Five Favorite Films

Mike Birbiglia's Five Favorite Films

by | September 2, 2016 | Comments

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Comedian/actor/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is a multifaceted artist with a resume full of contemporary classics like Your Sister’s Sister, Sleepwalk with Me, a couple seasons of Orange is the New Black, and the weekly radio show This American Life. This week, he struts his stuff in the Certified Fresh Don’t Think Twice, about an improv comedy troupe and the laughs and heartbreak that comes with such a life. He shared with us his five favorite movies and we got a bit of insight into his highly creative brain. Check out the list:

Big (1988) 97%

This film was my introduction to New York-based films and actually New York City at all. Once I saw this, I knew that I, too, would be destined for a penthouse Manhattan apartment with trampolines, pinball machines and bunk beds. The romance with Elizabeth Perkins is believable despite its high concept and just adorable and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s also heartbreaking, and makes me cry every time I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it 15 times. Actually, I cry quite a bit in general.

Moonstruck (1987) 94%

When I was a kid, I was allowed to watch Moonstruck despite my age because it was about Italians and it was important for the Birbiglias that I see Italian-American films. What sticks out for me is the smaller characters that highlight the larger themes. In the liquor store Cher‘s character visits, there’s a charming argument between a middle-aged couple. The wife says, “I see a wolf in you.” The husband responds, “You know what I see in you? The girl I married.” It’s those secondary characters that make that film really sing comedically — in addition, of course, to the hilarious and emotional Nic Cage and Cher.

When Harry Met Sally... (1989) 91%

C’mon. Is every scene in this movie perfect? Yes. I could watch this movie over and over on a loop. Actually, I’m pretty sure they do that on cable. It plays quite a bit. Meg Ryan is nothing short of magical in this performance. And the time lapses are, for me, what make this film really work — because we truly believe that this oil-and-water couple will stay together and they ought to. I sure hope they do in the sequel: When Harry Stayed With Sally.

Metropolitan (1990) 93%

I saw this film in high school and I watch and re-watch it now like it’s an old friend. It’s about this very specific debutante culture in Manhattan, but because the protagonist is the outsider, we feel like it’s our movie, too. We’re the outsider who has a crush on the incredible, Molly Ringwald-esque Carolyn Farina.

Annie Hall (1977) 96%

I saw this film in college when I was first studying screenwriting and starting out as a comic. It has forever been imprinted in my DNA. It’s funny, it’s emotional, and it’s unafraid. I was so struck when I saw it that it found the beauty in a breakup as opposed to wallowing in it. It also traffics in an area so specific — a neurotic, Jewish comedian — but yet it feels so universal. Woody Allen does this in all of his films of that period: Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan, Crimes and Misdemeanors. But this one truly makes me laugh the most and get choked up in the same moment. It also has the line that my wife repeats to me all the time, which is the mother’s line to the child Alvy when he asks what they’ll do about the universe expanding: “WHAT, IS THAT YOUR BUSINESS?!”

Don’t Think Twice is now open in limited release.

