June 2, 2008

A perfect day composed of movie scenes

What if you could construct your perfect day out of movie scenes? A whole day of movie moments that you’ve always wanted to experience for yourself. This task is harder than you think, because at the center of any good story is conflict - and while watching shootouts may be fun, participating in them probably wouldn’t be. You can completely disregard geography for the purpose of this exercise, however - I’ll grant you back-to-back escapades in New York and China, for instance. But aim for the general time frame - if it took place at midnight in the movie, you can’t do it at ten in the morning. There’s also flexibility regarding if you would take the place of a specific character, or just tag along a yourself (you can do both/either). Here’s what my day would look like:

- I would need to get an early start, and what better way to start my day than assuming the role of Marge Gunderson in Fargo (1996) in the scene where her adorable stay-at-home husband Norm gets up with her to make her breakfast?
- Time to see what the neighbors are up to - I’d indulge in some old-fashioned voyeurism like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window (1954).
- Oh, what a lovely day it is! I'll frolic through the Alps a la Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (1964).
- Time for lunch! Since I’ve decided that calories don’t count today, I’d join the five lucky kids and their chaperones to stuff my face in the all-edible factory center in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- Uh oh! It started raining! No worries - I’ll find myself trapped in a gazebo with Fred Astaire in Top Hat (1935), where we’ll sing the song “It’s a Lovely Day” and tap dance.
- Since I’m already a little wet, I’ll join the gang of Center Stage (2000) in their sponge and soap fight that occurs when they’re sentenced to clean the mirrors in the dance studio.
- I’d spend some time at the Mayflower Dog Show from Best in Show (2000), because in addition to having tons of cute doggies, it features the absurd commentary of Fred Willard.
- Speaking of animals, I’d have an underwater adventure with the gang of The Life Aquatic (2004) - I want to see that glowing animatronic shark in person!
- I’d want to burn off some steam by mid-afternoon, so I’d join Peter, Michael Bolton, and Samir as they smash the copy machine out in a field in Office Space (1999). (Oddly enough, this is the first thing that came to mind when I came up with the idea for this post.)
- If I’m still a little stressed, I’ll hop aboard the old truck with Garden State’s (2004) Zach Braff and Peter Sarsgaard and scream into the rain.

- Move over, Kate Winslet - it's my turn for gratuitous sex with Patrick Wilson in Little Children (2006).
- Although I could get stuck on that last one for days, I'll have to eat eventually. For dinner, I’d replace Uma Thurman as John Travolta’s date to Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Pulp Fiction (1994), where we’d dance the night away, five-dollar shakes notwithstanding. (I think I’ll pass on the subsequent drug overdose though.) I considered the “Be Our Guest” scene in Beauty and the Beast (1994) for this, but then I realized I would have to be captive in a castle and surrounded by inanimate objects come to life. No thanks.
- After my meal is digested, I’ll go on a nice after-dinner magic carpet ride with Aladdin (1991). Good thing I already know all the words to “A Whole New World” (no joke).
- Late at night I’d wander around the abandoned mansion with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

- My late night/early morning would be spent wandering around Vienna and philosophizing with Ethan Hawke - basically the entirety of Before Sunrise (1995).

What would your perfect movie day look like?


Anonymous said...

Such an interesting day!

Carine, Mathieu, Nathan & Maxime said...

Sounds great!
I will just had a touch of Groundhog Day to be able to build the perfect day!

Anonymous said...

I like it!

:) Anon in London, England

Anonymous said...

"comprised" is not used properly in the title. "composed" would have been correct, but awkward, while "consisting" might have been the best choice.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Walker? Is that you?

Hard to Explain said...

I have to agree that Fargo's Marge Gunderson's morning of her hubby making her eggs is quite endearing. Kinda reminds me of my boyfriend in the morning; willing but completely out of it. Wonderful selection, but I have to see "Little Children" after reading this :)

Anonymous said...

Don't quite know what my perfect day will be, but I'm definitely up for some copier machine smashing. I also wouldn't mind hanging out with Stillwater on their bus singing Elton John.

