(1988) D: Garry Marshall. Starring Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard.
Yes, it’s the ultimate chick flick, but this kind of sappy female friendship movie was made for a sucker like me.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: In an homage to another movie on my list, the title comes from a quote from The Princess Bride: “If your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” And yes, Barbara Hershey did get her collagen injections in her lips for this film.

(1985) D: Peter Bogdanovich. Starring Cher, Eric Stoltz, Laura Dern, Sam Elliott.
Yes, I like a good tear-jerker, but this film is so much more than that. If you’ve ever doubted Cher’s abilities as an actress, check out this film. And if you’re wondering why Eric Stoltz is on my list of favorite actors, ditto.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: The disease that the real Rocky Dennis was born with happens in 1 in 22 million births.

(1988) D: John Hughes. Starring Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern, Alec Baldwin.
John Hughes grows up in this funny and heartaching look at new marriage and impending parenthood. Yes, I cry EVERY time.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: This movie was filmed at the same time as Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), which was also directed by John Hughes’, and features some of the same cast members.

(1989) D: Herbert Ross. Starring Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah.
A member of the chick flick Hall of Fame. And owner of the laughter-through-the-tears penultimate scene.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: When writer Robert Harling last spoke to his sister, he was telling her how hard it was to be a writer in New York and have people consider his work. His sister commented on how she wished she could help him somehow but she didn’t know what she could do. When she died after surgery, Harling wrote the play that this movie is based on in her honor, thereby making him an established and respected writer. Director Herbert Ross wanted an authentic feel to the hospital scenes so he hired the doctors and nurses who tended to Harling’s sister (on whom the movie and play are based) during her last days in hospital to play themselves during Julia Robert’s scenes on life support.

(1994) D: Geoff Burton, Kevin Dowling. Starring Russell Crowe, Jack Thompson.
A little-seen film starring a then-unknown Russell Crowe in a touching, poignant and moving love letter to fathers and sons.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: This was the first film to gain attention for Russell Crowe in America.

(1983) D: James L. Brooks. Starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels.
OK, so I like chick flicks. But this one actually won Best Picture, so leave me alone.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW: Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger were both nominated for 1983’s Best Actress Oscar, which went to MacLaine. On her way to the podium, she reportedly whispered to Winger, “Half of this belongs to you,” to which Winger reportedly replied, “I’ll take half.”