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Movie Marathon Idea: Class Reunion

January 20, 2011

Long after the echoes of the hallowed halls of your alma matter have faded, your memories will live on.  Luckily, we have quite a few great movies where high school reunions and gatherings of  pals from the past form the basis of a great comedy or drama.   Here are three of the best.

1.) Beautiful Girls (1996)

Late director Ted Demme’s portrait of small town East Coast life was a funny and often touching film starring one of the greatest ensemble casts ever assembled.  Timothy Hutton’s Willie Conway is the transplanted New Yorker who returns to a snowy hometown for his 10 year reunion, only to be reminded why it is so tough to go home again.  The film features a scene-stealing performance by a plucky, witty young Natalie Portman, who would have been Conway’s soulmate had she just been born 15 years earlier.

2.) Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Co-written and produced in part by star John Cusack, this biting and witty ode to suburban decay takes a world-weary hit man with few marketable social skills home to the rich Detroit landscape where he must confront the long lost love of his life.   The story is a comedic goldmine.  You though YOUR reunion was bad – well, this one takes the cake.  The movie also features a spot-on soundtrack with 80s new wave tunes from The Violent Femmes, The Clash and The Specials.

3.) The Big Chill (1983)

Although in itself it has recently become somewhat of a Hollywood cliche, this 80s classic wrote the handbook on mid-life “what does it all mean” nostalgia.  Focusing on a group of college friends who gather together to honor a dead friend, the real plot point lies in how relationships and dynamics change with adulthood and experience.  The film features great performances by William Hurt, Glenn Close and Mary Kay Place.

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