Welcome to the W Movie Club, a new series in which W magazine’s editors pick five iconic films to watch while in quarantine. This week, content production director Shayan Asadi shares a few of his favorites, from the darkly comedic Death Becomes Her to the fashion industry classic that still holds up after all these years.
Death Becomes Her
Move over Biologique Recherche and SK-II. Who needs a beauty regimen when a magic potion can offer eternal youth? In this over-the-top comic classic, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn star in a deadly threesome with Bruce Willis, directed by Robert Zemeckis. There’s plenty of great cinematography, a sexy appearance by Isabella Rossellini, two gay icons swinging shovels at each other, and dozens of meme-worthy one-liners. This is dark humor at its very finest.
To Wong Foo
Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo werk it as a trio of hilarious drag queens dressed in fabulous costumes, roadtripping in a convertible from New York to Los Angeles. As one might assume, the car breaks down in the rural Midwest, and the three are forced to make do for a few days—you can imagine the conflicts that might ensue. But beware, while the film was a major celebration of openness and alternative lifestyles in the 1990s, it isn’t without its problems when viewed through a modern-day lens.
The Normal Heart
One of the only movies that has made me cry, this one really tugs at the heartstrings. It opens with a euphoric scene of Fire Island in the 1980s, before things quickly take a turn to full, in-your-face emotion. This is required viewing for anyone who wasn’t alive during the AIDS crisis. The A-List cast (as expected from a Ryan Murphy work) includes Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, and Jim Parsons, all of whom give spectacularly raw performances. Expect tears. Expect to be emotionally exhausted.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This one’s three hours long, so if there were ever an ideal time to watch it, it’s now. This tragic love story is about a man (Brad Pitt) who ages in reverse. As the years go by, he becomes younger (hotter) and falls in love with a mortal woman (Cate Blanchett). Drama unfolds, as they only overlap in their 30s. Nothing like a love story about bad timing to get you through the rest of quarantine.
The Devil Wears Prada
If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve seen this classic. Meryl Streep. Anne Hathaway. Fashion. This movie features the best fashion montage in modern history and too many memes to list. (‘Are those…. the CHANEL boots?’) Meryl also gives one of the best monologues in defense of fashion, of all time, while reading Anne to filth. Worth a re-watch.
Craving more movie recommendations? Check out the previous editions of W Movie Club:
Michael Beckert’s List of Cathartic Queer Classics
The Films that Remind Sara Moonves of Her Favorite Shoots
Maxine Wally’s Serious Drama Lineup (Plus Legally Blonde)
The Best New York Movies, According to Lynn Hirschberg
Brooke Marine’s Nostalgia-Heavy List
Andrea Whittle’s Favorite 90s Rom Coms and Artsy European Classics