Friday, July 31, 2015

Jenn's Pick: 10 Movies That Actually Need To Be Remade

There are so many unnecessary remakes out there. Did we really need another Footloose with Julianne Hough? Was it truly necessary to remake Scream into an MTV series? And really, should The Karate Kid have been touched? (No, the answer is NO.) There are a lot of bad movie remakes out there, because... well, I think some studios are just running out of ideas, frankly. And the truth is that a lot of the movies that are being remade are ones that were created in the 80s and early 90s. The problem is in the translation -- how do you tell a story that everyone (or a majority of everyone) already knows but tell it in a way that is fresh? How do you create a remake without causing everyone to long for the original? The execution is one thing. The timing is another. And the casting is a major component, too.

I watch a lot of romantic comedies -- I'll watch anything cheesy, sappy, funny, etc. really. I like falling in love with characters as they fall in love with each other. The cool thing is that a romantic-comedy, unless it is bound to a period in time (we'll talk about You've Got Mail soon, don't worry), is usually pretty timeless and adapts well to a remake because the main component is love. And love is something not shackled to time. My friend Laura and I have been semi-joking for about a year that we need to write a remake of one of the movies in this list, and the reason that we totally could is because the comedy and the heart of the film originally wasn't based on the technology from the time period or the city or anything like that. The movie worked because it was well-written and fun.

So I thought about ten different movies (none from later than 1999 appear on this list, actually) that are in desperate need of remakes. But I didn't just stop there. As I said above, remakes work in part because of the cast. And -- with some help from my wonderful friend Chelsea -- I came up with my ideal casts for each of these remakes. Feel free to add your own or comment on these in the comments section or by tweeting me!

Let's get to it, then. Here are ten films that actually need to be remade in the near future.

10. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Who it should star: Amy Schumer (Sally), Jason Bateman (Harry), Tatiana Maslany (Marie), Tom Hiddleston (Jess)

Why: Okay, first of all... just look at who I cast. Wouldn't snarky Jason Bateman be a perfect counterpart to Billy Crystal's original? And Amy Schumer could play tightly wound and frantic extremely well. They'd have wonderful chemistry together, as they're already really funny individuals. To round out the supporting cast, I'd have Tatiana Maslany as Sally's friend Marie (she'd be perfect, admit it) and Tom Hiddleston as Harry's friend Jess (who would be perfect because he's Tom Hiddleston). When Harry Met Sally is a classic, but it's a classic that has had enough years to percolate in our rom-com culture that a remake, if done right and with the right people, wouldn't detract from the original but add to it.

9. Father of the Bride (1991)

Who it should star: Stanley Tucci (George), Anna Kendrick (Annie), Holly Hunter (Nina), Michael B. Jordan (Bryan), Taran Killam (Franck)

Why: My friend Heather absolutely LOVES Father of the Bride and pretty much watches it religiously. I, too, grew up on watching the movie with my mom. And though there's no replacing Steve Martin, I think a remake with Stanley Tucci as the frazzled and well-meaning George (who constantly narrates the movie in his head) would be perfect. If you need proof that he's perfect at playing the lovable, goofy father, just watch Easy A. The story is really timeless, too, as it's all about a father trying to let his daughter go. Anna Kendrick would bring the same thing to this role that she brings to every role -- tons of charm, grace, and class. Rounding out the cast? Holly Hunter would be the perfect level-headed counterpart to Tucci's George; Michael B. Jordan would be the adorable and loving fiance, Bryan; and could you imagine Taran Killam stepping into the role as Franck?

A few of these on my list are absolute MUSTS to be remade and this one is definitely one of them.

8. Baby Boom (1987)

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Who it should star: America Ferrera (J.C.), Seth Meyers (Steven), Eric Mabius (Dr. Jeff Cooper)

Why: Okay, this one is a bit self-serving because I never got closure on the Daniel/Betty front in Ugly Betty, so I need some in the form of this movie. I love America Ferrera, and when trying to think of someone who could step into the role Diane Keaton originated, I thought of strong, yet gentle women. The first person who came to mind was America because of how she portrayed Betty for so many years and what she brings to all of her roles. I think she would have a lot of fun with this role and it would give her the amazing chance to expand her range (PLUS SHE COULD PLAY WITH A BABY FOR A LOT OF IT). Seth Meyers has that charm and charisma, but also the drive that makes him believable as a career-focused Steven. And Eric Mabius? He's just a huge bonus to this imaginary remake because we already know he has chemistry with America.

