It's never been a better time to be an entertainment junkie. No matter what your tastes, almost any movie you could ever want to see is quite literally at your fingertips. As a movie buff who actually factors iTunes rentals and streaming services into my monthly budget, I'm rarely at a loss to find something great to watch at any given moment.
But there are those times, however, when that one movie that perfectly suits your current mood has vanished from your streaming sites, as you frantically search and cross-reference all seven of them. And then when you pull up iTunes, you think, "Wait, haven't I rented this, like, five times? Should I just buy it?"
You probably should. With all the movie subscription services that you (and millions of millennials) use, it probably takes a lot to convince you to fork over the money and add it to your Library. But if it's a movie that never fails to make you laugh, or it brings back great memories, or you've seen a million times, it's worth it. After all, you never know if there'll be a power outage that takes out your TV and wireless connection and all you have is a charged laptop loaded with purchased movies. (This is an actual disaster I think about and prepare for).
The latest film that fit my criteria to buy was Finding Dory, which is so much more than an obligatory sequel. With all that heart and inventiveness, I couldn't not give it a spot in my pantheon of purchased movies next to Finding Nemo, another one of my favorites. In partnership with Finding Dory on iTunes, I came up with a list of reasons why a movie might be worthy of adding to your sacred movie Library. Take a look below for some inspiration!
1. It's an honest-to-goodness classic.
Like Diane Keaton's iconic vest-and-necktie look, some things never go out of style, and Woody Allen's 1977 romantic comedy Annie Hall is one of them.
2. It stars your bae.
A lot of people tuned into Neighbors 2 because Zac Efron is bae, and they definitely weren't disappointed, either by his performance or shirtlessness. But my comedy bae, the one who inspired me to hit "Buy HD," is Rose Byrne, who's secretly a stealth scene stealer and doesn't get enough credit for being every bit as funny as her movie-husband, played by Seth Rogen.
3. It's the only thing you want to watch when you're sad/sick/down.
When you're feeling terrible, either because you had a bad day or you're stuck at home with the flu, all you want to do is wrap yourself up in a blanket and cue up something lighthearted and familiar on your laptop. For me, that movie is Clueless. Something about the soundtrack, Cher's 90s fashions, Amber's hairstyles, and all the slang ("as if!") makes me forget whatever was having me "totally buggin.'" Having a movie like Clueless in your Library is as important as having cough syrup in your medicine cabinet.
4. It defined a particular era of your life.
When The Devil Wears Prada hit theaters, I had just started college and still had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. This is sort of embarrassing to admit, but watching Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) go to the Met Gala, mingle at parties, and even deal with a demanding boss (Meryl Streep) seemed impossibly glamorous to me, and partly inspired me to become a magazine editor. Now when I watch Prada, it takes me back to that exhausting but exciting part of my early 20s, when I was hustling to get editorial assistant jobs, nab big interviews, and rack up the bylines. Plus, the clothes are pretty!
5. It puts you in the mood for the holidays.
What's funnier than Will Ferrell as a giant elf trying to save Christmas? Watching Elf has become kind of a tradition when I go home for the holidays. It's the perfect mix of earnest, family-friendly, and absurd humor. Watch for a hilarious performance from Peter Dinklage.
6. It stars amazing female leads.
Kristen Wiig. Maya Rudolph. Melissa McCarthy in her breakout role. The list of killer female performances in Bridesmaids goes on and on, and that moment where Maya Rudolph has an incident in a wedding dress in the middle of the road ... comedy gold.
7. It's the perfect movie to watch with your mom and a bottle of wine.
My mom lives in a different country and can only come to New York once a year, so I make sure to have a few mom-friendly movies locked and loaded for her annual visit. Nancy Meyers-directed movies are pretty much made to be watched with moms — something about the light drama, the tastefully decorated sets, and empowering themes never fail to bring moms, adult children, and red wine together. Check out Nancy Meyers' most recent movie, The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.
8. It's your guilty pleasure.
When my friends are over and they scroll through my Library, they never fail to pause on Sex and the City 2 and ask, "Why do you have this?!" Whether or not it's your favorite film, it's a really fun movie to watch with friends, whether you're laughing at the cheesy moments or genuinely enjoying them.
9. It's ridiculously quotable.
"You go, Glen Coco!" You need to keep some movies like Mean Girls around because people are still quoting it more than 10 years later. You gotta keep your quote game fresh.
10. It's a movie you've seen more than 100 times.
My VHS of Jurassic Park literally melted because I watched it so many times as a kid. Even though I don't watch it nearly as often now — at one point I was watching the second half of the movie, starting with the first T-rex attack, every day after school — I bought Jurassic Park to commemorate all the entertainment it provided back when I was a latchkey kid with a limited video collection and a nerdy fascination with dinosaurs. When I watched it for the first time via iTunes, the Digital HD served up a totally new experience of a movie I knew so well, giving me chills all over again.
11. It's a movie you'll want to see with your kids someday.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures (main); iTunes