Introducing: The Ruby Oliver Film Festival

 In Three Sentence Movie Reviews

Those of you who are regular readers know that I love movies.  And you also know that I despair because so many movies are BOY movies and, while enjoyable to me, I long for more GIRL movies.  I plan to watch a goodly amount of movies this summer.  But what movies to watch?  A lot of films-to-watch lists are full of very vital and weighty flicks, mostly featuring men doing men things.  I’m not looking for that right now, I want fun. Interesting.  Movies women like.

Enter Ruby Oliver.  She’s not a real person, but a character in a series of very funny YA novels by E. Lockheart.  They all seem to have the same name, but if you are looking for the first one, it’s called The Boyfriend List. When the series begins, Ruby Oliver is a sophomore at a private school in Seattle and she has just lost her boyfriend, all of her friends, and is having panic attacks.  Ruby Oliver’s tale of how she recovers from all that (and more) is told in a breezy style that includes perhaps my favorite thing in the book world:  footnotes.

Ruby Oliver also loves movies.  So in her amusing and digressive footnotes, she often makes lists of movies on one topic or another.  I have seen many of these movies, but not all of them.  A-ha!  A bolt of inspiration.  My next movie project will be to go through all her lists, spanning footnotes in four books, and watch the ones I haven’t seen.

Here’s my list, copied word-for-word from the novels.  Stay tuned for reviews.  And check out Ruby Oliver.  She’s worth your time.

Titles in bold have not yet been watched.  When movies repeat, I chose to bold them again.

Note that most of these lists titles contain spoilers.

Book 1 
The Boyfriend List

Movies where the couples hate each other half the time:
10 Things I Hate About You
One Fine Day
When Harry Met Sally
You’ve Got Mail
Intolerable Cruelty
The African Queen
Addicted to Love
Bringing Up Baby
The Goodbye Girl
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
As Good as it Gets
French Kiss
Groundhog Day
A Life Less Ordinary
Movies where after breaking up, it turns out the man actually loves the woman madly and can’t exist without her:
Pretty Woman
An Officer and a Gentleman
Bridget Jones’s Diary
The Truth About Cats & Dogs
Reality Bites
Jerry Maguire
High Fidelity
Say Anything
Notting Hill
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Runaway Bride
(only the woman comes back to the man.)
Movies where the apparently hopeless dorky guy who’s been there all along eventually gets the girl:
The Wedding Singer
Dumb and Dumber
When Harry Met Sally
There’s Something About Mary
Beauty and the Beast
While You Were Sleeping
Revenge of the Nerds
Lots of Woody Allen movies
(bonus content from questions at the end of book one) 
E. Lockheart’s all-time top ten movie list:
Gregory’s Girl
Repo Man
Annie Hall
His Girl Friday
Bringing Up Baby
Moulin Rouge
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Singin’ in the Rain
Book 2 
The Boy Book

Pod-robot.  A person with no feelings or memory, but otherwise indistinguishable from a regular human.  Possibly an alien life-form; possibly a robot.  See:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Puppet Masters
The Terminator Movies
The Stepford Wives (either version)
Solaris (either version)
Village of the Damned.
(There are also lots of touchy-feely movies where the faux humans develop emotions, like
Bicentennial Man
I, Robot
A.I: Artificial Intelligence.)

Movies where a wild girl enchants and disrupts the life of an otherwise ordinary (but still attractive) man:
Along Came Polly
Something Wild
Pretty Woman
Addicted to Love
Bringing Up Baby
Chasing Amy
What’s Up, Doc?
The Seven Year Itch
Garden State
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Moulin Rouge
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
My Fair Lady
Funny Face
Annie Hall
Sleeper (okay, so Woody Allen is not attractive or ordinary, but still).
 Book 3 
The Treasure Map of Boys
Movies in which a makeover facilitates love:
Pretty Woman
Sabrina (both versions)
Working Girl
The Breakfast Club
My Fair Lady
She’s All That
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Now, Voyager
Strictly Ballroom
Miss Congeniality
The Princess Diaries
Never Been Kissed

Movie in which the woman dies and thereby helps the hero to realize his full manly potential in the world, only, of course, bad luck for her because she’s dead:
Moulin Rouge
City of Angles/Wings of Desire (same plot, different films)
Dangerous Liaisons
Sweeny Todd (well, he only thinks she’s dead and becomes a total psycho, but still)
A Walk to Remember
The Prestige
Casino Royale (the Daniel Craig one, not the Woody Allen one)
Harold and Maude
Love Story
Finding Neverland.

