If you are lucky enough to have been born into a family that gets you, and siblings you would choose to have as friends, then you have little need to work on your other friendships. Most of us, however, have better luck with those not related to us. And I've learned in my 30-some-odd years on the planet that friendships-- good, solid friendships built on mutual respect and caring-- do not come along all that often.
My bestie and I meet our hero, David Silverman
My best friend is Dr. Karma. She and I were originally brought together by a shared adoration of Weird Al Yankovic and The Simpsons. There are some fundamental differences in our lives-- she has a 17-year-old son, I have no kids. She loves science fiction; I do not. She has a Ph.D. whereas I only have a master's. I have bangs; she doesn't. But our shared values (importance of education, healthcare as a right not a privilege for the rich, not being a dick, etc.) are what link us tightly, despite the 2,000 miles that separate us and the superficial differences in our lives.
Friendships require time and attention, like all relationships, to be nurtured for their own good. What better time than now to Netflix a fantastic friendship film, then call your own bestie and tell him or her how you feel? Or better yet, send a letter!
5. TOY STORY 3
This movie is already one of the best animated films of all time, but the way the toys work together and genuinely care about each other (and Andy) makes this film a fantastic demonstration of friendship, loyalty, and love.
4. HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT
When a young woman, Finn (played by Winona Ryder), spends time with her grandmother and great aunt to work on her master's thesis and think about the wedding proposal she's been offered, she learns about friendship and love from the amazing women in her grandmother's quilting group.
I've heard this is also a great book, but I have not read it. I have, however, requested it from my local library.
Karma and I toast our book contract
This is the archetype of the friendship film, almost to the point of cliche, but it has gained that status fairly. It genuinely shows how a deep connection can exist between two very different people. Plus (except for the schmaltzy music and silly clothes that date it as the 1988 movie it is), the film stands the test of time.
2. THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
Peppered with just a touch of the supernatural, this film shows the deep friendship of four teenagers whose bonds connect them while they're far apart. It's a beautiful film, from the scenes in Greece and Mexico to the mundane details of everyday life, this film is not just for teenagers.
1. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
Everything about this movie is perfect. It takes a risk by taking place mainly in one, dreary setting, but it works beautifully. Of course, the ending is perhaps the most satisfying close of any film, but what makes this movie so gripping and heartfelt is watching the friendship start and build between Red and Andy. There are few better feelings than the delicious cry I get from this film every single time I watch it.
* * * * *
Karma and I have had a long distance best friendship for over 10 years. She is my Tibby, my CC, my Red. In the early 2000s, there were a couple years when I didn't have cable, so she sent me boxes filled with VHS tapes of The Daily Show and Steve Martin movies. Every birthday, she sends me a bag of Jelly Bellys (toasted marshmallow flavor only; it's my favorite flavor so she doesn't mess with any others). When I visit her in California, she stocks her fridge with Newcastle Brown Ale and diet Coke, even though we're usually so busy that we're not home enough for me to drink much of it. This woman gets me, and I will never let her go.
I am so proud of Karma. She is an inspirational
teacher, a singular stand-up comic, and she has the voice of Lurleen Lumpkin. Her gifted son, whom she raised alone while extending her own education through a doctorate, is graduating from high school and will be going to college in the fall, perhaps to become an engineer. Well done, my friend.
I used to be blonde.
DROPPING ON MAY 17 (The week of all things starting with "the")
The Bionic Woman Season 2
Jamie Sommers fights fembots and Lindsay Wagner wins an Emmy. Win, win!
THE HUSTLER [Blu-ray]
Paul Newman and Piper Laurie in this 1961 classic.
This is a film about a hitman who trains an apprentice, which is why I've never seen it.
THE OTHER WOMAN
Scott Cohen and Lauren Ambrose back Natalie Portman up in this film about a woman who has a rough relationship with her stepson.
I'd love to travel to Italy and take some classes, but not in exorcism. But whatever, to each his own.
Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester star as Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Denise Du Vernay is the co-author of The Simpsons in the Classroom: Embiggening the Learning Experience with the Wisdom of Springfield. Follow her on Twitter@Simpsonology.
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Semi-wholesome Midwestern girl and certified Geek Magnet offers her suggestions - often new, sometimes classic - for DVDs that are definitely queue-worthy.
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