There’s nothing wrong with only watching a single scene from a 90-minute movie. Sometimes all you want to see is the Battle of Helm’s Deep, or Jennifer Love Hewitt sing “I Will Survive” from I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, or Anne Hathaway squirm around on a couch in a film that was never released in theaters. This list, of movies that you rent, stream, or own for one scene and one scene only (i.e. not Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which is great), is dedicated to moments like that last one. What are some of your favorite single-scene films?
1. Wild Things
The pool makeout is for suckers. No, it’s the most sexually uncomfortable threesome ever committed to film that was a common topic amongst me and my friends when I was in high school. I remember the time three of my buddies were at my house, and we stayed up all night playing poker (probably using potato chips as chips), discussing how lucky “that guy from There’s Something About Mary” was, and listening to Michelle Branch. It was a weird time for everyone. Anyway, Bill Murray should have replaced Matt Dillon, but just for this scene.
2. The Brown Bunny
To quote Roger Ebert, “I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.” And, “It is true that I am fat. But one day I shall be thin, and [Vincent Gallo] will still be the director of The Brown Bunny.” Amen. The Brown Bunny is filth — it’s like if a musician recorded himself orgasming loudly for two hours, and released it as an album. Literally the only thing I remember about the movie, other than it being narcissistic nonsense, is the infamous blowjob scene. Many years later, Chloë Sevigny told Playboy, “There are a lot of emotions. I’ll probably have to go to therapy at some point.” So will we, if we watch any scene from The Brown Bunny that isn’t THAT scene.
There comes a time in every actor’s life when they refuse to do publicity for a film where they play a wealthy white girl who hangs out with bad boy minorities because the studio wanted a cut of the movie that the director didn’t agree with. For Anne Hathaway, that movie was 2005’s Havoc, which despite starring not only her, but also Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shiri Appleby, and Bijou Phillips, was never released in theaters; it went straight to DVD. Havoc isn’t a good movie (Hathaway gives a solid performance in a mostly thankless and shallow role), but it’s also unwatchable. In fact, you’ve probably watched one of the scenes online, and no, it doesn’t take place in a car or a sleazy motel. Those are hard to see for entirely different reasons.
4. Color of Night
BRUCE WILLIS PENIS. Color of Night, the Citizen Kane of early-1990s erotic thrillers, has what Maxim once called the greatest sex scene in cinema history. It begins underwater in a pool, then out of the pool, then in, then out, then in, then out, then…Bruce is spent. Their aquatic rendezvous is about as “real” as anything you’re going to see in a mainstream movie. It’s gross, though not as gross as Scott Bakula’s d*ck outline, as pointed out by How Did This Get Made.
5. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Adam Sandler makes movies these days for two reasons: 1) he wants to hang out with his friends in exotic locales and get paid millions of dollars to do so, which, sure, and 2) he’s secretly undergoing a sociological experiment to see how few clothes he can make some of the world’s most impossibly gorgeous women wear, and then have them fawn over him. There’s the infamous Brooklyn Decker beach stroll in Just Go with It, but don’t forget about Jessica Biel in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Or Jessica Biel in Summer Catch. Or Jessica Biel in Powder Blue. Or Jessica Biel in the rest of her not-good movies, which is pretty much all of them.
6. Monster’s Ball
Crash is the go-to “how the hell did this win an Oscar?” movie to bag on, but Halle Berry taking home the trophy for Academy Award for Best Actress for Monster’s Ball deserves an honorable mention. It’s such an over-the-top performance, like every word in her copy of the script was written in all-caps. That’s especially true of her squirm-inducing sex scene with Lorne Malvo. Berry gives it her all, and it’s certainly a very memorable Oscar-winning “make me feel good,” ahem, copulation, but…and now I’m thinking about Billy Bob’s butt. Dammit, Halle.
7. Jurassic Park
I can think of no other reason to watch Jurassic Park than The Goldblum’s chest.