Movies in which the romantic heroine sports Birkenstocks:

Here’s a list we came up with, with help from the Internet. Movies that make prostitution seem like a glam job in which you might end up falling in love with a supercute and quality guy such as a young Christian Slater or Ewan McGregor:
Moulin Rouge
Pretty Woman
Trading Places
Milk Money
The Girl Next Door
Risky Business
Irma la Douce
From Here to Eternity
Memoirs of a Geisha
L.A. Confidential
Night Shift (1982)
True Romance


[Ruby and her friend Hutch have a documentary film festival]
We watched:
March of the Penguins
Super Size Me
American Movie
Mad Hot Ballroom
Grizzly Man
Hoop Dreams
Shut Up & Sing—and for Hutch
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.  Which is about a retro-metal band in group therapy, if you can believe it.
Book 4
Real Live Boyfriends
Movies where a quality guy loves a girl and sticks with her even though she’s one or another kind of insane—maybe alcoholic, maybe addict, maybe psychotic or depressed:
Mad Love
When a Man Loves A Woman
Bed of Roses
Benny & Joon
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
50 First Dates
Almost Famous
Center Stage
The Hours
My Sassy Girl
What Dreams May Come
Rachel Getting Married
Forrest Gump (if you consider him a quality guy)
Betty Blue
But in real life, I think ti’s more likely the guy gets sick of the girl’s insane behavior and goes off with a nice normal person to live happily ever after.  And who can blame him?
Movies where the safe responsible guy is revealed as a jerk—thus freeing the heroine to leave him for someone more exciting:
Desperately Seeking Susan
The Wedding Singer
The Holiday
Legally Blond
Sliding Doors
French Kiss
Bring It On
Working Girl
Sex, Lies & Videotape
George of the Jungle
Movies where a brooding, even sulky guy seems like a good idea for a quality boyfriend:
10 Things I Hate About You
Edward Scissorhands
Pump Up the Volume
Heathers (until the end)
The Breakfast Club
The Bourne Identity
Grosse Pointe Blank
Angel Eyes
Jane Eyre
Pride and Prejudice
Beauty and the Beast
Reality Bites
Donnie Darko
Wuthering Heights
Good Will Hunting
The Piano
Rebel Without a Cause 
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Showing 5 comments
  • balyien

    I'm really excited for this project, and looking forward to it! Will you only be doing reviews for the movies you haven't seen? My mind is boggling a little bit at a couple of the movies you haven't seen. "Rebel without a Cause" only because it's a classic (I liked it when I was younger but watching it through older eyes, Dean's character comes across as whiny and annoying IMO). And "Trading Places" and "Persuasion" only because they're favorites of mine and I think that everyone should see them (Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen story). There are two more recent versions of Persuasion, one from the 90s and one from the 2000s. They're pretty different but both are very good. Just don't watch the one from the 70s.

  • Patricia

    I'm excited too! Because I don't want to make myself crazy, I will only be doing reviews for the ones I haven't seen. And I KNOW! I totally have missed stuff. I just watched the African Queen. Why have I not seen that?

    I just got a copy of Persuasion from the library. I wonder what one it is? It's the BBC version originally broadcast in 2007.

    The one movie I'm not at all looking forward to watching? Dumb and Dumber.

  • Sara K.

    FUNNY FACE!!! I OWN IT! WATCH IT NOW! Sorry I needed to yell, it is just such a delight! And the music! Think pink! Clap yo hands! Bonjour Paris!!!!

    Try to ignore the age difference. The scenes, the photos, oh, yes: WATCH IT NOW!

  • Sara K.

    Now, in a more polite tone: I think this is great! It's a very nice list and seems fun and doable.

  • Heather

    I wondered about your viewing of "Oldies" and if you had fleshed those categories out. Starting at the top: Bringing Up Baby is the Excellent Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. This is one of those that I will pause on whenever it is on. The dialog is quick and it is classic Howard Hawks in the pacing. His Girl Friday is another Cary Grant. This time with Rosalind Russell. Again, quick wit, dialog and camera cuts. Fabulous! Irma La Douce is with Shirley MacLaine is the French prostitute with Jack Lemmon as the man who loves her and tries to fit into her world. Another movie that may fit in that category is Sweet Charity. In that she is a taxi dancer who falls in love (and there is singing and dancing. This is where "Big Spender" comes from.
    Now, Voyager is Bette Davis.
    Another "pod-alien" movie is Starman with Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen. Also, "Cherry 2000" with Melanie Griffith. Another one about a disruptive girl is "Love in the Afternoon" with Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper.

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