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Ever see the movie about a small town…
by Jay Scott
So I was watching this movie I really like, over the weekend and it made me think about some films that I always enjoy watching, but that are a little on the “not many people have seen them” side.
So this week I wanted to offer those up and tell ya why I like them. Small Town Movies. They are not important films, great films or films that change your life, but they are interesting films and well worth watching for one reason or another. Amazing as this sounds, I find I like big name actors better in these films than I do the Super Studio ones.
Next week, I’ll tell ya how I once ruined Christmas and I’ll go into the whole drama around my first TV deal. For now, however, if you have some time and some space in your Netflix que, or you see any of these on cable, check them out. After all, these are not blockbuster studio crap; nope, these are charming, funny, dramatic and well told films that you can just enjoy.
So here they are.
1. Mumford (1999) Now, I like this film for a lot of reasons, but the main one is its simplicity. It’s a charming little story about a guy who’s a shrink in a small town. Whoa, I know that sounds like a non stop thrill ride, but go with me on this. With all the town's quirky characters, and the secrets people keep, this one is all about starting over and re-inventing yourself. Small town movies are always a favorite of mine, but this one is better than most. Besides, Lawrence Kasdan is a favorite director/writer of mine and this is one of his best (well Silverado is his best, this is just one of). Anyways, it's just a neat movie, and without blowing the plot for those who haven’t seen it, I’ll just say that’s its worth seeing.
3. Nobody’s Fool (1994) I love this movie. A lot. Check this out, Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Jessica Tandy and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Home fucking run cast. This is all about small town relationships, quirky people and missed chances. I love this movie for a million reasons, but mainly because the story is solid, the performances are really really good and it holds onto you. I cant Imagine why this wasn’t a bigger film, but is wasn’t. All I know is it’s a brilliant film. The cast knocks it outta the park and you will just love this movie from the get go. See it. It’s the kind of film I wish I had written, and there isn’t one thing about it I would change. This should be on my top ten favorite list. It’s a film with, get this, a story. I know huh? Go figure. Besides. Paul Newman is cool no matter what he does. See it. Trust me, you will think of me as having done you a favor by telling you about it.
4. Milk Money (1994) Ironically, Melanie Griffith is in this film with Ed Harris. It's not a theme, but she has done some pretty fantastic work. This is a really sweet film about love. Ed Harris is a widower who is raising his son alone etc etc. They live in a small town outside a big city, but it's not the suburbs. This is a film about finding love and happiness outside the norm. Melanie plays a hooker with a heart of gold who, when the kids make a bike trip into the big ol city, she ends up giving them a ride home, where the kid wants to introduce her to his dad, but of course there are bad people looking for her etc etc. just see it, it's sweet, it's romantic and it's about my favorite thing, second chances. I really love this movie. Me thinks you will too.
5. Outside Providence (1999) The Farrelly Brothers make some oddball films, but this one always stands out to me. It's about a kid from a small town who gets in trouble one too many times with the man. So to avoid jail, he's gotta go to a prep school and graduate or else. He, of course, is out of his element. This is a really charming film worth seeing, as I think a lot of people missed it. Besides, Alec Baldwin plays his dad to the hilt and really brings in a great performance as a single small town dad who drinks a lot of beer and is a guy's guy. Wanting the best for his kid etc etc. This is a film with what we call heart. See it, see it and see it.
I might not be right about a lot of things, but these films I am right about. See them, and if you have seen them, leave a comment. These are some good ones kids, and I wouldn’t mislead you about them. I love each of these for a different reason, and I think you will too. This is what you do when you go off the normal road and see some films that are what they are. I know you will be happy you saw them. Trust me on this.
Jay swears to us he has no problem with Melanie Griffith. Just don't say her name around him.