who has to come to terms with giving away his daughter to marriage. Diane Keaton plays lovingly understanding mother Nina and Martin Short stars as Franck, the over-the-top wedding planner modeled after real-life Kevin Lee (owner of LA Premier)—whom you may have seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (he planned Lisa Vanderpump’s vow renewal ceremony and her daughter Pandora’s wedding). The scene when George is ripping open bags of 12 hot dog buns to remove and match the 8 hot dog packages is the ultimate reminder of taking a breath before you find yourself in a meltdown.
- Clueless: “Let’s do a lap before we commit to a location.” The quintessential L.A. movie and a Single Diaries staple. No introduction necessary.
Catherine Abalos is notorious for watching movies on repeat. She’s seen each of these films a minimum of 20 times each.