Kudos on your perfect day!

Anonymous said...

Composed of movie scenes. Not "comprised of."

Anonymous said...

Don't know about the order.
Seeing as Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies, I'd have to agree with C, M and N on this one. There's so many movies I love that wouldn't work out, but GD offers potentially unlimited days and infinite opportunities.
Though I would like to spend a little time with Harvey the invisible rabbit, which would actually take no time at all.
Stick me in Rick's American Cafe from Casablanca anytime, preferably when Sam sings "As Time Goes By" or when the people sing the French national anthem.
Lost in Translation's karaoke night would be fun.
Ditto for the shark scene from The Life Aquatic.
Can't help but copycat the Willy Wonka binge.
Singing "Seize the Day" in Newsies would be awesome.
As for Pulp Fiction, how about the conversational-to-chaotic cafe scene?
I'd love to be at the climactic state championship game in Hoosiers.
Aragorn's coronation and the beginning and end of The Lion King. Stick me in the crowd.
Groundhog Day seems the best bet - it covers all day, every day. EVERY day.

Stephen Kuykendall said...

Loved the list, especially the yelling into the void from Garden State and the smashing the copier. Totally agree about singing 'Tiny Dancer' with Stillwater.

Maybe being Jason Bourne in the carchase of Bourne Identity or better yet Bullitt driving the Mustang around San Francisco.

Laying on that floating pier in the Mediterranean with Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief. Ahhh.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what my perfect movie day would consist of, but I do know that Patrick Wilson sex would definitely be a part of it! I've appreciated him way back when he was on Broadway in "The Full Monty"!

Wo Kai Li said...

What an awesome idea. Definitely going to think about this one for my blog!

Josh Smith said...

Cool concept, but being a guy, I would require explosions, car chases and senseless violence to complete my day. But I'd also want to survive - so I would need to embody the hero to ensure my safety. I guess I'd start with James Bond in "The Living Daylights" dangling out the back of the cargo plane, segue to Steve McQueen driving around SF in "Bullitt," and top the day off as John McClane in Nakatomi Tower in "Die Hard."

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm so glad your blogging regularly again. I missed your awesome movie themed posts. This one is brilliant.

Russ the Librarian said...

This is a very cool idea, don't know why I haven't seen it before. Only: Christ Jesus, ain't none o' y'all got any imagination? An ENTIRE day made up of bits of favorite movies, with the only stricture being that they have to correlate to the time of occurrence in the source material?! I'd go well beyond the ETERNAL SUNSHINE bit. Let's make this memorable....

-Wake up and fuck (Al Pacino and Diane Venora, HEAT)

-Get a shower, get ready for the day--"It's showtime, folks!" (Roy Scheider, ALL THAT JAZZ)

-Breakfast: pancakes with the Marxes (the Marx Brothers, ROOM SERVICE)

-Drive to work with Jules and Vincent (John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, PULP FICTION)

-Arrive at the office--never mind what I "do" in this scenario, I'll just pick workplaces occurrences that look cool. Best arrival scene that comes to my mind is some detective work with your colleagues, then getting harangued by your boss first thing after a morning shoot-out (Nick Nolte, Frank McCrae, Brion James, et al. 48 HOURS)

-Staff meeting--the Dahlberg repercussions (Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, et al., ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN)

-On the job. What I'm going for is, interesting depictions of people at work. And though I never wanted to be an air traffic controller, it sure looks cool (John Cusack et al., PUSHING TIN)

-Coffee break. I'll stop in at some coffee shop in Greenwich, and people-watch with Martha Plimpton (Eric Schaeffer, Donal Lardner Ward, Martha Plimpton, MY LIFE'S IN TURNAROUND)

-Walk back to the office, through the Feast of San Gennaro (Harvey Keitel, MEAN STREETS)

-Return to the office, only to find that all my co-workers have been killed while I was out getting coffee (Robert Redford, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR). No, wait, my ideal day wouldn't have a body count. Let's just say I work at the Sub-Pop headquarters in Seattle, hang with Megan, see what she has to say to the New York TIMES today. Always struck me as a cool place to work, and I took a cue from the decor when I had an office (Megan Jaspers et al., HYPE!)