7. Notting Hill (1999)


Who it should star: Hannah Simone (Anna), Julian Morris (William)

Why: First of all, these two have already worked opposite each other in some scenes in New Girl, so it's nice to imaginary-cast a movie where two of the stars already know each other. I was talking to Chelsea about this one because I was having difficulty trying to re-cast it. I knew I wanted Julian Morris to be William, because he has the same boyish charm that Hugh Grant did in this role. And when I finally landed on Hannah Simone, I knew she was the right choice not because she could replace Julia Roberts (aside: I have a lot of Julia Roberts films on this), but because she exudes confidence and the kind of star quality that you need Anna to have. Plus, both actors could have chemistry with rocks, so could you imagine them together?

6. Runaway Bride (1999)

Who it should star: Rachel McAdams (Maggie), Chris Pine (Ike), Kat Dennings (Peggy)


Chelsea helped me land on Rachel McAdams (I had debated putting Emma Stone in this role and if I couldn't have McAdams, my alternate is Hayley Atwell) and I think she was right in selecting her. Maggie is a character who's a bit difficult to understand but McAdams would make her insanely likable and relatable. And Chris Pine, you guys. Chris Pine and Rachel McAdams would work really well together -- both are incredibly funny and just ooze chemistry. Rounding out the cast? Kat Dennings as Maggie's friend Peggy. You know we need that to happen in our lives.

5. You've Got Mail (1998)

Who it should star: Mindy Kaling (Kathleen), BJ Novak (Joe), Grace Helbig (Christina), Lamorne Morris (Kevin), Justin Bartha (Frank), Ginnifer Goodwin (Patricia), Grant Gustin (George)

Why: I can't take credit for the idea of a You've Got Mail remake starring Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak (that belongs to people on Tumblr who came up with the idea for me), I CAN take credit for coming up with the supporting cast. This movie would be fun to remake because it's one of the few on here whose original is inherently tied to something relating to technology in the time period. You've Got Mail is an insanely cute movie, but kind of moot now that dial-up and AOL are things of the past. A remake of it would need to focus on new media in some way, shape, or form. And if Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak were at the helm writing this, too, it would be astounding.

The supporting cast? Grace Helbig would be STELLAR as Kathleen's friend and co-worker Christina, while Grant Gustin would be hilarious as the weird George; Justin Bartha could easily be Kaling's love interest and Ginnifer Goodwin would be the perfect cold, tough-as-nails Patricia to BJ Novak's Joe. Also, how perfect would Lamorne Morris be as Kevin, Joe's hilarious friend? So perfect is the answer.

This remake needs to happen ASAP.

4. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

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Who it should star: Leighton Meester (Jules), John Krasinski (Michael), Brittany Snow (Kimberly), Michael Urie (George)

Why: I NEVER KNEW I NEEDED THIS TO BE REMADE UNTIL TODAY. While I was thinking about this movie, I was reminded at how terrible of a person Jules is, but how much we're asked to like and empathize with her throughout the film. This movie could easily be remade because -- as I noted above -- this is kind of a timeless tale: a woman is in love with her best friend and wants to break up his wedding. There are fun musical numbers in My Best Friend's Wedding (which everyone could participate in because all of these people sing), and the story doesn't end the way that everyone might anticipate. The perfect Jules would be Leighton Meester, who's immensely talented and would be able to portray the ruthless side of Jules while also making us feel bad for her. John Krasinski is destined to be the wonderful Michael, with Brittany Snow stepping into the shoes of Cameron Diaz as Kimberly. And how perfect would Michael Urie be as George? If your answer isn't "so perfect," then you're just wrong.

(Alternate: Chelsea suggested Jon Groff as George, which I will also accept.)

