Your Favorite Film

Before sitting down to write this, I thought to myself, “how could I possibly come up with only one favorite film?” Every time I go to the movie theatre, I am convinced that the movie I just saw was definitely my favorite. This Is The End, the most recent movie I saw, was brilliant and kept me laughing the entire time and normally I’m not into stupid, ridiculous drug humor. For example, Pineapple Express was not a funny movie in my book. I actually found it quite stressful. And then The Great Gatsby? Oh My God, was that not the most epic movie you’ve ever seen? Who edited that film? And all those lines in the movie where you turned to your friend and said, “Woah. That was deep, man.” But no, neither of these are truly my favorite film.

When it came time to stop trying to think about every movie I’ve ever seen and at least narrow it down to a top three, I went to my iTunes library which has only three movies. I figured, the movies I felt were worthy enough to not have to scour the internet searching for pirated versions must be my favorites. Across The Universe. Warren Miller’s Dynasty. Dogtown and Z-Boys. Although all are very excellent films and I have seen them all countless times, I really feel like I would be lying if I said any one of these was my all time favorite film. Well okay, what about The Notebook, The Parent Trap, Dirty Dancing, or Grease? Just because I can quote entire scenes back to back does not make any of these films my favorite.

Now I must admit  I am stalling a little bit in telling you what my favorite movie is. It’s not embarrassing or anything. It just tends to prompt the reaction of rolling the eyes and saying, “of course that’s your favorite movie. It would be. You’re such a girl.” But hey man, just hear me out. A Little Princess is my favorite film. It really truly is. That movie is beautiful. It always manages to bring out so much emotion in me: happiness, sadness, anger, nostalgia, inspiration, and compassion. All 97 minutes of this G-rated movie are perfection.

Sara Crewe, the protagonist, moves to New York City during WWI after living in what appears to be an awesome bungalow in some jungle in India with her Dad who is arguably top three best movie dads. Proof? This conversation:

Captain Crewe: You know, dolls make the very best friends. Just because they can’t speak doesn’t mean they don’t listen. And did you know that when we leave them alone in our room, they come to life?

Sara Crewe: They do?

Captain Crewe: Yes! But before we walk in and catch them, they return to their place as quick as lightning!

Sara Crewe: Why don’t they come to life in front of us so we can see them?

Captain Crewe: Because it’s magic. Magic has to be believed. It’s the only way it’s real.

(Heart melts here)

Ms. Crewe goes to a boarding school in the city while her dad is at war. At first she is judged because she is the new girl and has the most material possessions of all the girls but then she becomes very popular once the girls realize how kind she is and how wild an imagination she has. Sara gives the girls something to believe in while they’re stuck in that wretched boarding school. She tells them stories about an Indian princess and fire-breathing dragons. She says at one point to the evil director of the school, Miss Minchin: “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses. All of us. Didn’t your father ever tell you that? Didn’t he?”

This movie reminds me of how sweet childhood can be. It makes me want to believe in magic and the goodness of humanity. This little girl has such a big heart and a stubborn curiosity for the world around her. She makes me want to be a better person. She makes me want to hold on as tight as I can to the small ounce of belief in magic I still have left in me. How dare I be jaded when I can be persistently optimistic. Sara never gives up and makes the best of every situation. Plus the beautiful soundtrack gives every scene that classic Warner Bros boost of spirit. Like the song Starlight by Muse makes you want to run victory laps, the song Kindle My Heart in this movie makes me want to reach my hands up to the sky, take a deep breath, and smile because I am alive and that should be good enough. Cheesy? Abso-effin-lutely, but come on people, cheesy movies the best.

Think about Christmas movies. You watch that one Christmas movie every year and go to bed feeling like a child all anxious for the morning. As a Jew, I never had that experience but this movie is like that for me. Once or twice a year, I need that reminder that it’s still okay to believe, that maybe faith and magic are real. I can wake up the next morning and be a better person and hope for the best in other people. We all have that opportunity every morning. And also I am reminded that I am still a princess. All of us. All girls are princesses.

watch the trailer:

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