Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a kid? I know I had a couple – one was particularly bizarre though…I used to have conversations in my head with the white line on the side of motorways. We’d have a good old chat when I was stuck on long car journeys! Moving swiftly on though…
With the release of the superb Jojo Rabbit on May 11 on digital and Blu-ray, we decided to compile a list of some of our favourite imaginary friend movies that you can watch with… your imaginary friends! (You can’t see your real ones right now anyway)…
HARVEY – My first viewing of Harvey gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, but without much conscious understanding of the story – I had spent an evening out with my mates getting suitably drunk on a Christmas Eve, when I returned home and collapsed onto the sofa and flicked on the TV. I recognised James Stewart on the screen and so I thought to myself I’d settle in and watch – even though it was (criminally) a little way into the movie already. I eventually fell asleep, and having no real idea what had gone on I remember having a smile to myself thinking – ‘that was nice’.
The following Christmas Eve I had decided that Harvey was now my Christmas movie, I headed out and got it on DVD and settled down to watch again. It was a totally different movie to what I thought I had seen; I had not clocked that James Stewart had spent the movie talking to an imaginary rabbit – I thought he was talking to me! Having watched it properly, it is now a firm favourite with an embarrassing story behind it, and it was also the first movie I lent to the future Mrs Minnis2Society.
DONNIE DARKO – It comes as no surprise that we follow up Harvey with this cult classic, as both movies have one thing in common – an imaginary friend who is a rabbit. Whereas Harvey is a more of a comedy (with an edge of sadness in its nod to alcoholism and loneliness), Donnie Darko is, well, dark. The movie, that really shot the excellent Jake Gyllenhaal into orbit, is a mind-bending (potential) time travelling sci-fi fantasy that once seen will stick in your mind for many years after. If you haven’t seen it recently it is well worth the re-watch.
DROP DEAD FRED – Back in the early 90s my brother and I were taken to the cinema to see Rik Mayall’s Drop Dead Fred. I think this was mainly because our sister, who had taken us, wanted to see Rik Mayall in the movie as she was such a fan of him from The Young Ones. We were happy to go along for the ride and watch a movie where a man with a green suit and orange hair caused absolute carnage. Whilst it may not have been Rik Mayall’s finest hour it is still lovely to see the late comedian on screen just being.. well.. bonkers. Watching as an adult does raise many questions however and offers perhaps a more sinister side to the movie!
DANIEL ISN’T REAL – There are plenty of horror movies out there with imaginary friends (Horror online movie site Shudder has just released another new one called ‘Z’) but this recent release is certainly worth a look for all you horror fans out there. Here we find troubled student Luke resurrect his childhood imaginary friend Daniel (played by Patrick Schwarzenegger – yes Arnie’s son) and all hell breaks loose. Where Drop Dead Fred was a little playful, this goes to the other end of the spectrum – you have been warned.
JOJO RABBIT – And finally the reason we wrote this piece. The excellent Jojo Rabbit is now available to purchase or rent this weekend, and we recommend giving it a watch. It is brilliantly comedic, in classic Taika Waititi style, despite the pretty dark premise and at times heartbreaking sadness. The excellent Roman Griffin Davis (an incredible future talent) plays Jojo – a Nazi-obsessed child in Hitler’s army who has Hitler as his imaginary friend (played brilliantly – and controversially – by director Taika Waititi himself). Jojo discovers his mother (played by Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. It might come as a surprise to hear that this is a beautifully put together movie that will have you crying with (and without) laughter. The supporting cast includes our favourite Sam Rockwell, Thomasin McKenzie (another fantastic future talent), Rebel Wilson, and the movie is almost stolen by the young Archie Yates playing Jojo’s pal Yorki!
So there we go – some movies to keep you (and your imaginary friends) company! Got any others that you love to watch? We’d love to hear about them!