Senior staff movie recommendations

Closing out the year with Senior movie recommendations.

It is time to bid adieu to the senior class of 2022. The graduating class this year has certainly grappled with a lot along the way. We were restless and senseless, with no idea how the rest of our high school careers would unfold due to the pandemic. During that free time, a lot of us watched movies to pass the time. Newspaper graduating seniors look back on what some of their favorite films are, and why they recommend that everyone should see them at least once. 

Ariel Gill-Ehrenreich is our editor-in-chief this year at Crossed Sabres. Her first recommendation is “50 First Dates,” a romantic comedy that stars Adam Sandler, who Gill-Ehrenreich calls an “actor of our generation.” The story follows a man on a quest to make a woman fall for him, the catch being that her memory only lasts a day. Thus, every morning, he must woo her again while also convincing her family and friends that he is in it for love. Gill-Ehrenreich admits it is extremely implausible and perhaps even questionable.

“Is it moral to chain a person with severe dementia to a family life?” Gill-Ehrenreich asked.

“It’s not really daring or profound in the slightest—not to mention highly predictable— but none of this stops me from loving it,” Gill-Ehrenreich said.

Undeniably, Gill-Ehrenreich’s comfort movie is “50 First Dates,” as her favorite genre is “comedy and drama combined into a bittersweet laugh/cry-fest.” The film is not a psychiatric docudrama, but it does provide a premise that works for this kind of lighthearted romantic comedy. “50 First Dates” is mostly silly, but it does a good job of it. 

As a bonus, she also suggests the film “Mommy,” directed by Xavier Dolan. Mommy is about a single widowed mother that struggles to cope with her teenage son’s violent behavior. Gill-Ehrenreich calls it “a beautiful coming-of-age,” a frightening yet humanizing look at unfortunate circumstances with no easy solutions. Dolan delves deeply into his characters’ complicated inner landscapes, and each is meticulously crafted. Diane and Steve may be the worst mother-son combo ever, but they love each other unconditionally, regardless of how effectively they play their roles in the relationship. These are the most human of characters, afflicted by flaws yet withstanding the battle for their lives.

One of the elements in this movie that really stood out to viewers is the use of music to connect with the audience, including sentimental radio singles from a decade or more ago. At points, the music literally offers an escape in the film. When the credits roll, a song by Lana Del Rey begins to play. This makes sense as she is seen as a modern-day icon for sensualized love songs.

“‘Born to Die” by Lana Del Rey was the song he decided to end this film with, which has to be the most perfect soundtrack choice I have ever heard of,” Gill-Ehrenreich said.


Andrew Kerley is the multimedia web editor for our publication. Kerley gets his enjoyment from seeing “The Godfather” time and time again. “The Godfather” is a 1972 drama that has been widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It follows the don’s youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino), who reluctantly joins the mafia; he gets immersed in the inevitable cycle of violence and betrayal. The main theme of the film revolves around the idea that you cannot escape your responsibilities or your destiny. One of the most amazing parts of the film is its heavy infusion of Italian culture and cliches while also demonstrating the depth of Italians living as American immigrants.

“Every time, I’m impressed with just how much I missed. The subtle ways the characters act toward each other serve as great foreshadowing. It’s such a human movie and I really appreciate that” Kerley said. 

If you have not watched this movie, Kerley implores you to give it a try—at least once. He will enjoy anything as long as it is compelling in some way, shape, or form. 

“Good art is good art,” Kerley said.

Evan Fagen is the photo editor this year and enjoys thrillers the most, as he considers them the most exciting to watch. However, his movie recommendation is the 1989 comedy-drama called “Do The Right Thing,” which Fagen labels “one of the best movies about race relations in America.” 

“A film over pictures on the wall of the neighborhood pizzeria escalates into a conflict that captures the ferocity of racial prejudices and biases in the USA,” Fagen said. 

The movie reacts to white supremacy and paternalism with justifiable wrath, calling attention to systematically racist institutions and injustices they cause; inequalities that still exist today. 

Kate Wilcox is our design editor for Crossed Sabres, and she does not have a particular genre in mind that she specifically enjoys watching. However, her most-watched genre is Sci-Fi, and she finds that most of the movies she watches usually fall somewhere within that genre. 

However, similar to Fagen, her favorite movie is not within the sci-fi bounds. Wilcox’s first recommendation is the 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine,” which follows a dysfunctional family that drives across the country to get to a beauty pageant. “Little Miss Sunshine” is able to make darkness and light exist together in such an authentic way that the film’s message is often reassuring. It lets its audience know that you can be struggling and still ok, that happiness and dysfunction can still coincide. 

“Everyone needs a good cry sometimes, and Little Miss Sunshine will definitely provide you with that,” Wilcox said. “It’s also comedic and lighthearted, making this movie the perfect balance between comedic, happy, and sad.” Although it is painted as a comedy film, claims are that the darkly funny picture confronts different mental diseases through the Hoover family. Its comedic undertones communicate a more serious message about mental illness and sorrow.

Family dysfunction is painted in an authentic light, with no romanticization or demonization of these matters. Nothing is overly sugar-coated, as the film is still able to get across that feeling of heavy-heartedness. 

Another great film that she recommends is “Parasite”, a masterful film that explores the wicked and brutal satire about wealth disparity. Parasite tries to visually show its audience the disturbing reality of poverty that we often ignore. There are so many parts throughout the film where they point out the direct contrast between the wealthy and the poor. What some people consider to be pretty is a curse in disguise to people with a lower income. 

 “It is definitely worth the watch [with its] reflection on the effects of poverty and greed on families of different classes,” Wilcox said. 

As you study, you should also take the time to relax. The easiest method to forget about your stressful life is to immerse oneself in a different world, devoid of homework. Movies, in addition to being entertaining, provide an excellent platform for learning about the various elements of life. These are just a few of the advantages of viewing movies as a student. As a result, you should not always consider movies to be something that just distracts you from attaining your educational goals. They can also make a significant difference in your life. 


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