So I was thinking about movies I like, and after I decided to write about these, I realized how well they worked together. Both are based on memoirs that take place in the 60's era (roughly, there's some extra time on both sides of that).
The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio
I didn't expect to like this movie. My mom told me about it. She said it was about a housewife who won slogan and jingle contests to help keep her family afloat. I thought it sounded dull. Then I watched it and it became one of my favorite movies ever. This movie is funny and smart. The family relationships come across strongly. The fourth wall is broken in a creative and consistent manner since, reasonably, the filmmakers expected that audiences might need a little background on how contesting works, and other such details. My only real critique is that while the main character and her husband have 10 children, the daughter Terry (Tuffs) is given more material, and more scenes of bonding than the others. Of course, the only reason the book was written is that the real Terry Ryan wrote a book about her childhood and her mother's contesting, so it's not actually surprising. Additionally, it doesn't overwhelm the movie. There are plenty of other wonderful moments between Evelyn and her other children, just a few more with Terry. I think this is a really fun movie, and if you can walk away and not have that sandwich jingle stuck in your head, you're a stronger person than I am.
Riding in Cars with Boys
I don't remember why I first checked this movie out from the library, but I'm glad I did. It tells the story of a girl named Beverly, who in the 1960s gets pregnant as a teenage and marries the father. This story is juxtaposed with on older Beverly, traveling with her adult son to visit her (now) ex-husband, to get him sign a release so that she can publish her memoir, "Riding in Cars with Boys". It's funny, it's sweet and I just recommend it wholeheartedly.