Well, that was a nice Valentines Day. Yet another “spontaneous ice cream pilgrimage” that ended in tears. Why, oh why, does a city as groovy as Austin not have any good ‘scream! We almost didn’t finish the vanilla sundae with fudge and oreos from Cow Tipping Creamery . And for the Philosopher, who is part human/part food-vaccuum, that’s really saying something.
So we got home and decided to sweeten the evening with a favorite family pastime: the force-rank.
The force-rank is actually a longstanding Whitfield tradition, started by the Chocoholic himself — I imagine him in the tea fields of India as a young boy, force-ranking the recently expired bugs in his exotic bug collection, lining them up in order of preference, pondering the finer points of their form, considering the utilitarian aesthetic before him. And, importantly,reminding himself of the cardinal force-ranking rule: no ties allowed.
That is the beauty and the beast of the force-rank. Every item must have a place. No exceptions, no cop outs. It’s a philosopher’s worst nightmare.
So naturally, it became something we do quite often. One must carry on these fine family heirlooms into the next generation.
To honor the day, I asked a (stuffed and very apprehensive) Phil. to force-rank his top 10 most romantic movies. With groans of agony at the impossibility of such a task, he came up with these:
1. Out of Africa
2. Jerry Maguire
3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
4. You’ve Got Mail
5. Sound of Music
7. The Graduate
8. Shakespeare in Love
9. Before Sunrise/Sunset
10. A Walk to Remember
Hono(u)rable Mentions: Casablanca, Lost in Translation, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Last of the Mohicans, The Royal Tenenbaums, 500 Days of Summer, Groundhog Day, The Philadelphia Story, Rear Window, Amelie
Despite his reticence, he’s actually become a very skilled force-ranker over the years — though I have to say, he uses the illegal honorable mention category a little too liberally for my blood.
I, on the other hand, play things fast and loose, and inevitably produce a completely different list every day. Here’s yesterday’s version:
1. You’ve Got Mail
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. Sense and Sensibility
4. Singing in the Rain
5. How to Steal a Million
6. Safety Not Guaranteed
7. Roman Holiday (phew, intense)
8. While You Were Sleeping
10. Anastasia (no groans, please. It is a very classy movie.)
Anything we’ve missed?