Boys dont cry; they renounce.

My 4 films of 1999
April 27, 2010
Article Title: Boys dont cry; they renounce their office space, join fight club and find an American beauty

Mary Schmich once said, you can map your life through your favorite movies, and no two peoples maps will be the same. The following is a listing of my 4 favorite films of 1999, which has often been called the year that changed movies. This is my map.

4. Office Space: The protagonist in this film is Peter Gibbons, a low level employee who works for a company called Initech. Peter is miserable at his job, has an insufferable boss, and a cheating girlfriend. When a hypnotherapist puts him into a state of bliss, Peter stops worrying about making a living or even keeping his job. Instead, he and his coworkers Samir and Michael decide to plant a virus in the companys computer system that will embezzle company funds into their own bank account. This remains to be one of the most hilarious and relatable films of all time, especially for those of us who have ever had to share office space with a bunch of robots. The film was written by Mike Judge, who is the creator of shows like Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill.

A favorite line or lines from Office Space: Peter is talking to Dr. Swanson, the hypnotherapist.
Peter: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that is the worst day of my life.
Dr. Swanson: What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?
Peter: Yeah.
Dr. Swanson: Wow, that's messed up.

3. Boys dont cry: This extraordinary film is about a new guy in town named Brandon Teena. He blends right in as one of the boys, drinking and bumper surfing, and charms the ladies with his sensitivity. He finds a new life with new friends and falls in love with a girl in town, Lana. But Brandon has old issues that have been left unresolved. No one knows that he is wanted back at home for Grand theft Auto and other crimes, or that he is really a she named Teena Brandon, played by Hilary Swank. When his new friends find out, there are some varied reactions. His girlfriend loves him the way he is. But his friends are not so accepting. The film was based on true events that occurred in the life of Teena Brandon, who was murdered December 31st, 1993. This is one of those films that you secretly hope will end differently each time you watch it, but it never does.

2. American Beauty: This film is about Lester Burnham, a middle aged man, with a seemingly perfect life on the outside. But Lester is slipping into a deep depression, with an adulterous wife, a dull job, and a distant daughter. Lester snaps out of it one day and decides to change his life. He develops an infatuation for his daughters best friend, leaves his job for one with the least amount of responsibility, starts exercising, and begins buying pot from his daughters new boyfriend. When Lester is asked to write a description of what he does at his job, I love his response:

My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the a$$holes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the mens room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that does not so closely resemble Hell.

I think Kevin Spacey did a terrific job at playing the sarcastic middle-aged guy who finally wakes up.
The film begins with Lester narrating while we get to see an overhead view of his neighborhood. Here is what he says:

My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood; this is my street; this is my life. I am 42 years old; in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don't know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already.

1. Fight Club: I must have some soft spot for films in which the main character is a depressed office employee. Hmm.. It appears that I may have some unresolved issues of my own. Anyways, this next film, Fight Club, is my number one for its extremeness. The protagonist, Jack, played by Edward Norton, is an automobile company employee with insomnia. He frequents support groups and pretends to suffer from cancer or whichever ailments that particular support group specializes in. He does this so that he can cry. I will not ruin it for those of you who have not yet seen it. But I will say that an encounter with a soap salesman named Tyler Durden leads him down an incredible path in which he creates the fight club and Project Mayhem. You can blame Tyler all you want until you learn the truth.

There are so many memorable scenes in this film. My favorite is the scene where Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt) pulls Raymond, a complete stranger, into the alley behind a store. He takes his wallet and reads his address from his drivers license. He then tells him that he is going to die. While Raymond weeps, Tyler finds an expired college ID. He finds out that Raymond wanted to be a veterinarian. He asks why he stopped and Raymond said that it was just too much school.

Tyler asks, Would you rather die on your knees in the back of a convenience store?

Then Tyler puts the gun down, and tells Raymond that he is keeping his ID and will be checking in on him. He then says: If you are not on your way to becoming a veterinarian in 6 weeks, you will be dead.

After Raymond goes free, Tyler tells Jack: Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day in Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.

These are my 4 films of 1999. Feel free to comment and add your 4 films of that particular year. And thanks for reading this article: Boys dont cry; they renounce their office space, join fight club and find an American beauty
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