We all love masterpieces, those great works of art, but sometimes, a movie can be great even with many flaws. Here are three of my favorite films that fall under the latter category: hardly perfect but marvelously entertaining.
The Women (1939): I adore The Women, but sometimes, I feel as though it doesn’t really know what it wants to be. It has high-strung melodramatic moments right alongside broad comedy. By today’s standards, it reeks of political incorrectness, particularly with regards to women’s roles. But you know what? It’s an enormously entertaining movie. Even with the overly melodramatic scenes, The Women is a comedy – and a great one at that. It centers on a woman who finds out her husband has cheated on her and goes on to follow her and her friends through the fallout. A clue: there’s a lot of gossiping, backbiting, and fighting, as well as some of the kookiest characters you’ll ever meet. Featuring fantastic performances from its all-star cast that includes Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine, The Women is a very flawed movie, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964): Initially conceived as a follow-up to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, though also of the so-called “hag horror” genre, is a wholly other film. More overtly horror than the former, Hush…Hush is also funnier and features an A-list cast of Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Mary Astor. Just watching these actors – all known for their dramatic prowess – yell at each other in overblown Southern accents is worth the price of admission alone. I normally wouldn’t enjoy a movie such as this one since chopped-off limbs and creepy lullabies aren’t high on my list of things to see. Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte combines these convoluted and over-the-top elements ridiculously, but I find it simply irresistible.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002): My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which stayed in theaters for an astounding eight months, is the little film that could. Part of why I love it so much is that part of my family is Middle Eastern, and since all Mediterranean cultures are alike in their boisterous but caring families, I’ve actually been to a wedding similar to the titular wedding of this movie. I remember being in stitches of laughter throughout My Big Fat Greek Wedding the first time I saw it in theaters. Though the film looks very low-budget, doesn’t veer from its linear storyline, and has an abundance of clichés and running gags, somehow, all of this doesn’t matter. Nia Vardalos, who may not be the best actress out there, wrote a simple, funny story that resonates with audiences everywhere – and that should be celebrated.
What movies do you love despite their flaws?