If you haven’t looked at a calendar lately, or ventured outside, it is the Fourth Of July, the one day of the year where even the apathetic patriots let their freak flags fly. Now, you may already have plans to set off fireworks or barbeque something, but if you want to celebrate Independence Day like a real American, then I suggest that you turn on your television and queue up some of these real American classics. They’ll have you feeling patriotic in no time.
Start your American movie marathon off with something a little historical. After all, what is Independence Day without the Declaration of Independence? The adorably kooky musical 1776 is all about the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Sing along with Thomas Jefferson, Lighthorse Harry Lee, and Benjamin Franklin in this American classic. Pretend that this was how it actually went. (Also, keep an eye out for a young Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World!)
In keeping with the historical theme, watch The Patriot and enjoy fighting, patriotic speeches, intricate costumes, and plenty of hot guys. Look out for Jason Isaacs from Harry Potter, and the gorgeous Heath Ledger in one of his first acting roles. Though this movie is controversial because of the many historical inaccuracies it’s riddled with, you can still enjoy the fine acting that makes this movie incredibly special.
Born on the Fourth of July is an obvious choice simply because of the name, but this movie is so much more than that. It’s based on a true story of Marine veteran Ron Kovac, and it serves to remind us that our liberty and freedom was not won in the Revolutionary War, but it is something that we must struggle and fight for everyday, not just internationally but on the home front as well. Honoring our armed forces is an incredibly important part of this holiday, and I hope that by streaming this movie you allow yourself a moment to stop and think about all of the people that have sacrificed their lives to make sure that our country is safe. Ron’s story allows us to look more critically at the country we live in and how we treat the people who protect it for us.
Obviously, you’re going to need some time to recover after that one, so check out a little Schoolhouse Rock in order to educate yourself on the basics of American history. Sing along to The Shot Heard Round the World. Debate with yourself about who really shot who. Decide that it doesn’t matter, because we won the war.
Another obvious choice is Die Hard, which is perfect because it has the classic American themes of overcoming the odds and shooting a lot. Also John McClane is sort of like our country’s James Bond. And, well “Yipee Kay Yay Motherfu**ers!”
Follow this one up with another American Hero, Captain America. Ogle Chris Evans like it’s your patriotic duty. There’s plenty of fun World War II costuming and the obliteration of our enemies, especially the Red Skull. Also, what’s more American than a comic book movie? Nothing. Except for a comic book sequel, of course.
The last movie that I’ll recommend is the wonderful Independence Day. Enjoy the Young Will Smith and the classic line “Oh My God I hope they bring back Elvis!” If you are in any doubt of this movie’s awesomeness, just know that the president flies a freaking jet into outer space to confront the aliens that are trying to attack the USA. If that doesn’t make you an American, nothing will.