My Robin Williams Top 7

I couldn’t get Robin Williams out of my head all day. My mom and sister and I talked about our favorite movies; my fiancee and I discussed the new movies that were supposed to be coming out, especially the third Night at the Museum installment: Secret of the Tomb. Relieved that it was already filmed, we discussed going to see it in December. For a moment, it was like he wasn’t gone.

After discussing with my mom and sister our favorite movies, I knew what my post would be today. Not everything on the list is a movie, for me, but it’s all my favorite projects of his–let’s say–and I look forward to finding more. There’s so many of Robin’s movies that I haven’t seen, and–not that I wasn’t before–I’m looking forward to discovering them.

In the meantime, here’s my list of Top 7 (because I fought forever over a 5-point list, and I just haven’t seen enough to confidently go to 10 without feeling like I was adding things just to get there).

Jakob the Liar

Robin is warm and generous in this film, trying to give and create an aura of hope when it seemed too much to even dream. The heart of the film is Jakob helping the girl who escaped from the train and his stories of hope, generated from his “secret” radio. While the ending will just break your heart, it could also fill you with hope, remind you that hope is worthwhile. You can see the movie trailer from Fandango: here.

What Dreams May Come

This is just a beautiful movie to watch, and Robin as a brooding romantic/dramatic lead is compelling. Again, a theme of hope and keeping it through a storm appears within the dreary storyline. Even when all hope seems lost, love can bring us back to ourselves. Love can holler you home.

One Hour Photo

On the heels of something so heartwarming, it almost feels like a sin to jump right into this one. But band-aids are better ripped off quickly, right? One Hour Photo so unsettled me, which is why it’s one of my favorite of Robin’s films. I love to see actors stretching themselves and their consistently perceived images. Seymour Parrish was no funny man. With too much spare time and a misguided sense of duty, Parrish is an employee of a one-hour photo shop who goes on to become obsessed with the life of a young suburban family.

Hook

One of the classics from my childhood. The Peter Pan story has been one I’ve read about and watched on TV in almost every incantation producers can come up with. Finding Neverland is also one of my favorite movies, but Robin’s interpretation–oh! the fun he seemed to have–translated well on screen and brought new life to the classic tale. Dustin Hoffman‘s titular captain tops the entire dish like a cherry. Just a solid movie.

 

Good Will Hunting

Just another solid movie: acting, writing, and plot. What I love about Robin’s therapist, though, is his ability to cut through the bullshit. Matt Damon’s Will drops a lot of arrogant assumption on Sean’s lap, and he doesn’t even blink before he says, “Hey, Kid, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.” To look someone dead in the eye and tell them exactly how you feel about what they’ve just said, because it was painfully wrong. Gah! It’s something I wish for for myself, and watching Robin deliver those lines with such passion gives me motivation to be more expressive.

Dead Poets Society

One of my Top 5 (no argument there) favorite movies of all time, no contest. There is no place I’ve ever felt so comfortable (besides lost in the 5 0’clock shuffle that is Polish Town in downtown Chicago) as when I was in college. This movie made me crave more advanced courses and like-minded peers. It was one of the things in my teens that gave me hope in the future. Even considering some of the ends the boys reached in the movie (They didn’t have to be my ends, did they?). John Keating was an inspirational and chaotic figure; for that, he’ll always be one of my favorite movie characters.

Comic Relief

This charity organization was created in 1989 by comedy champion Bob Zmuda and is comprised of telethon bouts of stand-up comedy. Big name stars would line up and deliver their best punchlines all for the sake of raising money for the homeless. Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and, of course, Robin were the popular trio of hosts. Running annually for almost 10 years (the shows stopped in 1998), the charity produced another show in 2009 in support of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Here is an introduction captured from Comic Relief VI (1994).

 

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