Five Favorite Films

Adam Carolla's Five Favorite Films

by | March 6, 2015 | Comments

Whether it was as the co-host of Comedy Central’s The Man Show, the popular radio program Loveline, or any number of his film and TV appearances, chances are you’ve encountered the wry, acerbic wit of Adam Carolla. The multi-talented comedian, actor, media personality, and podcaster extraordinaire takes another big step this week with his feature directorial debut, Road Hard, about a washed up comedian who attempts to put his life back together. RT Editor-in-Chief Matt Atchity got a chance to speak to Carolla, who gave us his Five Favorite Films:

Love and Death (Woody Allen, 1975) 100%

One of the best joke-for-joke movies ever put together, and many people haven’t seen it. That’s part of the reason why I’d like to [mention it]. I don’t want to create a list of movies that everyone has seen before; I want you guys to dig it out a little bit. A lot of physical humor, a lot of intellectual humor, just an insane movie for Woody Allen to make. Tons of jokes. People remember Sleeper and they remember Bananas, and Take the Money and Run and stuff like that. Love and Death gets lost a little in the Woody Allen shuffle. He has better films, like one I’ll name in a second, but he does not have a film with more jokes — just jokes — than Love and Death.

Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989) 92%

I love how thought-provoking that film is. I love that there’s a lot of great laughs in it, but there’s a lot of pathos. Alan Alda has never been better at being a douchebag than in this. It’s just got so much humanity, and it’s a comedy but it’s not pushing the comedy, it just is. There’s so much I like about that movie, I just thought it was a great combination. Sometimes Woody gets a little jokey and slapstick and sometimes he gets a little lost up in his head a little bit; this movie had a lot going on. I felt like it explored morality and the human condition.

Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks, 1991) 97%

I always mention this but no one goes out to see it. I love this idea of courage and that’s what gets you to the next level. I think Meryl Streep — who’s always good — it was so nice to see her as just a person and not a refugee who had to make a choice between her two children or whatever it was. No accent, no anything, just sort of Meryl Streep being sexy and being Meryl Streep. You’re not used to seeing her that way.RT: She’s got that great moment where she says, “And I was a good swimmer.”

Yeah. That whole notion, the look on Albert Brooks’ face when they turn the chair around, and, “Let’s just do another session before lunch,” and he had that look like, so beleaguered, “What are we going to look at now?” The scene where they flash back to the classroom and the teacher’s going “How much did we pay for these paints, children?” and half the class says four dollars and the other half says 4.50. “And how much for the brushes? 5 dollars? What does that add up to?” And they both say in unison, “9.50 and 9 dollars,” and I don’t know why… It’s just a little weird moment that Albert Brooks probably just did for himself but it cracks me up every time.

Wedding Crashers (David Dobkin, 2005) 75%

Vince Vaughn made me laugh like all the way through this film. There’s plenty of dialogue, but the part where he’s sitting at the dinner table and he’s getting the rub-and-tug under table is just… He’s doing everything with his face, like, he’s not really saying anything. What’s coming out of him is awesome, pardon the pun. Will Ferrell is great too, but just watch Vince Vaughn in that entire movie where he gets strapped down to the bed and they want to play tummy sticks and stuff. “No, no tummy sticks.” The scene where he goes into the kitchen and he’s angry, and he’s like “We’re not talking,” but he’s loading up on carbs and stuff and announces he’s going to “sit over here,” dumping syrup on top of everything. It’s slapsticky and over the top, but there’s room on everyone’s queue for something big that has celebrities in it but a great score, and it looked great, they’re taking the boat out, there’s big weddings. It’s a big movie, but it didn’t feel big and overpowering; it felt intimate. There was a direction, there was a sense, and they went. And they didn’t deviate, and it also has such a sweetness and lessons learned and all that kind of stuff.

Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998) 93%

The opening 18 minutes of that thing, I mean, when the door dropped on the Higgins craft and it all of a sudden was World War Two in color, seeing blood, seeing guys walking around looking for their arm that had been blown off. Weird poignant scenes where the medic was like stopping the bleeding and the bullet would just go right through the guy’s head. Also the story was strong too; there’s a bunch of guys named Ryan spread out all over the place and they think they’re finding him, and his guys kind of going, “Why are we killing ourselves trying to save one guy, and we’ve lost two or three of our own?” That thing that would never go on today. And all the stops along the way, there’s no way an hour into that movie I went, “Nah, I don’t care if they find him or not, I’m moving on.”RT: It’s the hope.

The part at the end where the old guy sort of turns to his wife and says, “Tell me I’ve lived a good life” — I’m tearing up now — “Tell me this was worth it.” Soup to nuts, that one was just a great movie. In a way it’s almost too Hollywood-y to get on people’s lists, but I don’t care. That was a fucking good movie.

Road Hard opens in limited release on Mar. 6, 2015.Listen below to hear Carolla talk about his film on this week’s episode of the Rotten Tomatoes Podcast: