Ok, two pretty different candidates for the best film of all time are currently neck and neck for my vote. This is of course based only on what I've enjoyed lately and absolutely no higher esoteric reasons. I'm not someone who likes to watch movies over and over. I normally just don't. If I've seen it, I've seen it and squirm like a worm if someone tries to get me to watch it again, but for some reason I just watched Shortbus again for maybe the 8th time.
I managed to miss it in theaters when I was still in New York. I don't know why, just kind of had been hearing about it for so long and folks there that were in the know and had been all about it through its creation were suddenly over it and kind of panned it, so even though I still wanted to see it, it wasn't at the top of my list and no one else was dragging me off to watch it. Maybe I wouldn't have fallen in love with it there, but my first viewing came in Alabama. Over New Year's Brian had it downloaded on his computer and there was something kind of perfect watching it on a laptop in my cramped room with a friend who I hadn't seen in forever who had also recently left the city and my brother who had moved up there with me. Home was getting on my nerves enough that I couldn't roll my eyes at any of the silliness and could just eat up the familiarity of it all.
Then it was showing at a movie theater when I was in San Francisco, so I finally got to see it on the big screen. It is one of those movies that is fun to see with a crowd so you can watch how people react to different parts. It was still good the second time.
In Hawaii, movie and book recommendations are a way of life for us boat people, so I found myself recommending it to my coworkers and thinking about it, so I got it. Originally I got it just to make them watch it, but then a little too much extra time and no desire to watch again any of the Van Damn movies that the crew has, I watched it again. And again. So now I've found myself sucked into the "Fifth Element trap": oh I love that scene, let's watch it real quick. Yeah right. You set out just to watch the blue chick sing and Mila Jovavich kick alien ass and suddenly watch the rest of the movie and start it over again and rewatch it from the beginning. Or you just want to the Asian chick beat up the arguing Jamie^2 acolytes then wig out and smash the egg vibrator with a manakin leg, but as the movie starts, you tell yourself you are just going to listen to the first song and... too late, you are watching the whole damn thing again.
I think it is the music which does it to you. If you have a semi-musical element to the movie then you can lie to yourself and say you are just going to watch that one, self-contained chunk and then be done with it. But as you learn from getting sucked into old MTV, small chunk just make it easier to dive in somewhere other than the official beginning; getting out is another matter. Perhaps getting out is then even more difficult because you tell yourself that you are going to watch just this one more scene/video/whatev and then be done, but of course it is one more after that and after that....
So now I watch Shortbus over and over again and am not feeling guilty about it. The second candidate for best movie ever is the aforementioned The Fifth Element. I'm really not joking. I don't know anyone who didn't like it and have yet to spot it without either 1) someone else suggesting that we watch the whole movie or just that scene with the blue chick or 2) me suggesting we watch just that scene with the whole movie, and in either scenario, I've yet to encounter anyone who doesn't want to. In the middle of a party, you can turn that on in a bedroom and before you know it, the whole party is in there watching it and won't let you turn it off until the end and then someone will put it in and start the whole damn thing over.
God was happy with me on my last trip and it was included amongst the inexplicable movie selection of the boat, so of course I ended up watching it again. And then I watched the scene with the blue chick which turned into watching the rest of the movie. And then i recognized extra supermodels amongst the cast members besides Mila, so i watched it again trying to recognize the supermodels. The sick part is I still want to see it again. I'm probably going to go out and buy to have on the boats with me.
Again, I think with it the music part helps with the repeatability of it. Ridiculous action and aliens helps too. What else could I watch over and over again?
I am so going home and buying a box set of old Benny Hill episodes and the Muppet Show.