I Love Woody Harrelson
If you were to ask me when I started loving Woody Harrelson, I’d tell you that I have loved him forever. Loved him when I was still in the womb, and even before then, too. I’d tell you that Woody and I have been cosmically entwined since before the universe began. That when everything we know was naught but a puff of stardust glimmering in the well of the sky, Woody and I were of the same star.
If you asked the same question again, this time with an annoyed look on your face and a twinge of boredom in your voice, I’d tell you that my best guess is that I started loving Woody in sixth grade, around the time that the first Hunger Games movie came out. 2012 (the year, not the 2009 film starring Woody Harrelson)— that’s when Woody and I first met, and I’ve loved him ever since.
2012 (again, not the movie) was also the year I crafted knee-high black and orange duct tape boots to wear to school on Halloween so that my friend Cooper and I could sit by ourselves and play mancala with our teacher Mr. Stokes while the fifty-six other members of our grade had a dance party one room over. Dear reader, I know what you’re thinking—that I was simply way too cool in sixth grade to care about something so popular, so mundane, so faddish as Hunger Games. Indeed, you’d be correct, although, perhaps not entirely so. Much like when the Silly Bandz craze hit a few years prior, I maintained a judgmental and aloof exterior. But that hadn’t stopped me from peeling a lime green alligator shaped bracelet, nearly torn at one end, from the pavement of the foursquare court, bringing it home, and enshrining it on my nightstand like the jewel it was.
So yes. Of course I saw the Hunger Games movie in 2012 (year, not movie) along with the rest of the masses. And I’m glad for it—something needed to plant the seed of my love for Woody.
Since then, that seed has sprouted and grown, soared toward the sky with reaching limbs and shining leaves like the giant oak tree outside my bedroom window. And now? Well, now, this love, ordained by the creator of the universe countless millennia ago, has become my life’s great work—The Woody Harrelson Film Festival (WHFF). My quest to watch, review, and catalogue every single Woody Harrelson film (all seventy-nine of them!) began in April, and though I’m just now reaching the halfway point, my fervor has not in the least diminished. The list of Woody’s movies I hung up above my bed at home in April now hangs above my bed at school. I’ve made two separate cakes in honor of Woody, and I have even set out on a quest to learn more about different types of hats as a part of my efforts to rank every hat Woody wears in every movie I watch.
And so, dear friend, today I invite you to join me in my love. It’s intimidating, I know. Seventy-nine movies is quite a lot! But that’s why I’m here—to guide you through this exciting journey. Here, I present A Beginner’s Guide to the Best of Nearly Half of all the Movies Woody Harrelson Has Ever Been In. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Best of Nearly Half
of all the Movies Woody Harrelson Has Ever Been In
One of the best things about Woody Harrelson is his versatility as an actor. His resume is incredibly varied, so there’s something for everyone. Here are a few places you may consider beginning your own journey through Woody’s filmography:
IF YOU'RE A TRAIN ENTHUSIAST...
First of all, well done! Trains are, indeed, the best mode of transportation. It comes as no surprise, then, that there are several Woody movies that heavily feature trains. If you’re looking for a heist film but have no taste for magic (see next category), I recommend Money Train, the lesser known little brother of White Men Can’t Jump. If you’re more of an old-fashioned train enjoyer, like myself, and you’re not afraid of a little gore, I think you might like Transsiberian, which features a bespectacled Woody Harrelson (Woody Harrelson wearing glasses is the eighth wonder of the world—and if that piques your interest, I’d also recommend Indecent Proposal).
IF YOU FEEL BAD FOR EVER HAVING ENJOYED HARRY POTTER BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL OBSESSED WITH IT AS ADULTS ARE KIND OF ANNOYING AND ALSO BECAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE J.K. ROWLING IS A BAD PERSON...
Now You See Me, and its sequel, Now You See Me 2 (I know, I know—they should have called it Now You Don’t) are probably right up your Diagon-Alley. The magic in these movies is whimsical and fun, and I simply can’t get enough of it! There’s nothing like a good heist film, and with this all-star cast, you really can’t go wrong, especially when Harry Potter himself shows up in the second movie.
IF YOU MISS GOING TO THE INDEPENDENT THEATER IN THE NEXT TOWN OVER AND WATCHING A PRETTY OKAY MOVIE IN A CROWD OF RICH OLD PEOPLE DRINKING WINE AND MILLENNIALS WHO WEAR THAT ONE SRIRACHA HOT SAUCE SHIRT TO THEIR LOCAL MICRO BREWERY...
Me too, LOL. And you’re in luck! Because, contrary to popular belief, Woody has actually been in more prestige pictures than you’d probably expect. Some of them are kind of bad, but they really do a great job of conjuring up that familiar atmosphere we miss so much. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is probably your best bet here, but you might also enjoy The Messenger or Out of the Furnace.
IF YOU LOVE BASKETBALL...
