I Watched 365 Movies in 2018, Even Though Nobody Asked Me to

Illustration for article titled I Watched 365 Movies in 2018, Even Though Nobody Asked Me to

Patience is a virtue, but I’ve never had any.

I often avoid cooking in favor of cereal for dinner because it takes the oven too long to preheat. I finish about one in every five books I start to read. I get anxious when a friend takes too long to reply to a text I’ve sent. And I spend much of my free time rewatching movies and TV shows that I know I love, rather than potentially waste time on something subpar.

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It’s because of my penchant for instant gratification that I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, but at a party on December 31, 2017, I decided to set a lofty goal. In 2018, I was going to watch 365 movies I hadn’t already seen (if you’re doing the math, that’s one per day every day for the entire year).

While recovering from the residual hangover at home on New Year’s Day, I was about to press play on an episode of Bojack Horseman that I had seen approximately two or three (or seven) times when I remembered my intoxicated promise. I abandoned Bojack and ended up watching Ridley Scott’s 1991 road film Thelma & Louise. I loved it.

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I figured I would last about a week before comfortably settling back into my former routine, but as time went on, I felt obligated to see this goal through to the end. So here I am, 365 movies later.

I spent many late nights watching movies until the early morning. I even watched a few on my phone, a truly sacrilegious act. Sometimes I would miss days and have to double (or triple) up on weekends to stay on track. Though ultimately, I’d say it was worth it.

I was able to fill in a lot of my pop cultural reference gaps and discover some of my new favorite movies. It was a taxing mental endurance test, but I’ve successfully rewired my brain to want to take a chance on a potentially terrible movie, instead of burrowing deeper into the familiar hole where Parks & Recreation plays on a loop.

I tracked everything I saw here, but I’ll leave you with some quick thoughts on the films that made a lasting impression on me.

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Movies That Lived Up to the Hype

  • Silence of the Lambs - Well, Clarice. I’m pleasantly surprised.
  • Donnie Darko - Every boy I was crushing on in high school quoted this movie at least once a week, so I pretended to have seen it but never actually did. It’s possibly the only thing they were ever right about.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I avoided this for a while because it was heralded by the same men who think that loving Garden State is a personality trait.

Movies That Did Not Live Up to the Hype

  • Paddington - He’s not even that cute. Fight me!
  • The Sandlot - You’re killing me, Smalls.
  • I Feel Pretty - I probably shouldn’t have had high expectations here, but we all make mistakes.
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Movies I Surprisingly Liked

  • The House - Chance the Rapper was right.
  • Bratz - At most, it’s an anti-fascist manifesto. At minimum, it’s like watching The Cheetah Girls while on an acid trip.
  • Spring Breakers - A fever dream.

Movies I Loved and Will Tell People Were My Favorites to Seem Cool:

  • The Favourite - Definitely my favourite film to come out in 2018.
  • The Love Witch - Relatable.
  • Election - I’d pick this flick in more ways than one.

My Actual Favorites

  • Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle - This is peak cinema.
  • Moonstruck - I was doomed to love any movie co-starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.
  • Wild At Heart - I saw this right after I finished binging Twin Peaks. More than anything, 2018 was the year that cemented my David Lynch obsession.

Movies That Made Me Cry

  • Roma -It starts out slow, but the second half of this movie absolutely destroyed me.
  • Blue Jay - I definitely did not sit in my room sobbing to Annie Lennox’s “No More ‘I Love You’s” after seeing this.
  • Crazy Rich Asians - I’m not ashamed.

Movies That Fucked Me Up

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 remake) - One of the most effective horror films I’ve ever seen.
  • The Secret Life of Pets - Why is the body count in this movie so high?
  • Three Identical Strangers - I left the theater freaked out about how much the triplets looked like my dad.

Movies With Characters I Have A Crush on Now

  • Earth Girls Are Easy - Jeff Goldblum plays a furry blue alien, but I would still hit it.
  • Batman Returns - Michael Keaton, but mostly Michelle Pfeiffer. Meow!
  • Venom - I’m not talking about Tom Hardy. I’m talking about Venom. I’m very into how much a symbiotic parasite would make me feel needed. Let me see what that tongue can do!
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Movies That I Watched By Accident

  • Wayne’s World 2 - It wasn’t until the credits rolled that I realized I wasn’t watching the original Wayne’s World, but I liked it anyway. Party on.
  • Grey Gardens - Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange shine in this made-for-TV movie that I did not know was based on a documentary until I Googled it later.
  • Ibiza - I fell asleep watching Bojack Horseman (I never said I abandoned my old habits completely), apparently rolled onto the remote and woke up five minutes into this Netflix movie. I should have stayed asleep.

Movies With Songs That Haunted Me

  • A Star Is Born - Cue 1,000 hours of my friends and I scream-singing “Shallow” at unsuspecting passers-by.
  • Miss Stevens - America’s “Sister Golden Hair” made it onto my Spotify “Top Songs 2018" playlist because of this movie.
  • Beaches - YOU ARE THE WIND BENEATH MY WIIIIIIIIINGS

Movies That Made Me Want to Throw Up

  • Trainspotting - That baby on the ceiling is burned into my brain forever.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Not the first time Johnny Depp has made me nauseous.
  • Adore - Love a nice romantic film about two ladies who want to... fuck each other’s sons?

Bad Movies I Only Watched for a Specific Actor 

  • Glitter - This movie sucked, but Mimi is fine.
  • Destination Wedding - I would like a DNA test to prove that I’m not actually the daughter of Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves.
  • The Princess Switch - This movie doesn’t have great attention to detail, but it does have Vanessa Hudgens and that’s enough for me.
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Movies I Fell Asleep Watching

(I will preface this by saying that if I passed out during a movie, I rewound to see the full film before counting it.)

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  • The Godfather - This movie is three hours long.
  • Barry Lyndon - This movie is three and a half hours long.
  • Book Club - I dozed off for about 20 minutes while watching this on a plane and woke up to Mary Steenburgen tap-dancing to Meat Loaf.
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Movies I’ve Already Forgotten the Plot of

  • America’s Sweethearts - I remember this is another movie where I’m somehow supposed to think John Cusack is hot.
  • The Commitments - I remember that this movie was about a band in Ireland. That’s about it.
  • Kodachrome - I know I was angry at Jason Sudeikis, but I’m not sure why.

If you’re interested in trying something similar, I would recommend sticking to a more reasonable goal, perhaps a couple hundred to start.

producer, jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Jerry-Netherland
Jerry-Netherland

Welcome to my world, darling!

I respect your commitment to this. I certainly watch that many films every year, too, but - and my age has a lot to do with this - it seems so random a list of (disproportionately) mediocre 90s and 00s movies. Scanning through the 365 entries, I was a bit confounded by a seeming lack of any organic thread; for example, if you watched His Girl Friday, how were you not motivated to watch several more Rosalind Russell films?

Perhaps your next goal might be to focus on pre-1980s films, since 90% of this list was 1980 - present (other than The Godfather, His Girl Friday and 2001:A Space Odyssey). Also, there were almost no foreign language films (old or new), and there’s so much to unpack there.

By all means, I’m here to help anytime! As you no doubt know, I love to share my freakishly vast knowledge of classic film (and long life in Hollywood). I seriously am not criticizing what you’ve done; I celebrate it! But after what you’ve valiantly endured, I think you deserve 365 really good films next!