A few month’s ago I wrote a piece detailing why I thought 1999 was the best year (in my lifetime) for film releases. Well, the year 2000 may have to tie for first because it seems that the Hollywood studios did NOT take a break, they did not rest and continued with the consistent fire. Whilst the decade that is 2020 has been rough to say the least, I thought it might be nice to cast our minds back to a year that surprised us all.
When our toasters didn’t try to kill us at the stroke of midnight (because the Millennium bug was a load of rubbish) we surely had no idea that the next twelve months were going to be heaven for cinema goers, especially after the corker that was the year previous. Scroll on for laughs, shocks and witty tales of young love in a list that isn’t a top ten but an appreciation of some of the best movies to come out in the year 2000 (with some honorary “I’m sorry you didn’t fit into the main body of this article” mentions thrown in as well.
Let’s start strong with one of the most feel good films to ever grace our screens. Coyote Ugly has it all. Super models trying to act? CHECK. Unrealistic dream job? CHECK. Superstar run ins? CHECK
Yes it is your typical story of a girl from a small town moves to the big city to try and make it big, but this film takes that trope and turns it into an experience.
Our main character who is given the name ‘Jersey’ by the owner of a dive bar where the girls dance on top of the beer taps. Our babes really doesn’t fit where the skirts are shorts, the pants leather and the staff hose down any one who orders something ‘virgin’
I must say I am a bit bias, before my serious days of working in the corporate world, I did a bit of bar dancing at one of my first jobs in Proud, Camden.
But I promise, even if you have never done the air guitar 4ft up on a busy Saturday night, you will still love the “boy-meets-girl girl-should-dump-boy-for-kicking-off-at-her-job” classic
If you haven’t seen this absolutely, incredible film starring 00’s bae Leonardo DiCaprio then I suggest you stop reading right now. Yes right now. Put this list away and come back later because you my friend have lived a half life.
Based on the novel by Alex Garland, the silver screen adaptation of The Beach is rare in that it does the book absolute justice. This film is set in the idyllic Thailand and follows Richard (our babes Leo) as he navigates his way through a life changing back packing trip. He wants to find something new, wants to connect with something and boy oh boy does he.
When he and his newly made travelling friends Etienne (Guillaume Canet) and Francoise (Virginie Ledoyen) receive directions to a remote paradise as yet untouched by the dirty hands of capitalism, it seems like a dream come true. However paradise doesn’t end up being so perfect after-all.
Leo isn’t the only Hollywood star in this film, with appearances from Tilda Swinton and Robert Carlyle it really is a feat. Come for the wanderlust and scantily clad, tanned beautiful people and stay for the twisting, turning plot only found in really well thought out stories.
One of the most ironic things about this film is that the very paradise the islanders in the movie were trying to protect. The paradise they hoped to find, away from the tourist hell-hole of mainland Thailand was actually brought to the real life location after filming. Once this film was released every backpacker with a polaroid camera and a dream descended on The Beach and ruined it… We’ll always have the memories.
Personally I am not the biggest fan of real life beauty pageants. Maybe its being from Peckham, South London and not Baltimore. I just don’t get it. Well neither does Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality.
Admittedly, this is the type of film you watch when there is nothing else on. Or the type of film you watch when you need a break from yet another true-crime documentary (Netflix seem obsessed at the moment).
It won’t change your world, it won’t rock the foundation of your beliefs but it will entertain you. It kinda has all the things you need for a good chick flick: a make over, a love story, potential terrorism etc. Add a bit of Sandra Bullock and Michael Caine and you have yourself a film that has stood the test of time.
It’s been 20 years since this film was realised and it genuinely doesn’t feel old just yet, its been 20 years and I still cant play the cups.
The Emperors New Groove
Yes I have added a cartoon to this brilliant and fantabulous (if I do say so myself) list. The Emperor’s New Groove started a new wave of Disney film.
Released hot on the heels of Tarzan (1999) A Bugs Life & Mulan (both 1998) it was a chance for Disney to get a little less serious and a bit more silly.
Enter Emperor Kuzco, and arrogant young king who gives a crap about no-one but himself. His kingdom hate him and he rules it abysmally. When he is transformed into a Llama (random but stay with me) it is a long journey quite literally through a jungle for our poor 4 legged royal.
Think self-discovery with a lot of laughs and you are half way there with this film, plus it isn’t often that you’re not sure if you want the main character to win. Our favourite Cat Woman Eartha Kitt lends her voice to the crispy, grey villain who brings a maturity to a film quite literally about a talking llama.
It is more adult than some Disney cartoons so you wont be bored to death watching it with your little ones *bonus*.
Wassssuuuuuuuuup? For the second time in this piece I am going to have to ask you to stop reading and go and watch a movie if you haven’t already. If you like to laugh, don’t take yourself too serious and really do like to laugh then this is for you.
