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