3. Never Been Kissed (1999)

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Who it should star: Emily Bett Rickards (Josie), Dave Franco (Rob), Joel McHale (Sam), Mae Whitman (Aldys), Damon Wayans Jr. (Gus), Bella Thorne (Kristen), Becca Tobin (Kristin), Shay Mitchell (Gibby), Jena Malone (Anita), Dylan O'Brien (Guy Perkins)

Why: I JUST WANT JOEL MCHALE TO BE THE LEAD IN A ROM-COM. Joel excels at playing the snarky, douchey guy in all of the movies he's in. But he's yet to really be the lead in a rom-com, so why not a remake of Never Been Kissed? This is one of my all-time favorite rom-coms and is in desperate need of a remake. I absolutely adore Drew Barrymore -- she's the princess of rom-coms -- and what she brought to the role of Josie. This is a story all about finding love in unlikely places, but it's more than that: it's about Josie finally finding her voice after she's lost it; it's about Rob finally believing in his worth instead of just coasting. It's a really great film about growing up even when you're older. So who would be the perfect cast? Emily Bett Rickards would be an absolutely stellar Josie. She's hilarious and endearing as a babbling Felicity Smoak, which would translate so well to her role as Josie (who gets the chance to shine, comedically, in quite a few scenes). Plus, EBR is the kind of actress who takes a nugget and gives you a gem; she would work wonders with the emotional nuances of this role, especially that prom scene. Joel McHale is one of my favorite people in the entire world, and as Sam... he'd just be so great. And Joel is a lot more nuanced of an actor than the roles he's given (apart from Community) indicate -- I'm already thinking of the Ferris wheel scene and the final scene at the baseball game in my head. Plus, the chemistry he would have with EBR? I can't even imagine it. It would be THAT good.

Dave Franco is literally everything I want as Rob, Josie's brother. WOULDN'T HE BE AMAZING? And Mae Whitman would be the perfect Aldys, bringing her dripping sarcasm and heart to the role. Damon Wayans Jr. and Jena Malone as Gus and Anita would just be FUN; Bella Thorne, Becca Tobin, and Shay Mitchell would be exquisite as Kristen, Kristin, and Gabby; and how great would Dylan O'Brien be as Guy?

2. She's All That (1999)

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Who it should star: Troian Bellisario (Laney), Scott Michael Foster (Zack), Hailee Steinfeld (Mackenzie), Nicholas Hoult (Dean), Kellan Lutz (Brock), Genesis Rodriguez (Taylor)

Why: Every time I watch She's All That, I'm reminded of a few things: 1) So many movies have used the tropes throughout the film in order to construct their own films; 2) It's in need of a revamp. She's All That took place right before the turn of the century, so it's riddled with bad 90s fashion and lingo. Updating it to be more modern and a little more timeless (if at all possible), would be ideal. It's a great story because it's full of all the things that make good trope-y stories. It has the "ugly duckling," thing going for it and the guy who is popular but falls in love with the outcast. Freddie Prinze Jr. was really endearing in the original and Scott Michael Foster would be absolutely stellar in this role. Troin Bellisario elevates everything she's in. She would be able to take Lacey and make her more than she was even in the original movie. Lacey's a great character because she doesn't really care about what others think of her, which I love. Hailee Steinfeld would inhabit the role previously occupied by Anna Paquin as Zack's little sister; Nicholas Hoult would be an excellent jerk; Kellan Lutz would be fantastic as the self-obsessed Brock; and Genesis Rodriguez would rock Taylor's attitude.

1. Three Men And A Baby (1987)

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Who it should star: Joel McHale (Peter), Adam Scott (Michael), Nathan Fillion (Jack), Bryce Dallas Howard (Sylvia)

Why: This is the remake Laura and I have been pining after for almost a year, ever since a Twitter conversation turned to talk of this. Three Men And A Baby paired together Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg as roommates living in New York City. They're all loving life in their giant (unrealistic) bachelor pad, until one day -- while Jack is away, shooting a movie -- a baby is delivered to their doorstep from a woman named Sylvia with a note, indicating that she is Jack's child. What results is essentially the best comedic story about three men trying to learn how to be parents while also trying to be working men. ... This movie needs to happen alone just so I can see all three of these men hold a baby girl. Beyond that, though, it's actually a really cute story and it's one that is, again, a timeless ensemble comedy with some really great emotional moments.