-Nooner with Rosie (Spike Lee, Rosie Perez, an ice cube, DO THE RIGHT THING)

-Cocoa Puffs afterwards (Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan, PRELUDE TO A KISS)

-Lunch. What could be better than a soul food restaurant on Maxwell Street, with John Lee Hooker playing on the corner? I'll have four fried chickens and a Coke, Ms. Franklin (John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Aretha Franklin, THE BLUES BROTHERS). Only, they never got served their food in that one, so I should actually opt for some place I can serve myself--like the automat, hanging with the Kerouac and Ginsberg surrogates. "I gave up writing when I was ten. Too dangerous." (Peter Weller, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker, NAKED LUNCH)

-Drive back to the office, talking about Pam Grier (Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, RESERVOIR DOGS)

-Back to work, walking across the set and everyone wants to talk to me (Francois Truffaut, et al., DAY FOR NIGHT)

-Afternoon nap during a boring presentation (Jeff Goldblum, Dan Ackroyd, David Cronenberg, et al., INTO THE NIGHT)

-Get to the airport: we can catch the plane on the runway--don't bother with check-in or the goddamned airport security (Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS)

-Talk explosives with my single-serving friend on the plane (Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, FIGHT CLUB)

-Get met at airport gate by limo driver--"Spinal Pap" (Bruno Kirby, THIS IS SPINAL TAP)

-Limo ride into town, with complimentary wet bar...and blowjob (Charlie Sheen and some chick, WALL STREET)

-Stop at the casino and get some quick cash (that one guy, CASINO)

-Driver, take me to Spicoli's house, let me get in on that skull bong (Sean Penn, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH)

-Have a drink at the bar with Jim, talk movies--"If Dennis Hopper cun doit, *I* cun doit." (Val Kilmer, Billy Idol, Michael Madsen, Bonnie Bramlett, THE DOORS)

-For dinner, I'd go to prison. "Dinner was always a big deal in the joint," and it looks like they're doing it up very well. (Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, et al., GOODFELLAS)

-After dinner, play Fast Eddie a few games (Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, THE COLOR OF MONEY)

-Stand in line for a show, face off with the annoying prick behind me (Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Marshall McLuhan, some annoying prick and his date, ANNIE HALL)

-See the show: Cirque du Soleil on mushrooms (Seth Rogen and company, KNOCKED UP)

-It's ten at night and I'm not drunk yet? Now I *know* this is a fantasy. I'll wander into a dive bar and get a few too many (Mickey Rourke and Frank Stallone, BARFLY)

-What a long, exhausting day--I'll bet I'd be feeling pretty tired by this point. Could use a bump: I'll just help myself to that big white pile in the middle of the table...and abscond with Michelle Pfeiffer (Mel Gibson, Raul Julia, Michelle Pfeiffer, et al., TEQULIA SUNRISE)

-So where's the party tonight? I'd like to check out The Gourmet Club, dance real close with Penelope Ann Miller (Matthew Broderick, Penelope Ann Miller, Marlon Brando, Bruno Kirby, THE FRESHMAN). But I look ridiculous in a tux; something more informal, and challenging. I'll take The Factory, dig the human freak show, groove with The Velvet Underground all night, maybe pick up on Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor, Jared Harris, et al., I SHOT ANDY WARHOL). That ought to take me till dawn.

-Sun's coming up, time to wrap it up. Let's end things with a bang. We can talk about 80's movies after, Marisa, but for now: hands and knees, this'll only take a minute (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD)

-If I don't fall asleep right after, but want to see the sunrise, I guess there's nothing else to do but climb that hill while singing "See Me, Hear Me, Feel Me", and greet the rising sun at the summit (Roger Daltrey, TOMMY)

That's just what I come up with off the top of my head.

Brodie Mann said...

I snaked your idea and used it in my own film blog. I feel like a heel posting the link to my blog in the comments, but that's where my "Perfect Day" is. Check it here. And I do give your blog mad props for the idea.