What Makes A Film Rewatchable ?

What’s your most rewatched film ?

I don’t mean your favourite movie (although they could very well be one and the same for you). I mean the movie you’ve watched so many times you know every line by heart, and still get affected by them at every new watch. The one you watch every time it’s on TV even though you own the DVD, a digital copy and several streaming subscriptions that would allow you to watch it. The one people associate with you, the one your friends make fun of you for liking so damn much (and if they ask you whether or not you want to watch it again, you’ll sure as hell say yes).

For me, that movie is Scott Pilgrim VS The World.

I’m not exactly sure of the number of times I watched it, either eleven or twelve. Either way, that still means I watched it more than once a year since the day of its release (and I most definitely did not watch it that year so that means… More or less twice a year. YIKES.). It’s not my favourite movie, not by any means. My answer to that dreaded question more or less changes every day. Sometimes it’s Inglourious Basterds. Sometimes it’s The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Sometimes it’s Helter Skelter. Hell, sometimes it’s even Pitch Perfect 2. But it’s never Scott Pilgrim.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a film I love with all my heart. You know, I did watch it eleven times. But it’s not my favourite, nor do I doubt it will ever be. So where’s the difference ? What’s the difference between a rewatchable film and an actual favourite ?

Looking back on it, I now realize that I’ve watched my actual favourites once or twice, maybe three times at best. On the other hand, there are films I don’t even like that much that I’ve watched an ungodly amount of times (including most Disney movies). Thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that my favourite films are often too special to me to experience them too often. They speak to a part of myself that is rarely ever being spoken to, and I fear that experiencing it too often would make it less special. They’re deeply personal for a reason or another, and I wouldn’t risk changing that for anything in the world.

The rewatchable ones are right underneath this category. They are in the very hard to define category of ‘special, but not too special’. They may remind me of my childhood, or adhere very specifically to my sense of humor in the way few other films do. I may have an emotional connection to them, but it is one that feels safe, not tiring in the slightest.

So here’s what I came up with: my favourite films feel like a therapy session. Obviously really good for you but potentially really draining as well. The ones I rewatch the most feel like drinking hot chocolate under the blanket on a sick day. Maybe not the best thing to do everyday, but always a pleasure when it comes around. Both are essential to how I see film as a whole and even who I am as a person. The way you consume things can tell you more about yourself than you think. I’d encourage you to ask yourself the same question: what are the movies you rewatched the most ? And most importantly, why ?

probably napping

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