Tag Cloud

royal family Chernobyl spider-verse cinemax TV One CMT mockumentary HBO teaser Acorn TV WarnerMedia directors movie Hallmark medical drama basketball Marathons TV Brie Larson technology dragons Box Office RT History The Walking Dead documentary superman Comedy Trophy Talk Esquire 24 frames Emmys Pop TV black comedy Action know your critic Tubi Opinion adaptation BBC One Awards Legendary LGBT Family Cosplay TV renewals cooking serial killer Infographic VOD Dark Horse Comics nbcuniversal women blaxploitation Trailer films Endgame social media batman El Rey 99% kong Watching Series Countdown police drama canceled TV shows Syfy X-Men YouTube Red Binge Guide Epix TBS Women's History Month Paramount Plus based on movie dark true crime japan CBS Emmy Nominations comic Neflix fast and furious 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Film Amazon Studios 007 Hallmark Christmas movies Anna Paquin DGA die hard VICE golden globes NYCC The Walt Disney Company television LGBTQ TIFF young adult Rocketman Star Trek Netflix Christmas movies Holidays archives transformers Reality olympics romance Ovation PBS Heroines critics biography 2016 cults superhero italian genre Trivia MTV IMDb TV sequel reboot sequels Christmas 4/20 The CW news book adaptation action-comedy Black History Month spain Character Guide Avengers Comic-Con@Home 2021 spanish Turner Music aliens Academy Awards SundanceTV Writers Guild of America adenture richard e. Grant kids indiana jones Spring TV Sci-Fi Oscars MSNBC Crunchyroll independent cancelled television slasher E3 PaleyFest cops The Witch james bond romantic comedy Columbia Pictures screen actors guild godzilla stop motion Comic Book Shondaland TCA Winter 2020 Hear Us Out DirecTV Image Comics Valentine's Day crime drama Funimation Disney Channel Disney+ Disney Plus Mystery Podcast Wes Anderson AMC Plus joker New York Comic Con Showtime emmy awards new zealand Walt Disney Pictures Fox Searchlight spinoff slashers Discovery Channel First Look sopranos FOX all-time USA Polls and Games south america Classic Film halloween tv Awards Tour prank RT21 quibi series trailers Country witnail Sony Pictures comic book movie cats Schedule feel good Apple TV Plus Martial Arts toronto doctor who fresh children's TV DC Comics dceu Marvel Television breaking bad Spike 2021 rotten movies we love HBO Max Stephen King parents cancelled sports Premiere Dates a nightmare on elm street PlayStation spider-man marvel comics The Academy Election canceled CW Seed politics scary robots Captain marvel FXX YouTube what to watch Song of Ice and Fire Food Network Disney Plus live event cars Turner Classic Movies docuseries Sundance Cannes psycho TNT GIFs rotten Animation green book diversity suspense latino USA Network comiccon Creative Arts Emmys Winter TV wonder woman IFC Set visit boxing anthology ratings mob Comics on TV high school Elton John crime dexter MCU Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 2020 2018 japanese ABC Family screenings saw travel telelvision Freeform GoT Superheroes Lionsgate Certified Fresh sitcom Winners Peacock 2017 Holiday deadpool Warner Bros. Britbox DC streaming service ITV scene in color TCM rom-coms space San Diego Comic-Con Quiz game of thrones dogs Photos 45 ghosts President child's play franchise Mary Poppins Returns Television Academy Shudder Adult Swim talk show BET Awards christmas movies versus TCA legend Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt hollywood biopic book stoner hist elevated horror Thanksgiving festival Crackle Toys twilight heist movie classics nature Comedy Central criterion binge SDCC aapi Fargo VH1 Spectrum Originals Summer Television Critics Association Pixar ViacomCBS The Arrangement Masterpiece NBC BBC America 71st Emmy Awards HBO Go ABC finale American Society of Cinematographers Tarantino supernatural comedies E! Lifetime adventure Universal black lord of the rings Marvel Universal Pictures jamie lee curtis australia video on demand blockbusters Video Games scary movies video rt labs critics edition art house Travel Channel composers streaming BBC rt labs 2019 Mindy Kaling Lifetime Christmas movies 72 Emmy Awards cancelled TV series critic resources mission: impossible rt archives jurassic park crime thriller Film Festival Fall TV First Reviews zombies Pirates sag awards comics golden globe awards Apple TV+ free movies war Mary poppins dramedy name the review target Red Carpet historical drama satire GLAAD documentaries blockbuster posters Baby Yoda gangster Biopics 2015 Starz vampires Paramount Interview Bravo Alien See It Skip It remakes scorecard concert TLC Grammys obituary popular spanish language CNN cartoon mcc pirates of the caribbean Amazon Prime TCA 2017 1990s Vudu miniseries vs. singing competition Marvel Studios Nickelodeon boxoffice Disney streaming service WGN best Rom-Com Western Calendar Year in Review Teen tv talk FX hispanic heritage month 21st Century Fox Sneak Peek OWN Pop FX on Hulu laika Ellie Kemper stand-up comedy hidden camera mutant king kong animated Drama CBS All Access crossover Extras Super Bowl renewed TV shows french YA History National Geographic dc indie Tokyo Olympics spy thriller period drama A24 YouTube Premium strong female leads BET werewolf reviews revenge TV movies docudrama Fantasy halloween toy story Nat Geo Amazon Prime Video 90s Disney disaster zombie TCA Awards Fox News streaming movies asian-american monster movies international Hulu razzies 20th Century Fox comic books The Purge Logo Musicals political drama Amazon movies Superheroe ABC Signature psychological thriller Arrowverse Paramount Network kaiju Tumblr Nominations unscripted Rocky Musical Rock foreign facebook game show Reality Competition science fiction chucky 73rd Emmy Awards live action venice ESPN BAFTA zero dark thirty Mary Tyler Moore Pride Month marvel cinematic universe ID Instagram Live Black Mirror AMC hispanic Kids & Family worst new york Sundance TV anime Exclusive Video Star Wars DC Universe IFC Films new star wars movies king arthur Netflix Lucasfilm discovery thriller Broadway natural history worst movies Pet Sematary 93rd Oscars festivals OneApp SXSW universal monsters justice league A&E football Pacific Islander Mudbound award winner dreamworks Sundance Now Cartoon Network TV Land Ghostbusters APB harry potter Tomatazos cancelled TV shows casting nfl TruTV debate comic book movies NBA Apple theme song Best and Worst Horror