I can’t remember the last Fourth of July I WASN’T traveling to see friends or exploring somewhere new, but I can also see the value in a good old staycation. This year I’m laying low, staying in New York with a friend’s little pupper, and taking a little time to relax. A coworker who’s new to the US joked about putting together a American Movie Marathon. True to form – I accepted the challenge, and came up with four mini-Marathons, that build into one majorly patriotic marathon. I won’t get to all of these myself, but maybe by the end of the summer, I’ll get through the entire list. What are your favorite movies revolving around the great U S of A?
The Best of the Fictional Presidents Marathon
Dreamiest President Ever: Andrew Shepard (Michael Douglass) – The American President
Swoons, humor, and some of the best of Aaron Sorkin’s writing. Fun Fact: extra pages from The American President were adapted and became material for The West Wing (which shares a writer, TV, set, and large amount of the cast with The American President)
Funniest President Ever: Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock) – Head of State
A Presidential candidate in it for the humor and publicity of it all? Could NEVER happen in real life!
Best President (Peace Time) Ever: Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen) – The West Wing
Technically a TV show (only the best one ever written), but written with such mastery that it deserves placement on this list. Have a marathon if it makes you feel better
Best President (War Time) Ever: James Marshall (Harrison Ford) – Air Force One
OK – I cheated a bit and the US is not really “at war” in this movie. But I fully believe James Marshall demonstrates solid Commander-in-Chief behavior here. BONUS: Appearance by Sirius Black… I mean Gary Oldman
The (Mostly Factual, Maybe) American History Marathon
True there’s Mel Gibson… but there’s also Heath Ledger. Shouldn’t we all take more time out of our day to look at Heath Ledger?
Little known piece of American History, smattered with scenes of Vince Vaughn being his hilarious self
How am I so amped up and brought to the edge of my seat by a movie based on non-fiction?
Beautiful people falling in love and shooting things. But really … So handsome.
The Guns n’ Running Around Marathon
“We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt.” (Stripes)
Tom Cruise doesn’t really do it for me, but this is just such a cinematic classic, that it’s a must see. Plus, you gotta love You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.
Bill Murray and Harold Ramis are Comedy Couple Goals. Fair warning, this is a Jankowski Family classic. Don’t bring it up with me unless you’re prepared for at least 20 minutes of quotes thrown at you.
A true Cinematic National Treasure. Because who doesn’t wish there was a map on the back of The Declaration of Independence?
The Summer Goofs Marathon
“Well guys, we’ve made it to the end of the summer in one piece, except for a few campers who are lepers.” (Wet Hot American Summer)
Bill Murray (love of my life) as a lovable camp counselor teaching the Counselor-In-Trainings (“We are the CITs so pity us!”) how to be bad
Have the Time of Your Life. Don’t be Put in a Corner. I jest, but this is one of my ALL TIME favorites. BONUS POINTS: watch the ABSOLUTE ATROCITY that was the 2017 ABC Remake. No disrespect to Debra Messing or Sarah Hyland, who are gems in their own right, but I was SCREAMING at the TV throughout the entire thing
Wet Hot American Summer
Absolutely INCREDIBLE cast including Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks and more… plus worth a rewatch before the Netflix release of Ten Years Later in August