30. Free Enterprise
As I do more of these lists (sorry for all my facebook and twitter followers who are sick of this only 29 more weeks right?) I’m realizing that at least half my favorite movies I discovered watching Showtime. Free Enterprise is no different.
I remember catching the movie in the middle and watching about 45 minutes of it and then I had to leave. I had never seen anything else in the film until almost 6 years later when I found the DVD for sale somewhere. I had no clue what this movie was actually about until then.
When I first saw it I just assumed it was about 2 guys who are obsessed with William Shatner due to loving Star Trek as kids. However there’s so much more to it. The film is about importance of Sci-Fi to some people, the importance of the escapism. It also discusses issues of growing old as well as relationships. It basically plays out like a Seinfeld episode written by Kevin Smith.
Mark and Robert are struggling writers in Los Angeles as well as die hard sci-fi geeks. They’re unhappy with work and unlucky with love and dealing with turning 30.
There’s more pop culture reference than what’s good for it (in theory) and the dialogue occasionally sounds too forced but regardless these are my friends. As I listen to these guys make Star Wars references and get excited at a chance to see Wrath of Khan on the big screen I can’t help but see myself and my friends in these people.
One of the biggest elements of the movie that appealed to me was that Mark and Robert aren’t show as socially inept. While they have action figures and obsess over a 70’s TV show that doesn’t mean the women don’t date them. This isn’t the Big Bang Theory.
Their lives come to a weird place when they find themselves developing a friendship with William Shatner after running into him in a bookstore. They’re disillusioned by his porn obsession and his desire to create an all hip-hop version of Julius Caesar but they don’t allow it from keeping them from developing a bond with their childhood hero.
If you’ve ever loved science fiction, felt isolated in high school or just love pop culture based dialogue this is a movie for you.