Friday, February 16, 2007 by Michael
- Sixteen Candles (1984): The quintessential, absolute, number one birthday movie. Molly Ringwald's sister is getting married, and everyone forgets her 16th birthday. Anthony Michael Hall, in his first role, makes the movie. Very, very funny stuff.
- On Golden Pond (1981): It's Henry Fonda's birthday, or at lest it will be soon, and his wife, played by Katharine Hepburn, intends a nice celebration. But the best laid plans .... Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon and Dabney Coleman round out the cast. Great performances by Fonda and Hepburn make this an always worthwhile watch.
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958): Elizabeth Taylor, Burl Ives, and Paul Newman star in this adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play about ungrateful children convening for a less-than-happy birthday party for their father. If you haven't seen the play, see the movie.
- The Shootist (1976): John Wayne's last movie, and in my view one of his best. Wayne plays an aging and infamous gunman who learns from his doctor (Jimmy Stewart) that he is dying from cancer, and wants to make his last days in the rooming house run by Lauren Bacall as dignified as possible. An all-star tribute cast (Richard Boone, Hugh O'Brian, Harry Morgan, and the official director of the Hugh Hewitt Show, Ron Howard) make this movie very special.
- Sleeping Beauty (1959): One of Disney's best animated films. So what is it doing on this list? Well, if the three fairies could have hidden her past her 16th birthday, Maleficent's curse would have never come true. But then neither would the study Prince Phillip.
- The Game (1997): Not all birthday presents are happy, either. Michael Douglas stars again, this time as a wealthy man given a strange birthday present by his brother, played by Sean Penn. Or is it a present? A very good watch, all things considered.
- Falling Down (1993): Not all birthdays are happy. Michael Douglas's turn as a frustrated, unemployed defense worker trying to get through LA traffic to go to his daughter's birthday party is edgy and more than a little bizarre.
- City Slickers (1991): Billy Crystal is under-employed, divorced and unhappy. But at least he has good friends -- Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby -- who are willing to go with him on a dude ranch birthday gala. A fine, funny movie.
- Parenthood (1989): Okay, so it's primarily a movie about parenting. But what's being a parent without birthday parties? Steve Martin's courageous save of said party when the scheduled entertainment fails to show up is a classic.
- Boys in the Band (1970): Not exactly a movie for everyone, but it certainly is a birthday movie!
Brighten up your friends'/ loved ones' day with this bright wish.
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