Garry Marshall Dies At 81: 8 Movies You Just Have To See
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Garry Marshall Dies At 81
Photo: Photo Image Press / Splash News

Hollywood is in mourning with the news of Garry Marshall’s passing, as he created some of the most memorable movies and TV shows of all time. Who can forget the warm, Mom and Pop feel of the evergreen series Happy Days? Has there ever been a more lovable alien than Robin Williams in Mork & Mindy? Who can forget the serious humor of his first TV hit The Odd Couple? Marshall also wrote, produced and directed some of the biggest hits of our time in his long career. He left behind a body of work that was high on quality and that entertained people of all ages. He was also a well appreciated actor who brought warmth and wit to the characters he played. As condolence messages pour in from all the people who knew and worked with him, we take a look at some of his best movies:

8 Garry Marshall Movies You Just Have To See

Beaches [1988] – A movie about two friends over a 30 year period, it stars Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in the lead roles. The movie covers their childhood, youth and their married lives. Marshall mixes sweet sentiment with painful drama that touches your heart. It is both a coming-of-age story and a deep look at how success affects your closest relationships. Though the movie ends with a tragedy, it gives out positive messages about following your dreams and taking responsibility for your own life. The soundtrack is great with it’s Grammy winning song, “Wind Beneath My Wings” sung by Midler, which is still a popular hit today.

Pretty Woman [1990] – He gave Richard Gere his biggest hit ever and created Julia Roberts’s most famous role; the beautiful hooker with a heart of gold. The movie is about a rich businessman who hires a hooker for the few days he is in Los Angeles. He wants Roberts to be his escort for a week and accompany him to social occasions and for business trips. It’s an unforgettable romantic comedy about class and love in L.A., but the movie still packs a punch. So get ready, bring out your handkerchiefs and watch the saucy Roberts mixing it up with panache and elan.

Frankie and Johnny [1991] – Everybody knows that Al Pacino can swear and kill but can he love? Marshall does exactly that in this movie about two social misfits who meet and find romance with each other. Pacino plays a man just released from prison, who lands a job as a cook in the same diner where Michelle Pfeiffer is working as a waitress. Pfeiffer is trying to put her abusive marriage behind her and move on with her life. Pacino tries to win over her heart but finds it is not so easy. It is a little known gem from Marshall’s bouquet of romantic comedies.

Dear God [1996] – An under rated romantic comedy starring Greg Kinnear and Laurie Metcalf which tells us that one can find love in the unlikeliest of places. Kinnear plays a con artist who has to hold a decent job for a year or go to jail. He is sorting mail in a dead letter office, when one day he drops his paycheck. It gets wrongly mailed to a woman who had written a letter to God. When Kinnear sees the good it has done, he lets it be. However, a co-worker watches this and drums up support from others to continue what Kinnear has done. Funny situations ensue when Kinnear and his colleagues try to help people by answering the letters they send addressed to God. Remember, this was before the world saw email become an integral part of their lives!

Runaway Bride [1999] – The movie that brought Richard Gere and Julia Roberts back together for another fun filled ride. Roberts plays a small town girl who just can’t get married because she develops “cold feet” at the last minute. She has left behind a trail of relationships and three fiances standing at the altar as she develops a habit of running from the wedding at the last possible moment. Gere plays a big city reporter who has come to cover the story on her impending wedding, in order to clear his name and hang on to his job. The two meet and slowly realize that they have feelings for each other. Roberts, nicknamed ‘the runaway bride’ in the media, grapples with her own insecurities while Gere tries to convince her to marry him. It is breezy, fun and full of sunshine. A hit when it was released, Runaway Bride still warms hearts today.

The Princess Diaries [2001] – This is the film that made Anne Hathaway a big star. In her debut movie, Hathaway plays an awkward teenager who is constantly teased and bullied by the popular students in high school. Hathaway has a crush on the most sought after boy in school and feels her life is a drag. Then, one fine day her paternal grandmother comes into her life and reveals that she is actually a princess and the future ruler of the Kingdom of Genovia. Hathaway’s life is turned upside down as she becomes an instant celebrity. But at the same time, she has to live up to her grand mother’s high expectations. Anybody who had a bad time in high school will identify with this movie, especially if you were socially inept and wished you were somewhere else!

Valentine’s Day [2010] – Featuring an ensemble cast, this movie is about a group of characters who are struggling in their love lives. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Emma Roberts, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway and Taylor Swift among many more, it seamlessly tells each character’s romantic story. Though not liked by the media, the movie was among the biggest hits of the year and Marshall’s career. The soundtrack is also popular, with several singles charting on the Billboard charts.

Mother’s Day [2016] – Unfortunately, this was the last film that Marshall directed. Once again, it is comprised of an ensemble cast, surrounding one of the most important days in anyone’s life; ‘Mother’s Day.’ It stars Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston among others and delves into the workings of one’s relationship with the person who, without doubt, loves you the most. Misunderstandings and bitterness sully this most intimate and joyful of relationships and leaves us full of angst. The movie is about how the lead characters deal with this situation.

It is with sorrow that Hollywood says goodbye to Marshall who has regaled audiences for more than half a century. The master of the romantic-comedy genre is no more. May his soul rest in peace.

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