There are bad days. Everyone has them. Even the happiest of your friends has suffered at the ill-fate of a truly terrible, horrible, no good – very bad days like Alexander had a mere few weeks ago in Disney’s cinematic release. But instead of talking about movies with terrible days, I’m talking about it today because after a complete slew of sit and things that looked promising going heinously wrong, I’ve had the week of hell. What I like to see as a balance in the universe after my, quite frankly, stellar holiday (something of a novelty as I have at least one disaster abroad), it’s always good to have a look towards characters who are, frankly, having a worse day than you are.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
If you’ve lived in a city during the winter, then it is almost absurd with how difficult it is to get home to your loving family. There’s weather, shoppers, business and then the transport decides to go into meltdown the minute you think you’re homeward bound. One trip to see his family on Thanksgiving is a trip through a series of unfortunate events, Neal Page is having a journey from hell that is marred further by the pleasant but utterly irritating Del. The three day ordeal is a highlight of eighties film maestro John Hughes that is made impeccable by the contrast of characters. In one corner, and perhaps most sympathetic to city dwellers, is Steve Martin’s angered Neal who dwindles from polite annoyance into utter discontent and rage whilst Del, big-hearted yet incompetent is played wonderfully by John Candy. The pair together are perfect and this film is great to watch someone having worse luck than you…
Die Hard (1988)
…Mind you, who could be having worse luck than John McClane? It seems everywhere he goes, there is always a terrorist or two around the corner to blow stuff up or kidnap his wife and children. Yelp! And funnily enough, it all started on Christmas with an office party and one gangster too many. The much beloved festive frolic through the air vents of a hostage situation that includes his wife and everyone his wife works with. Detective John McClane has had his fill of it especially up against insatiable Hans Gruber. There is no other action movie that hits the yippee kay ya motherfucking heights of Die Hard. It’s witty, it’s explosive and brought use a pre-squinty Bruce Willis.
If you’re boss ever tries to cajole you in to work on your day off, take a lesson from Dante in Clerks and say no. Because you’re planned relaxing day to yourself will soon incur the most frustration pile of human waste that will sludge through your jingling bell doors with inane questions (can you tell I used to work in retail?) Kevin Smith’s black and white independent film -that was filmed around his own work hours in his own place of work- caused quite an excellent stir. It is considered to be one of the greatest independent films of all time, conveying that slacker era that captured a generation whilst simultaneously making us sympathize with Dante as we’ve all had shitty jobs and days like his.
John Dies At The End (2012)
Ugh, you know what happens. You go out to a party and that party really sucks. It doesn’t help that you are probably actively opposed to everything and everyone around you. The thing is – it’s your crazed mate’s band and you have to look after them when they phone you up, on some manic drug and spouting paranoia. Except, in David Wong’s case, his mate John has taken some heavily insane universe space and time bending shit named Soy Sauce that opens doors to parallel words and more. The film then goes from crazy to insane and you can tell that Wong has some reluctance at being dragged into a world where moustaches can be ripped off people’s faces, attacking you like a bat.