My Favorite and Least Favorite Movies Claire Neil

Kicking and Screaming- my favorite movie!

I have a few favorite movies, but the movie that has been my favorite all throughout childhood and still has a soft spot in my heart is Kicking and Screaming. The movie begins with a montage of the main character, Phil, growing up with a terribly unfair father, Buck. Flash forward to present day. Phil is a happily married adult with a son named Sam. His father is also happily married, not to Phil’s mother but to a much younger woman, with a second son, Bucky, who happens to be the same age as Phil’s son. Buck makes his favoritism towards Bucky apparent, and Phil subsequently feels jealousy towards their idealized father-son relationship. Buck is the coach of Bucky’s all-star soccer team, and when the opportunity to coach his own son’s team presents itself, Phil jumps at the opportunity. The rest of the movie shows a heightened rivalry between Phil and his father that escalates with each coming scene. Well, at least for Phil it does and only serves the purpose of entertainment for Buck. Despite the humorous qualities of the movie, the ending is quite heart- felt. When I was a kid, as soon as the rolling credits popped on the screen I would ask my mom to restart it. I would laugh just as hard, as if I were watching it for the very first time. If someone were to make a YouTube video of the funniest moments in Kicking and Screaming, they might as well upload the whole movie because every single scene is hilarious.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest- my least favorite movie :(

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was the second movie to win all 5 major academy awards and is considered to be one of the best films ever made. Well, I despise it. I despise it so much that the movie title immediately pops into my head when thinking about what my least favorite movie is. The fatal flaw in my personal journey to ever deem this movie likeable is probably the fact that I read the book first. The book is one of the best written stories with memorable and lovable characters, and Ken Kesey’s eloquence leaps of the page. I know it’s foolish to be angry at a director for expressing his artistic ability and using his creativity that is required of all directors to make a great film, but the discrepancies between the book and the movie are far too numerous for me to silently sulk in my unfulfillment. The main character Randle Patrick McMurphy is a martyr for the patients at a mental institution who are monitored closely under the reign of the main antagonist of the book, Nurse Ratched. McMurphy is a valiant hero in the book, which the movie does not make clear at all. The movie makes him seem like a narcissistic (he is a bit narcissist in the book but there’s so much more to his character) idiot who only acts on his id with no care in the world but for himself. However, in the book he gives all of the patients hope and something to look forward to after a life full of just waiting for it to be over. McMurphy reaches into the patients buried lust for life and brings it out on full display. Nurse Ratched is pure evil, and this is not portrayed in the film. McMurphy, who has been convicted more times than one, fights on the good side and Nurse Ratched, who is supposed to be there to help the patients better themselves but really only cares about gaining power and keeping control, is on the bad side. The irony in the book is brilliant, and because the movie fails to show the true idea of malice in human form that is Nurse Ratched and the heroic qualities of McMurphy prove no battle of good versus evil and portrays Ratched as an innocent bystander who falls victim to a self-sabotaging criminal. As if another thing needed to be wrong with the movie, the casting crew really struck out with who they chose to play McMurphy. McMurphy is supposed to have a demanding presence with a tall, brooding figure and bright red curly hair. Not discrediting Jack Nicholson’s abilities as an actor, he’s fantastic, but his qualities do not match those written in the book. I know I wasn’t aiding my interest in the movie by assuming the crossed arm position, inviting no open-mindedness (I read a book about body language and it is true that what you do with your body affects your attitude) and maybe if I hadn’t read the book first I would’ve liked the movie, maybe even loved it. But however, this is not the case and my anger towards the movie will hopefully fade over time but as for now, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is my least favorite movie.

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