Or, if, like me, you happen to overhear a lot of conversations about basketball through the thin walls of your dorm room and are looking to brush up on your knowledge, White Men Can’t Jump, Friends with Benefits, and Semi-Pro all feature a basketball-playing Woody. And if you’re looking to broaden your sports horizons, Kingpin might just do the trick!
IF YOU WANT TO WATCH THE PERFECT MOVIE...
I know—”perfect” is a totally subjective idea. Except in this case, when it’s not. The perfect movie is 2012 (2009). That doesn’t mean it’s my favorite. That doesn’t mean it’s the best movie Woody Harrelson has ever been in. It doesn’t even mean it’s particularly good. But it is perfect. There has never been another movie that better encapsulates all that it is to be a movie. When they invented movies, this is what they had in mind. I’m not going to explain. Just watch it!
IF YOU WANT TO WATCH A MOVIE THAT IS ACTUALLY VERY GOOD (BUT NOT PERFECT)...
Natural Born Killers and The Edge of Seventeen both fit the bill. North Country and The People vs. Larry Flynt are both close runners-up. I would also put No Country for Old Men in this category, but instead, I am reminding myself that I am aloof, and too cool and unique to like things that lots of other people also think are good.
IF YOU LOVE WOODY HARRELSON AS MUCH AS I DO...
Actually, that’s impossible. But if you’re a big fan, you really can’t go wrong with Lost In London LIVE, a film directed by and starring Woody which features countless fun Woody-themed Easter eggs for the sharp-eyed viewer to pick up on.
IF YOU HATE WOODY HARRELSON...
I’m really not sure why you’re still here. However, I believe even the most morally corrupt person with the worst taste in the world might benefit from my recommendation, and so, yes, I even have a few suggestions for you. If you hate Woody Harrelson, you must have pretty terrible taste. You’d probably love the movies I like the least. Fortunately for you, my least favorite movies also happen to be the ones with the least Woody in them. You might enjoy such unenjoyable flicks as Anger Management, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, or even Marvel’s monstrosity, Venom. If you shut off the last two movies a couple minutes before they end, you won’t even have to see Woody at all. It must be very sad to be you.
Which Woody Harrelson Hat Are You?
If I’ve learned anything on this adventure, it’s that Woody Harrelson is a man of many hats. If you’d like to find out which one you are, read on, and write down the letter for each of your answers.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM HOME?
A. A house from HGTV. But not from Fixer Upper. I want one of the fancier ones, like from the Property Brothers.
B. I would love to live in a bungalow by the sea where I grow my own herbs and have an 80-inch flat screen TV where I can watch NCIS all day.
C. I’d like to live in a studio apartment with huge windows and lots of natural light and plenty of space to invite my many friends over to hang out.
D. I already live in my dream house! It’s in Hawaii, and Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson are my neighbors.
WHAT ARE YOUR PARENTS KNOWN FOR?
A. My dad is the most famous magician in the world! B. My mom has an Instagram account for our dog that has 50,000 followers. C. My parents perform in my hometown’s band over the summer, both in parades and in weekly concerts at the gazebo. D. My father was the first person to kill a federal judge in the 20th century.
WHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND?
A. My own reflection :) B. I only have acquaintances. C. I have so many! I guess it depends on the day! D. My best friend is Matthew McConaughey, who I have been in several movies and one critically acclaimed television series with.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME?
A. Monopoly. B. Does Twister count? C. Apples to Apples. D. Chess! Actually, I played the ceremonial first move for the World Chess Championship in New York in 2016.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HAT AND A CAP?
A. All I know is that you wouldn’t catch me dead in a cap. B. Who cares? C. I feel like it depends on the specific hat/cap. D. A hat has a brim that goes all the way around, whereas a cap is only partially brimmed.
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IF YOU GOT MOSTLY A's...
Now You See Me 2 Magician’s Hat This is sort of a fancy hat that thinks very highly of itself (like you). Even though it’s a neutral tone, it has a little bit of sparkle, and a little bit of pizazz. However, that doesn’t stop it from over all being a pretty boring hat. Sorry!
IF YOU GOT MOSTLY B's...
Zombieland Cowboy Hat Look, this isn’t a bad hat, but it’s also not great. It’s just a little overblown in my opinion. What the hell are those gromets for? I feel like this is just a sad imitation of what a cowboy hat could be. At least you’re beloved by many (but don’t forget: you’ll never be a real cowboy).
IF YOU GOT MOSTLY C's...
White Men Can’t Jump Tie Dye Baseball Cap What can I say? Like this hat, you’re cool! You’re fun! You’re tie- dyed! Everyone wants to be like you, but not many people could pull something like that off. Count yourself lucky.
IF YOU GOT MOSTLY D's...
The Duel White Top Hat Wow. If you got mostly D’s, you’re lying. Either that, or you’re Woody Harrelson himself, because I don’t think anyone else should be allowed to wear this hat. It’s perfect. Well done.