I think it is really easy to be put off spoof films. There are so many bad ones and put rather plainly, it is extremely difficult to do them well. Scary Movie is the standard. It is the creme de la creme of slap-stick remakes and not many (I genuinely cant think of one as I am typing) spoofs live up to it. Not Scary Movie 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on… Avoid most of them if you can.
If you have seen the move Scream, you will already know the plot. There is a killer stalking a small American town and the teenagers are the prey. Add in a high masked villain, Regina Hall at her comedic best and a couple or Wayan brothers and you have yourself a cult classic.
With little digs at The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, American Pie etc. It is pretty fun spotting all of the spoofs in this modern masterpiece.
Love & BasketBall
When Monica (Sanaa Lathan) loses her virginity to Quincy (Omar Epps) to the sounds of Maxwell’s ‘Pretty Wings’ you know you are in for an emotional rollercoaster.
Love & Basketball was one of the first Black movies I ever watched, i still remember sneaking glimpses from under the cover where I pretended to be asleep whilst my sisters grouped around the rented VHS watching what would end up being one of my favourite movies. Ever.
I am a bit of an old-school romantic and this film is a bit old-school in its themes. Neighbours who fall in love and try to make it work, even with the lure of college and pastures new. The one thing our young protagonists seem to have in common is the love of the game, the game being basketball. This film is quite literally what is says on the tin and then some. It touches on gender equality, masculinity and the choices women so often have to make: a career or a family?
I won’t spoil the end for you but you will be rooting for Monica from the jump.
Sometimes I feel like I am the only person in the world who has seen this movie. Being completely transparent, this is my favourite film in this list. It is the reason I decided to write this article.
Center Stage is one of the hidden gems of the year 2000 and a casualty of a year that produced too many impeccable films. It got lost in the sea of movies and I am here to fish it out for you.
Think Black Swan meets America’s Next Top Model… Kinda.
The film follows a dozen students beginning their training at the renowned American Ballet Academy. They have no idea what they are in for and we, as the viewers don’t either. This film doesn’t show the shiny side of ballet. Yes there are prima-ballerina’s but there is also untold physical and mental stress suffered by these kids in order to secure a coveted spot in the dance company.
It’s a tale of pain, endurance and determination but not in the glossy way films usually portray these stories. It feels remarkably real and lets you see behind the curtain of what looks like such a shiny life AND a young Zoe Saldana is to die for in this!
It feels like a jinx even including this film in this list but, here we go… This movie changed film and even if it isn’t on your list of faves, you have to admit that it did something special. Even if it did only achieve 35% on Rotten Tomatoes.
I want to start by asking you, would you have gotten off of the plane with Alex (Devon Sawa)? And if you did what would’ve been the point?
When our good friend Alex foresee’s a plane crash before it takes off, only 7 people get off with him. When the plane does crash it buys the survivors a little time and they seem to have cheated death, that is until it comes to collect them.
One by one our cast fall victim to fatal freak accidents which are terrifying because A. They feel as though they could happen any unsuspecting person clipping their nose hairs in their bathroom mirror.
A definite noughties teen favourite.
Bring It On
There are a few films that I know all of the words too, some I even know all of the dance moves as well, Bring It On is one of them.
If you rocked up to Bokinni manor at any point after the release of this film, it was probably on the telly. On repeat like an episode of The Simpsons.
Put simply, I love this film, I love that it deals with real issues of appropriation and racism. Of privilege and racial tension and puts them in a way that is undeniable.
I love Gabrielle Union and her team of cheerleaders who have provided many a Halloween outfit for your fave instagram models. I love the off-beat Kirsten Dunst giving it her all, I love that this film isnt about boys!
Yes there are teen relationships and yes it would’ve been nice to get to know The Clovers outside of their sassy Black girl-ness but over all this film is great. And it ends properly.
This is the first Russel Crowe film I ever saw and it was love at first sight. I went back into his filmography and binged and til this day I will give any film starring old Rus a go, simply because this film is exquisite.
Yes this article has been another reason to gush about the films I love and I have really confessed my feelings all over this page, but I didn’t leave this until last because it wasn’t worthy. I just didn’t know how to write about it without going overboard.
There is something about a movie when the actors can ACT!!!! When you believe every breath they take, when they become the characters. It doesn’t happen often but when it does? Gladiator is born.
Set in Roman times, this film follows a once powerful General who is forced to become a gladiator and fight for his survival. Imagine getting a promotion and your bosses son getting jealous, killing his dad and your entire family. The selling you into slavery where the only will to live you have is the revenge you know you must get.
I know I am asking for a lot but that is the plot of this film. It’s gory, its heart breaking, its heart racingly tense. It’s brilliant.
Honorary mention to Remember The Titans, Charlies Angels, Unbreakable and so many more I know I have forgotten. If you have a favourite film of the year 2000 that I haven’t mentioned please post in the comments!!