Page 8 of 8
Whether you're in the mood for Hulu & Screw-U or Amazon Prime and Booty Time, these Utah-Centric flicks are sure to wet your whistle
By David Riedel
Do you love Utah? The movies sure do! On John Ford's résumé alone, you'll find Monument Valley listed at least seven times. And while many classic (and not-so-classic) films have been shot in the Beehive State, here are 10 that, in my estimation, stand above the others for reasons that are completely arbitrary, and only obliquely touch on love (or sex).
Best period movie with the worst use of a contemporary song that kills any romance in the air
In 1890s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, while Butch (Paul Newman) and Etta (Katharine Ross) sweetly bicycle through ghost-town Grafton, B.J. Thomas croons the very 1960s "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Sample lyric: "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head/Just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed/Nothing seems to fit." This song won an Academy Award, people. The Oscars may be #SoWhite, but they've always been clueless.
Best movie that makes you feel less weird about your particular fetish
It's not love that Taylor (Charlton Heston) is showing Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) when he says he wants to kiss her in Planet of the Apes. It's respect, which Zira undermines immediately when she tells Taylor that he's "so damned ugly." Still, man-on-ape action makes your man (or woman)-on-whatever obsession seem less weird, right? Look out for Lake Powell and Glen Canyon while you're watching those damned dirty apes.
Best time-travel movie with a sweet romance
Back to the Future Part III has lots of things going for it, starting with its vast improvement over Part II. It also features the only real love story in the series, a romance between Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and schoolteacher Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen). Sure, Marty (Michael J. Fox) has a girlfriend, Jennifer (either Claudia Wells or Elisabeth Shue), but it's the Doc's trip down Cupid Lane that we watch unfold on screen. Monument Valley plays a small role outside that romance—the movie is done with it shortly after Marty arrives in 1885.
Best movie to watch if you're into the strong, silent type
Jeremiah Johnson features star Robert Redford's love for Utah and its many breathtaking locations, including Ashley National Forest, Snow Canyon State Park and Zion National Park to name but three (and there are plenty more). This movie isn't the easiest flick to watch—there's a lot of violence, not much talking and Johnson is something of prick—but if you can find a pristine print (or the Blu-ray), Jeremiah Johnson is a rewarding portrait of a difficult person (and landscape).
Best movie to use as a break-up tool
While Fletch has provided hours of joy through the ages for countless doofuses, it also really, really pisses people off. The reason (and this, along with my contention that it pisses people off, is totally made up): It's so endlessly quotable that those same countless doofuses have rendered its lines charmless. Do you really need to hear some chowderhead say, "It's all ball bearings nowadays" ever again? Probably not. So if you're the kind of creep who wants to end a relationship but doesn't have the guts to do it, just quote Fletch on a loop until your BF or GF storms off in anger. Then relax with a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich and a steak sandwich while visiting your friends Marvin and Velma in Provo.
Best movie to watch while in the grips of unrequited love
Dumb and Dumber takes place in Providence, R.I., and Aspen, Colo., but the bulk of it was filmed in Utah. Harry and Lloyd's apartment exterior? Salt Lake City (standing in for Providence). Mary's home in Lloyd's fantasy? La Caille in Sandy. The list goes on. And if you're the kind of person who falls in love with someone who's both unavailable and out of your league, you'll have a lot in common with Lloyd (Jim Carrey). Plus, Dumb and Dumber is still hilarious.
Best movie to watch if you and your S.O. have the kind of relationship no one else understands
In Gerry, after being lost for nearly two hours in disparate and remote locations such as Death Valley, Argentina (!), and the Bonneville Salt Flats, Matt Damon strangles pal Casey Affleck to death and then saves himself. Is it a mercy killing? Or is it totally selfish? You and your lover know the truth and are prepared to undertake similar radical notions of love if the need arises.
Best stand-in for the U.S. Capitol in a dumb romantic comedy
Though the Utah Film Commission website is light on specifics, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde is on its list, so how could it not end up here? That's the Utah Capitol building's exterior standing in for the U.S. Capitol, if every Legally Blonde fan site in the world is to be believed. And LB2 features choreography by Toni Basil. What's not to love?
Best movie to watch if you love Utah (and the 1980s and Kenny Loggins)
The 1980s have so many things to adore: The fashion, the music and actors well into their 20s playing teenagers. Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer were born in the '50s but they're two love-struck kids in Bomont (or Beaumont), a city in an unnamed state that has banned dancing in Footloose. Sharp viewers know Payson, American Fork, Provo, Lehi and Orem play Bomont. Dianne Wiest and John Lithgow play concerned parents and Loggins plays the hell out of the soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, Footloose is completely stupid, but as a product of its time, it's perfect. It deserves our love.
Best movie to watch before revenge killing the people who killed your loved ones
The Outlaw Josey Wales, a super violent tale, makes a couple stops in Utah, at Glen Canyon and Paria. And it features Clint Eastwood doing what he does best: Killin'. And it ain't just killin' for the sake of killin'. It's killin' because someone kilt Josey's family. Yee-haw! While we at City Weekly don't advocate killin' in any form, we certainly don't not advocate vicarious killin' via moving pictures. (Aside: In later years, it was discovered Asa Carter, a former speechwriter for segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace, wrote Gone to Texas, the novel on which Josey Wales is based, under a pseudonym. Yikes!)
Happy Love & Sex Day, everyone. Enjoy your cuddling. Don't drink too many Midori sours. CW