Movies That Talk

By Mike Smoody

Too many movies these days have nothing to offer besides special effects. It's hard to believe that they even have scripts! As a retreat from the visual bombardment of rapid scene changes and explosive imagery, here is a list of movies in which the the loudest sounds you'll hear are the character's voices.

  • Before Sunrise

    1999 by Richard Linklater

    I can't think of a better film to watch about two people falling in love. A chance encounter on a train in Europe is the catalyst for Jesse and Celine, whose spontaneous chemistry fuels the entire show. The couple walk around Vienna for an evening and talk. They are so at ease with one another and content to disagree that what must grow in the mind of the viewer is a strong sense of a deeper bond.

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  • Kicking and Screaming

    2006 by Noah Baumbach

    This movie takes a nostalgic look at college and the rough transition following graduation. What makes it shine are the brilliant cast of characters and their glittering dialogue. It is full of ingenious one liners, witty observations and mature insights. If I could go back to college these are the sorts of people I would like to hang out with.

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  • My Dinner with André

    2009 by Louis Malle

    I love this movie, have watched it a few times and still can't quite say what it's about. The title pretty much tells you all you can objectively know: Wally Shawn joins his friend Andre Gregory for dinner at a fancy restaurant. What follows is an intense conversation that lasts about ninety minutes. Perhaps what matters is what's going on in your mind as you watch and listen.

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  • Metropolitan

    2006 by Carolyn Farina

    Whit Stillman's genius is that he can make the pretentious charming. In this, his first film, a group of young, upper class Manhattanites drink, dance, play childish games and talk through the night during Christmas break. One thing I particularly like is that each character is articulate and delivers their lines with exaggerated importance.

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  • The Trip

    2011 by Michael Winterbottom

    I can't shake the feeling throughout this movie that these men are imposters. One thing is for sure, they are great impersonators. The plot: they visit some of the best restaurants in northern England which they are supposed to review for a magazine, a task for which neither seems qualified. Their conversation along the way and at dinner rarely rises about the level of impersonating movie actors and arguing over who's better at it. I found it hilarious.

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  • Play It Again, Sam

    2001 by Herbert Ross

    This list would not be complete without a film written by Woody Allen. As the title and the cover suggest, Humphrey Bogart and lines from Casablanca play key roles in the film. Woody Allen's character is trying to get back into dating after his life leaves him and Bogart's apparition is there to coach him. One can easily see the comedic potential of Woody Allen trying to behave as if he were Humphrey Bogart.

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