By now, you’ve probably heard of the scandalous breakup between Robert Pattinson and FKA (formerly known as Kate Beckinsale). For those of you who are just now hearing about this, allow me to enlighten you: The 26-year-old actor and his 28-year-old ex were reported to have had a blazing argument on May 20 regarding the former’s future involvement with her daughter, Luna. They reportedly called each other some pretty vile names before Pattinson stormed out of the house.
Since that day, fans (and former friends) of the actor have been eagerly awaiting news of his next project. While details are still murky, we can be certain that it will be a departure from his past work. And what a glorious career he’s had! At this point, it’s fair to say that he’s one of the most in-demand and recognizable faces in the world. So, to celebrate this amazing talent, let’s take a look back at some of Robert Pattinson’s finest moments on the big screen:
1. PRIEST (2009)
If there’s one movie that encapsulates everything you could want from a romantic comedy, it’s Ross Hunter’s 2009 film, Priest. Set against the vibrant backdrop of 1980s London, this comic romance follows the story of Charlie, a young British priest, and his quest for ordination. Charlie’s world turns upside down when he encounters the beautiful and headstrong Rosie, played by Sienna Miller. After falling for Rosie, a woman twice his age, Charlie must navigate the murky waters of romance, family, and religion to secure his dream.
2. BEAUTIFUL AND DAMAGING (2008)
Another romantic comedy, this time set in the contemporary world of New York City, Beautiful and Damaging stars Emma Stone as a young photographer who decides to break with tradition and become a documentary photographer. While Stone’s character Abby is more interested in impressing her boyfriend, played by Jonah Hill, than she is in seeking affirmation from her subjects, she finds herself in plenty of awkward and comic situations. In one scene, a nervous Abby asks her friend Annie, played by Meryl Streep, for advice on how to take a good picture. The advice? “Kiss. Her. On. The. Cheek.” What a weirdo!
3. THE LADY VANISHES (2006)
Comic genius Andy Milligan’s 2006 romantic comedy, The Lady Vanishes, updates the classic tale of a bride who vanishes just as her wedding day is approaching. Starring Tilda Swinton as the titular character and Rupert Everett as her groom, this film adapts the original story into an elegant period piece, complete with a bonny lad (Tom Hiddleston) in an Edwardian costume lurking nearby.
In one of the film’s funniest scenes, the bride-to-be dances with her father (John Malkovich) before fleeing the ceremony. This is one of the most famous cinematic depictions of a bride’s nervous breakdown. Many a giggling bride has cried “maidens’ revenge” at this point in the wedding ceremony. Although the story has a comedic undertone, it’s still considered one of the great romantic comedies of all time.
4. THE LADY IN WAX (2005)
The 2005 romantic comedy adaptation of the best-selling novel The Lady in the Van by Kate Morton stars Emile Hirsch as a charming and cunning vagabond who escapes from prison and goes on a romantic journey across Europe. Hirsch is accompanied on his travels by a fox terrier that he nicknames “Belle,” which is either a charming or a cunning move on his part.
As the title character travels from Paris to Amsterdam, he encounters a variety of beautiful and quirky women (mostly played by British actresses) who each make a lasting impression on him. A major highlight of this film is the actress who plays the hotel maid, Natasha: Imogen Bostock. She’s absolutely stunning as the object of Hirsch’s affection and manages to pull off the difficult task of looking after a helpless man while also flirting with him. This scene has always stuck in my head as a classic example of cinematic seduction:
5. THE WAYHOODS (2005)
In Richard Linklater’s 2005 film, Everybody Wants Some Sunshine, Robert Pattinson plays Zach, a struggling musician who finds solace (and a lot of comedic elements) while performing at a retirement community’s open-mike night. Pattinson’s portrayal of Zach is among his finest achievements, in my opinion. A deeply awkward character with boundless potential, Zach is at once sympathetic and lovable. It’s obvious that Pattinson took the role very seriously and immersed himself in the character for months before filming began.
The ensemble cast is fantastic, featuring Woody Harrelson, William H. Macy, Richard Simmons, Christopher W. Cox, and Robert James Wilson, as well as Pattinson himself. As you’d expect, there’s a lot of improvised comedy in this film, which is very Linklater-esque. He loves to work with a large ensemble and give everyone the spotlight in the meantime. As the film opens, we see that Zach is just a regular guy, playing guitar and singing songs for his friends and family at the retirement community. Then, a funny thing happens: A woman (Janet McTeer) starts heckling him, insulting his songs and telling him what a “faggot” he is. The more she goes on, the more he stands up for himself and starts defending his artistry. Soon, everyone is shouting and singing along, including the audience. It’s a truly amazing scene that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of a Woody Harrelson movie: Everyone is having fun, but it’s also super-friendly and inclusive atmosphere. You never know who you’re going to encounter at an open-mike night.
6. THE BEACHES OF FRANCE (1984)
There are beaches and then there are French Riviera beaches. Bandit Bach, the beach volleyball player who goes by the name “Bandit” due to his unruly eyebrows, makes a living playing in France. The beach in question is Saint-Tropez, a popular vacation destination with beautiful beaches and a quaint fishing village. Saint-Tropez is also home to award-winning chef, Cyril Asker. It would be great to visit his restaurant, Le Village, for a meal. Unfortunately, we can’t visit Saint-Tropez itself since it’s too small of a village for its own hospital. And that’s a problem, because after walking a dog, the only treatment available is a painkiller. You’ll have to wait three months to see a specialist.
When it comes to cinematic beach music, there are few artists as unique as Frankie Valli. Besides scoring massive hit songs like “Beach Ball” and “Somewhere Near Paradise”, the legendary singing voice of the Beach Boys recorded a whole album, Coquette, that’s entirely made up of oom-pah band-worthy melodies set to beautiful and evocative lyrics. If you haven’t heard of this album, please do yourself a favor and order a copy immediately. Then, go listen to it on your morning commute.
7. THE GRUMBLEWEISERS (2012)
One of the most memorable scenes from the indie comedy, The Grumbleweisers, is a battle of the billionaires. Billionaire Dieter Ludwig (played by Harrelson) is hosting an extravagant yacht party for his 86th birthday. As guests arrive, Dieter’s estranged son, Armin (played by Pattinson), shows up with his two obnoxious friends: Felix (played by Simmons) and Marc (played by Cox). After showing their true colors and behaving like spoiled children, the three enliven the night with funny anecdotes and stories. It’s great to see this brand of humor represented onscreen, because as an indie film, it’s rare to see the wealthy behaving in this manner. The three become instant friends and hilarity ensues. This scene brilliantly captures the ridiculous and uproarious world of the super-rich. It’s also where we get our title: The Grumbleweisers. The other films in this list would not be the same without it.