Truly, when I'm feeling like shit, the first movie I put in is Beauty and the Beast. But since that is my favorite favorite movie of all time, I'm not going to write about it now just in case Andrew has a "favorite favorite movie" category. So here is the close second.
I discovered E.T. far too late in the game. Well, no one can really discover E.T. It's one of those movies that everyone knows about even if they've never seen it. And like all children in the VCR era, I was plopped in front of the TV with this movie playing at one point or another. But short of this one flickering memory, I hadn't seen it since cinephilia over took me in the early 2000's.
Then one day, a few months ago, I was feeling blue and wanted to watch something that I knew had a slow pace. Maybe one of those early 80's movies. E.T. is from 1982. Why not that? So I rented it. And I fell in love.
Everyone knows the story, but here it is for posterity's sake: A group of botanist aliens are collecting plants on Earth. Some guys with flashlights (the evil U.S. government) show up and the aliens flee, however, they leave one of their own behind. Soon after, a boy named Elliot (Henry Thomas) discovers the alien and names him E.T. (voiced mainly by Pat Welsh). Elliot then introduces E.T. to his skeptical teen brother (Robert MacNaughton) and his precocious little sister (Drew Barrymore) while trying to hide him from his mother (Dee Wallace Stone). Although he grows closer to Elliot, E.T. attempts to communicate with his home planet as the evil government tries to figure out just what the hell is going on.
What can I say? E.T. is just one of those classic movies that I really, really wish I had earlier in my life. Not only is it a great family film, it's just a great film period. (It was nominated for Best Picture even). I find comfort in its slow pace and messages of friendship and love. Plus, the early 80's clothing and trends. I'm particularly fond of the Dungeons & Dragons scene and when Elliot introduces his actions figures to E.T. (Haha, Boba Fett. The Empire Strikes Back had just come out!)
And sweet Henry Thomas...what a hottie you turned out to be.
E.T. kicks ass. Peace.