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A Salute to Chris Columbus

In honor of Columbus Day, I offer this short list on my favorite works by Christopher Columbus. Enjoy!

Chris Columbus Harry PotterHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Chamber of Secrets(2002)
Role: director/ producer
This gagillion dollar franchise was destined to be big, but Columbus got things off to a great start! While the later films definitely took on darker tones, the first two are light and fun and a great introduction into the wizarding world.

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Role: director
I’m not sure how many people remember this fun little 80’s flick about a young women (Elizabeth Shue) whose night goes from being stood-up, to agreeing to babysit, to an epic journey across Chicago with three kids in tow to save her best friend. Plus, a young Vincent D’Onofrio as a man who may or may not be Thor.

Goonies (1985)
Role: writer
Goonies never say die! And neither will my love of this film. Pirates, treasure, prison escapes, monsters, quirky gadgets, quests, almost-certain death, first love, and friendship. What else do you need in a movie? Ooooh, and the TRUFFLE SHUFFLE! Not to mention a cast of young actors that you can look back at now and say, “Isn’t that a hobbit?”

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Role: director
Robin Williams in old lady drag … I’m sold. This heart-warming story about a man who will do anything to stay in his kids lives after divorce is funny and sweet and lots of fun. It’s Williams getting to go crazy and he always gets the laugh.

Rent (2005)
Role: director/ producer
Translating a hit Broadway musical to a hit movie is not an easy feat. And a story about AIDS, death, and poverty aren’t really what many have come to expect from Columbus. But a story about friendship, family, and perseverance is. The film, which got most of the original Broadway cast, could have gone very dark and gritty but instead stays accessible to the audiences and lets the characters shine.

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