- 1This spot almost went to the other classic film epic—Lawrence of Arabia—but, Gone with the Wind just has the right combination of historical importance, puffy dresses, and blatant racism that screams "I’ve-pretended-to-see-this-movie!" This flick’s biggest detractor? Length. Coming in with a whopping runtime of 226 minutes, it’s not exactly "casual viewing." In turn, instead of actually watching this movie, people tend to go the easy route and just "pretend"—much like the time I bought that letterman’s jacket and "pretended" that I went to Harvard.BUY @ amazon
It certainly doesn’t help matters much that societal norms pretty much require that you see Gone with the Wind if you want to be knowledgeable about cinema. Well, society also says that I should wear pants—and that certainly isn’t happening anytime soon. Well, la-dee dah! Sorry if I can’t live up to your standards Mr. High and Mighty…
- 2Granted, this choice isn’t going to make sense to a lot of people…but it definitely applies to my generation. You see, like many early twenty-somethings, the John Hughes teen comedies of the eighties hit it big when I was far too young to appreciate them. With the exception of Ferris Bueller, I completely missed out. It wasn’t until college that I actually sat down and saw the lot of them in an all-night bender of chocolate, cheese burgers, and self-remorse. Before then, I’d awkwardly smile in social settings when these flicks were brought up. I’d pretend to know who "Ducky" was and that "The Breakfast Club" was not some promotion offered by Denny’s.BUY @ amazon
Luckily, I’ve now atoned for my crimes, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there that shamefully have to hide the fact that they have never seen these movies. Since Pretty in Pink was the last of the John Hughes-era teen comedies that I saw in my quest for cinematic redemption, it earns a spot on this list. Now that I’m all caught up, I can move on to more important and troubling quandaries. For instance, is Molly Ringwald attractive? Well, let me tell ya, after a long discussion with my penis, the jury is still out on that one…
- 3Considering that Citizen Kane is often lauded as the greatest film of all time, I find it funny that most people probably haven’t seen it. Fess up…right now you’re sitting there in front of your computer screen, pretending to do something generic in Microsoft Excel, and lying to yourself yet again. "Ha," you snicker. "I’ve seen Citizen Kane a billion times! Pffft." Then, a bead of sweat forms on your brow. Your pulse quickens. Your chest tightens. On the surface, you’re calm, but deep down, you know the truth—the deep, dark secret eating you up inside.BUY @ amazon
Well, ladies and gentleman, that feeling won’t go away until you do something about it. Immediately, you must put Citizen Kane at the coveted top spot of your Netflix Queue. You must quell that simmering sense of guilt once and for all…or, you could just read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia....
Regardless, the next time someone brings up Citizen Kane in informal conversation you no will no longer have to stare at the floor awkwardly and deliver your usual canned response: "Uh…yeah…Rosebud…sled…totally…hey, is that a blue car over there?"
- 4When it comes to movies that people have not seen (but pretend to), silent films are a veritable goldmine. I picked Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, but this spot could just have easily gone to Metropolis or Sunrise or some other German sounding movie that nobody can understand. Every prestigious "best of" movie list invariably has some silent film on there. Most often, it’s a movie that few people have actually seen, so during the televised special—in order to make it somewhat interesting—they usually cut to wacky close-ups of black and white footage while Roger Ebert gives an awkward thumbs up.BUY @ amazon
To be fair, Modern Times is definitely a silent movie you should check out (instead of pretending to have watched). It’s Chaplin at his best and still holds up remarkably well. That being I said, I fully understand that watching silent movies with a modern mindset isn’t what I would call easy. It’s tough to appreciate the spectacular use of symbolism and stark black and white imagery while people are acting with the kind of over-zealous, "crazy eyes" best reserved for bad student theater and amateur improv…Everybody! Jazz Hands!
- 5Otherwise known as the movie where some Swedish dude plays a game of chess with death, The Seventh Seal is about as "film-school 101" as you can get. So, in order to feel smart, a lot of people pretend to have seen this movie (mainly insecure white guys trying to sound intelligent while standing in line at film festivals). This is arguably the late great Ingmar Bergman’s most famous film, so you should probably check it out sooner or later. Or, you could always just watch Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey yet again. With the addition of copious amounts of alcohol, it’s practically the same movie. Then again, that could probably be said about every movie…hmm…a discovery has just been made…BUY @ amazon
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