Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Dane Cook

Which movies have influenced the comedian?

by | September 17, 2008 | Comments

only roast the ones you love,” Dane Cook explained to Rotten Tomatoes

his colorful comments
Best Friend’s Girl
‘s poster, in which he compared his Photoshopped
face to a section of Britney Spears’s anatomy. “If you really, really are
pissed or whatever, you don’t say anything. You just tuck your tail between
your legs and you walk away.”

So Cook loves his upcoming movie (opening this Friday), in which he co-stars
with Jason Biggs, Kate Hudson, and Alec Baldwin as a jackass-for-hire who
takes women on legendarily bad dates and sends them running back to their
exes. What are the other movies the comedian/actor loves, namely his five
favorite of all time? RT puts Cook under the spotlight.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
(1987, 97% Tomatometer)

I know three right off the bat.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. How’d it influence me? Big Steve Martin fan. Knew I wanted to be a comedian when I was very young. And my sister brought the Wild and Crazy Guy album home, which I still have in my office. When
Planes, Trains came out, that was the first film that really I looked at and said, “I’d love to, someday if I’m lucky enough to have a comedy audience, bring them into film and make that kind of movie.” Big heart, big laughs. And, of course, Steve Martin at the car rental shop, you know, “I want my f–king car right f–king now.” Unbelievably funny movie. Of course, John Hughes, John Candy, one of my favorites ever.

Can I take two minutes to tell a story? Awesome f–king John Hughes story. [My Best Friend’s Girl director] Howie [Deutch] was directing
Some Kind of Wonderful and the studio wanted a four-page rewrite on a scene. So Howie’s all, “I can’t figure out what to do.” Calls John, says, “Can you come over and help me write these four pages?” For two-and-a-half hours they’re just pacing around, John is just smoking incessantly. Howie says, “I need to lay down. I’m beat. I’m going to sleep a few hours and then we’ll finish it.” Then he says, “Dane, I wake up at about five in the morning and John is scribbling like crazy. He hands it to me and says, ‘Read this. It’s only 50 pages right now, but read it. I’m calling it
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’

The Empire
Strikes Back
(1980, 97% Tomatometer)

Absolutely blown away by the world of
Star Wars, Empire and Jedis. [But] my favorite moment of the three is actually in
The Return of the Jedi. And I argue this with people who are real Star Wars freaks. “Ewoks ruin the movie.” If you’re going to trifle over Ewoks, and you’re not going to talk about how great the speeder bike scenes through the redwood forests are, then f–k off. Those are some of the greatest action sequences… Okay, yeah, there’s some cute critters to sell merchandise. [But there’s] some [scenes] that I couldn’t even dream up with these unbelievable hovercrafts and modern-looking Stormtrooopers.

And Jedi has the best moment. [It’s] at the very end when the Emperor is trying to pull Luke over and, of course, Luke is getting the s–t kicked out of him and getting electricity blown at him. And Luke finally takes his lightsaber and throws it aside and says, “No. I’ll never join you. I’m a Jedi like my father before me.” And the Emperor says, “So be it…Jedi.” And it was the fact that the f–king devil himself gave Luke props and called him by [who] he was. It empowered him. That always gets by people, but that’s my stand-out moment.

But Empire, when that movie ended in a cliffhanger, my life was a cliffhanger. Until the next one came out, you couldn’t talk to me, you couldn’t talk to me, dude. I was hanging out with my Ungnaught action figures. Everything in my life went back to, “What do you think is going to happen next to Han Solo?” I promise you, you talk to my family and they will go, “Dane was bananas.”

96% Tomatometer)

Goodfellas is a movie that you can watch a million times in a row and there’s always a scene where you go, “Whoa, wait a minute, is this another director’s cut. Where did that scene come from? When did that scene get so amazing?” Just a classic. Love Scorsese. But this movie to me is just the cream of the crop when it comes to dramas.

The Dark Knight
95% Tomatometer)

I’m going to put this on the list. It’s a new movie. It’s a movie that’s making history. It’s one of the greatest crime dramas out there. And when Kevin Smith lovingly compared it to
Godfather II, it was before I had seen the movie and I thought, “Okay, this is jumping the shark. Kevin Smith, if I see him, I want to punch in the mouth. Because he has taken the hype machine and he’s cranked it up to 11 via
Spinal Tap.” And I was unhappy with [his] statement.

Now that I’ve sat through the movie, I want to French kiss Kevin Smith. He f–king nailed it. And this movie,
The Dark Knight, it deserves the money its making. It’s epic, it’s classic, Heath Ledger would be amazing whether it was a posthumous performance, whatever. He’s awesome in it. I. Love. This. Movie.

Halloween (1978,
90% Tomatometer)

Let me really rattle my brain here. I want to go back. I’m going to say Halloween. When Mike Myers walks out of the backyard… It’s an establishing shot of the front of the house, and you think it’s just a standard exterior, night, Halloween, porch. [But] then the music goes [imitates Halloween theme]. And then [Myers] walks out of the shadow of the backyard. I, to this day, don’t look into a shadowy night yard situation without seeing him walk out.

The same way that when I’m in a very sudsy bathtub — and, yes, I do take baths, don’t judge me — when my f–king toe comes out of the water — my number six pick would be
Jaws — I still look at my toe and I still become frightened of Amity Beach and all the things that happened to the poor people in the Steven Spielberg epic.

I grew up in a family that loved film, loved music, loved comedy. Thirsty for the how-to’s. Some kids liked to take apart radios. I wanted to know how Johnny Carson set up punch. I wanted to know how Burt Reynolds jumped over the bridge in
Cannonball Run. I really have a love of film. And although I wanted to be a comedian primarily, I certainly wanted to, with a smidgen of success, be behind the camera and
live that incredible world.

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