Like most people, I spend a lot of my time on my journey to becoming a Really Cool Person by thinking constantly about what makes a person cool. (What? You don’t do that? That doesn’t actually make a person cool? Sounds extremely false, but okay!!) There’s makeup for this, of course, and clothes, and, I guess, just having a personality that other people enjoy and like being around. But here’s the thing–being cool simply because you happen to be a cool person is, in fact, cool, but you know what’s even more cool? Putting on an assortment of fronts and affectations to conform to other people’s notions of what makes someone “cool.” And the best way to do that, of course, is by carefully curating your entertainment interests so that they align with ones that have some sort of clout. Specifically, movies.
In the name of full disclosure, I should say that I have not technically “seen” any of these movies. But, from what I understand, having some sort of knowledge of them is the best way to seem cool in the eyes of those people you would like to impress, but will likely never actually be impressed with you, no matter what you do. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try, right? So, check out these movies you can watch (or, more likely, you can pretend to have watched) to seem cooler than you actually are:
The GodfatherThe Godfather is a 1972 crime film about a powerful Mafia clan in New York City. It's important because Francis Ford Coppola (an important director and Sofia Coppola's dad) directed the film, Marlon Brando (an important actor and once-upon-a-time regulation hottie) plays one of his most iconic roles, Vito Corleone, and the film, which spawned two sequels, is generally recognized as being one of the most influential movies of all time. You'll probably get bonus points for knowing that the film is based on a 1969 novel of the same name, and that most people consider the second movie in the franchise to be superior to the first (or, at least, the best sequel in cinematic history). (The third movie, however, is notoriously terrible and not to be spoken of in public.) Famous quote to know: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." Image source: The Godfather
Citizen KaneCitizen Kane is a 1941 movie about a reporter tasked with deciphering the last word a super-wealthy newspaper tycoon utters before he dies. The word? "Rosebud." No one knows what it means. I won't tell you what Rosebud actually means, but I will tell you that you won't be disappointed by it once you find out. Citizen Kane is, to this day, generally considered to be the greatest film of all time, which is extra impressive considering the film came out in 1941 and has had a long time to lose its appeal. Watch it for yourself and see what you think! Famous quote to know: "Old age. It's the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don't look forward to being cured of." Image source: Citizen Kane
Annie HallAnnie Hall is a romantic comedy from the seventies about neurotic stand-up comic, Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) taking a look back on his failed relationship with an aspiring nightclub singer named Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The film is interesting because it's a retrospective account told from Alvy's perspective, so he often breaks the fourth wall and uses animations to illustrate his thoughts. I am not about supporting Woody Allen in any way, of course, but if you do watch a Woody Allen movie, for whatever reason, Annie Hall is probably the best one to pick. Plus, throughout the movie, Diane Keaton looks great in some outfits that most people would look genuinely terrible wearing--so, if anything, watch the movie for that purpose. Important quote to know: "That sex was the most fun I've ever had without laughing. " Image source: Annie Hall
CaddyshackIf you are ever trying to appear cool in front of an insufferable comedy lover, Caddyshack is a good movie to know about. It's a comedy about a young caddy at a ritzy country club who's vying for a college scholarship for caddies (just go with that one, okay?) that stars comedy legends like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield. The movie has a huge cult following and is often thought of as being one of the funniest movies of all time. I actually have seen Caddyshack, so I will say that it is a legitimately good, funny movie, so it's an easy way to gain movie-coolness clout without suffering too much. Important quote to know: "You'll get nothing and like it." Image source: Caddyshack
Monty Python And The Holy GrailAnother movie that's important for insufferable comedy lovers? Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You could watch pretty much any Monty Python movie (Monty Python is a British comedy group that originated in the late 1960s, so they have a lot of movies), but Monty Python And The Holy Grail is the most easily recognizable one. Its plot doesn't really matter (the most important takeaways are the jokes and extreme British humor) but, if you need a guideline, it parodies King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail. Depending on how you feel about British humor, you may or may not love the film, but it's a good one to watch if you're into silly jokes and sketch comedy. Important quote to know: "I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!" Image source: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The ShiningThe Shining is a spooky-ass Stanley Kubrick movie based on a spooky-ass Stephen King novel about a teacher (played by Jack Nicholson) who agrees to take on a job managing a hotel with a reputation of violence. Unsurprisingly, this goes...poorly for him and his family. The film has a lot of iconic quotes and image stills (like, you've definitely seen the one above, right?) so it's worth watching the movie just to be able to contextualize them. The Shining would be far too spooky for me to watch, personally, but I understand that it is an important film to at least be aware of all the same. So, uh, watch it. Or read its Wikipedia summary and pretend you've watched it. Either way is fine! Important quote to know: "Heeere's Johnny!" Image source: The Shining
Literally Any Wes Anderson MovieIf you are really reaching for a way to seem cool without exerting too much effort, just watch a Wes Anderson movie. Like, really--any of them. Moonrise Kingdom. Rushmore. The Royal Tenenbaums. All of his films have a distinctively twee visual and narrative style that is beloved by pretty much every movie critic ever, so, if you've seen one, you've basically seen them all. Of course, each one can serve as a piece of cultural capital that you can use to bolster your own movie-going self esteem (and, uh, they're all good, apparently), so you should probably watch them all. You see that symmetry in the image above? That whole viewing experience will be a treat for you. It'll be so much of a treat for you, in fact, that you won't be able to stop talking about how much you love Wes Anderson films. And that's how everyone will really know that you're cool. Important quote to know: "Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?" (From The Royal Tenenbaums.) Image source: Moonrise Kingdom
Have you seen any of these movies? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments!