TOP FIVE // GUILTY PLEASURES – Ryan O’Toole

By: Ryan O’Toole

I was asked to do a little blurb about “what I’m working on now” so, in hopes of saving some time, here’s a point-form update:

-I’m working on two short films that will be produced over the next year.
-My last film, “On the Last Day,” was recently accepted to the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, taking place in September.
-I was recently named Media Artist in Residence at the University of New Brunswick and will be taking on various projects under that title in the upcoming months.

I was also asked to name five films I hate to admit I love, but before I do, I need to say: I don’t “hate to admit” that I love any of these movies.  But I understand the nature of the “guilty pleasure” thing, so here we go:

1) Billy Madison.  This Adam Sandler gem came into my life when I was 12 years old and hasn’t left.  It’s total insanity: it opens with a hallucinated penguin chase and ends with a rifle-toting Steve Buscemi saving Billy’s life.  Watch it once, quote it forever.  “Stop looking at me, swan.”

2) Freddy Got Fingered Universally trashed upon release, but the critics got it wrong. Tom Green, the strangest man alive, made sure someone at the studio got fired by using his multi-million dollar budget to bring to life X-ray cats, sausage pianos and cheese sandwich factories.  A brilliant, absurdist comedy with an 11% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

3) Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.  A talking dog? A talking cat? Another talking dog? And they get lost in the wilderness together? Sign me UP.  There will never be a better talking animal movie.

4)  Kindergarten Cop.  Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a detective who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher.  The kids are almost as amusing as the early nineties aesthetic, which is almost as funny as Arnold’s pronunciation of “tumor”—but not quite.

5)  Juno I know choosing an Oscar-winner (that Ebert picked as the second best film of the decade) as a guilty pleasure seems stupid, but a lot of people hate Juno! It has a soundtrack that sounds like it was recorded by a ten year old.  It has a hamburger phone.  It has Michael Cera in short shorts.  It’s quirkier than a low-budget remake of Rocky Horror Picture Show starring Zooey Deschanel. But it’s got heart. It’s got A LOT of heart. And sometimes that’s all it takes.



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