Please Don’t Die Rob Reiner

Like a lot of people I was saddened by the untimely death of John Hughes. I am the right age to have seen his films when they came out – though many I actually caught later. But when I saw online the way people were talking about him, how important some of the films were and how they captured a certain part of their youth I started thinking about other directors that make me feel that way. In particular I started thinking about who I would’ve thought of my favourite director a decade or so ago.

It’s tempting to say someone like Ridley Scott. He directed Alien and Bladerunner – the later being my ‘official’ favourite movie for years (until I finally realised that whilst good it wasn’t that good, it was just one of the first I’d seen that created a new world so effectively and completely). He also directed some other good movies like Someone to Watch Over Me or Thelma and Louise. I don’t really go for his big epics but I enjoyed Gladiator and at the other end of the scale, Matchstick Men is a lesser known one of his well worth checking out.

Woody Allen might be another choice. Sleeper is one of my favourite comedies of all time. Until a few years ago I would always catch his new movies and always find something to enjoy. But there became something of the stamp collector about watching his movies. I was more interested in being a completist than the films per se.

But there’s one director whose body of work seems to contain more of my favourite movies than any other and it’s a name that always slightly surprises me because I don’t tend to think of him as a great director. Of course it’s Rob Reiner – otherwise that’d be a rubbish title (maybe it is anyway).

Reiner has three films that would make my top 10, probably top 5, including my real absolute favourite. Those are

  • When Harry Met Sally – still the benchmark by which I measure romcoms, because it’s genuinely funny and romantic at the same time.
  • This is Spinal Tap – the DVD cover says “possibly the funniest film of all time” – hard to argue with that.
  • The Princess Bride – this is my number one film. Why? Well it really does have it all – it’s funny, romantic, action-adventure, childlike without being childish, endlessly quotable – so of course in answer to why I should have just said: “Are you kidding:? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…

But those are just the top three. When I look over the list that comes up when I IMDB him there are several more that are real gems that are important to me personally or just really great movies – The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, Misery, A Few Good Men, The American President.

I can’t say he’s done much recently that I’ve really cared for Alex and Emma, and Rumour Has It were amiable but forgettable – but anyone who’s made those eight films I mention above, heck the man who made Princess Bride alone, doesn’t have anything left to prove in my book.


About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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