As I said above, Joel McHale never gets roles where he can be fun and lovable, so making him Peter would be FANTASTIC. Nathan Fillion would easily be the absolute perfect casting choice to follow after Ted Danson as Jack -- the self-absorbed actor who's best friends with Peter and Michael. And could you imagine Adam Scott as Michael? It's almost all too perfect for me to handle. And then, I decided that Bryce Dallas Howard would be an absolutely perfect choice as Sylvia, the mother of baby Mary. She would challenge the men on all levels and it would be absolutely wonderful to watch. Three Men And A Baby would be such a fun choice to create as a remake, because it isn't so revered that people would reject it immediately. Plus, these three men are absolutely hysterical and wonderful apart. Could you imagine if they got the chance to be TOGETHER for a film? It would pretty much write itself.

Well, folks, there you have it. Those are ten movies I think need to be remade. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have ones that I've missed? Hit up the comments below and let me know! Until then. :)


  1. Hell to the YES to this list. I was afraid you were going to list some of those movies that my heart won't accept with someone else, but we're good. Like, I thought I was iffy on When Harry met Sally, but with THOSE actors, I'm in. 100% in.

    1. I was iffy on WHMS too, because that's considered to be -- by many -- one of the GREAT rom-coms. So I omitted it at first and then Chels and I started talking and I was like: "BAM. BINGO. THESE PEOPLE." So I feel like I would be okay with it ONLY if my cast got chosen, lol.

      AND THANK YOU FOR THE COMPLIMENT! I pride myself on my choices, because I feel like they're really quite solid. ;)

  2. Honestly, we should be in charge of remakes. Sorry Hollywood, we're taking over. Go us.

    1. But Chelsea... seriously. We need to take over Hollywood. Because our remake ideas are better than 90% of what is being produced these days. ;)


  3. I don't think I've had such a need for a movie to happen as much as the Father of the Bride and You've Got Mail remakes. However, there was another 90s classic that I had some brilliant casting ideas about.

    While You Were Sleeping
    Starring: Joanna Garcia Swisher (Lucy), Stephen Amell (Jack), Robbie Amell (Peter), Fred Willard and Allison Janney (Jack and Peter' parents), Ashley Bacon (Claire Holt)

    Why: This movie is adorable but also not so widely known that it's sacrilege to remake it. Joanna Garcia-Swisher has the same innate likeability that Sandra Bullock has and I am desperate to have Stephen do a rom-com. Also, I think Stephen would play off Joanna really well, and it would be awesome to have him do a project with actually scenes with Robbie.

  4. Great list! Refreshing to read a post on remakes that aren't "classics", but are highly popular romance comedies that could definitely be updated and redone. I'm totally supportive for the Father of the Bride re-do.

    1. Thanks, Katy! Yeah all of these aren't really deemed to be untouchable classics. I think they would do well with a facelift because of that fact. Also, I didn't realize how badly I needed that Father of the Bride remake until I casted it. I SERIOUSLY NEED IT NOW.

  5. No arguments with that list, especially the idea that Joel needs a leading role. So here's my suggestion - Pretty Woman, with Joel McHale in the Richard Gere role and Alison Brie in the Julia Roberts part. Okay, so maybe I'm still processing my grief at the end of Community, but those guys have real chemistry together and this would be the perfect film to put that chemistry on the big screen. Add in Sean Pertwee as the hotel manager and we'd be rocking...

    1. Joel McHale and Alison Brie need to do another project together, preferably a rom-com (and yes, partially for some Jeff/Annie transference closure). Joel just really needs to be the lead in a rom-com. He's got the charisma and talent for it, but he's always the douchey or smarmy guy. Booooooooo.

  6. I think You've Got Mail could work as a remake cause it is already a remake and it took the older story and brought new life. It could be done again.

    Have you see Shop Around the Corner (1940) with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan? I love it and I own it and it is great. And You've Got Mail used the bones of that story, two people falling in love thorough correspondence while clashing in real life, but changed quite a bit too. In the older version the two people work in the same shop while the Tom Hank/Meg Ryan version had them working in competing shops etc. And You've Got Mail could say something new because the whole world of email and the online persona was just beginning which was a new angle on knowing somebody through writing and not recognizing them IRL.

    Remakes work for me when they take basic structures and little touches or nods to older things but don't try to slavishly recreate the magic of an earlier film. Plots recirculate and recirculate but they work when the actors are right and the writing has something to say to it's current audience.

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