Need a trio of films to screen while you wait for out time-traveling saviors? Got you covered.
Thirty years of waiting for the conclusion of the Bill and Ted story ends in 24 short hours. To pass the time, we decided to pick out three adjacent movies to tide you over till the home theatrical release.
While the obvious pick would be Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey…we’ve already spilled enough ink about why those movies are worth your attention. So here are three movies that share theme, cast, or style with our time-traveling duo. Enjoy!
The Serious Pick: Almost Famous (2000)
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.
Need a story about frustrated fame and trying to make it in the rock and roll biz, but want a little more…grounded approach? Try Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age in the limelight drama, Almost Famous.
On paper, this movie put up a ton of red flags for me when it came out. Cameron Crowe last hit was Jerry McGuire, which I hated with a passion. The film featured an era of music that was really not my cup of tea. The trials and tribulations of rock stardom was not exactly a pressing concern to me. Of the oddly stacked cast, the only real familiar face for me in 2000 was Jason Lee, from all of his Kevin Smith cheezeball comedies.
That’s why it was such a memorable surprise for me that I not only saw this in theaters, but I walked out really impressed with it. The acting is phenomenal, and each role is intricate and engaging. The film manages to be a bildungsroman, a social critique of an era, a bittersweet romance, and a rollicking musical road trip. Well worth a view, even if the formula feels out of your wheelhouse.
The Lighthearted Pick: Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Two potheads wake up after a night of partying and cannot remember where they parked their car.
Yeah. 2000 was a weird time. Another film I saw in theaters, despite not really being impressed with the general premise, was Dude, Where’s My Car? I can’t say I cared for the two leads comedy chops at the time (though Seann William Scott would definitely improve with age) and I’ve never been a huge fan of stoner comedies (sorry again, Kevin Smith.) But that trailer…
I saw that trailer and was onboard.
Ashton and Seann really played to their strengths, and went together like chocolate and peanut butter. It winds up not being a stoner film so much as a delightful romp with two of the stupidest, but sweetest, guys you could ever find. They landed somewhere between Bill and Ted and Dumb and Dumber…but were way, way weirder.
It’s hard to top the time travel schtick of Bill and Ted, but Dude, Where’s My Car? really decided to throw everything at the wall and see what stuck. All while staying PG-13. After a decade of gross-out comedies, I was just tickled that you could make a bonkers buddy comedy that was hilarious but in no way mean-spirited. I kinda hope the return of Wyld Stallyons gets these two numbskulls another outing.
The Unconventional Pick: Galaxy Quest (1999)
The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.
We’re kinda living in the renaissance of “make fun of Star Trek”, but Galaxy Quest was the original. With a story about a bunch of has-beens, who are not the quickest on the uptake, being shot into space to fight very real aliens, you can see why director Dean Parisot is the perfect choice to make Bill & Ted 3.
Galaxy Quest became a latter-day BeastMaster for me: the movie that cable relentlessly syndicated that I felt compelled to sit down and watch every time it was on. Every bit of the Trek was mined for jokes, with the script making both obvious riffs and smarter jabs at the underlying assumptions. The cast knocked their roles out of the park, blending just enough obvious homage to Star Trek’s famous roster with their own quirks and insights to create a comedy that was more than just a farce.