Just as is the way with lists, sometimes that #10 just squeaks in. This is a film that I’ve loved ever since I was 10 years old and it was released. It’s one of those things where the filmmaking is really unimportant — it doesn’t look fantastic, isn’t shot amazingly well or even edited great. But it’s got a rapid-fire pace that never lets up, is charmingly funny and is insatiably quotable.
It’s Ron Howard’s The Paper.
Released in 1994, The Paper shows us a day in the life — actually 24 hours — of the fictional New York Sun newspaper, and its lead is Metro Editor Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton). The film was marketed both as a drama — the story is about two youths who are falsely accused of murder — and a comedy, as the workplace environment lends itself to. It does both very well, and the supporting players are top notch. Marisa Tomei is Hackett’s wife, Randy Quaid is a columnist, Glenn Close is the man-eating Managing Editor and Robert Duvall is the Editor-in-Chief.
I’ve seen this film over a dozen times, and each time I get more and more sucked into the world that these characters live in. In fact, I think a lot of the reason I want to work at a newspaper stems from this film. I know real life isn’t like the movies, but wouldn’t it be swell if it was?