The Virtual New Jersey Film Festival

  1. 10. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle - Completely unrealistic to anyone familiar with the geography of New Jersey, but still amusing in its own way.
  2. 9. Atlantic City - It's been ages since I saw this, but with Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, how can you go wrong?
  3. 8. Garden State - although I'm a fan of the two stars Zach Braff and Natalie Portman, this movie is not particularly a favorite, but it makes the cut by virtue of its name if nothing else.
  4. 7. Goodbye, Columbus - Richard Benjamin pursuing Ali MacGraw in the suburbs of New Jersey.
  5. 6. Baby It's You - Written and directed by John Sayles, with Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano as the an upper middle class Jewish girl and a working-class Italian with a Frank Sinatra fetish.
  6. 5. Jersey Girl - not the lousy 2004 Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez movie, but the 1992 one starring little-seen actress Jamie Gertz as a working class Italian girl, trying to "date up" with Dylan McDermott.
  7. 4. On the Waterfront - Although allegedly set in New York City, it was filmed in Hoboken, and the New Jersey vibe is solid. As is, needless to say, the acting by Marlon Brando, who "coulda' been a contenda'."
  8. 3. Dogma - one of my favorite movies of all time, with a great cast and an absorbing plot with its real or completely imagined theology (I have no idea, nor do I care). With God playing Skee-Ball on the boardwalk and George Carlin playing a Cardinal from Newark, this is a New Jersey movie through and through.
  9. 2. Eddie and the Cruisers - Not just a New Jersey movie, but a Jersey Shore movie no less, complete with great music and the handsome Micheal Paré as the rock star who quit at the top and died...or did he? A great guilty pleasure movie.
  10. 1. Desperately Seeking Susan - Although the majority of the action takes place in New York City, Rosanna Arquette's suburban New Jersey housewife with a secret, along with her hot tub salesman husband, ground this movie firmly in New Jersey. Plus there's Madonna. And Aidan Quinn.