Tax season is upon us and I know how stressful it can be to dig up receipts, fill out the forms and file the ol' taxes. Although my friend Savvy wouldn't be too happy to hear this, I have a bad habit of procrastinating and will find any reason to avoid doing my taxes. This year I have a new strategy: hold a money movie night with the following films and then do my taxes — no more excuses! It's a good plan because there are a lot of good lessons to learn from these movies, you know? OK, that's a lame rationalization, but hey, these movies are fun and might even convince you to stay away from white-collar crimes.
Just thinking about Trading Places makes me laugh, which is the perfect way to kick off a tax season movie night. Eddie Murphy stars alongside fellow funny man Dan Aykroyd in this film that poses the question: Does money make the man?
Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) is a Harvard educated broker who has it all. Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) is a street hustler angling for a dollar. When these two men switch places in society, all hilarity breaks loose. It's a wacky premise, but Murphy is hysterical and it's a funny peek at the ways in which money changes people.
Two more money movies, so
In high school, my economics teacher taught us all about the stock market and making lots of money. And then he made us watch this movie starring Michael Douglas (who won an Oscar for his performance) and Charlie Sheen to warn us of the dangers of excess. Looking back, this was a smart move as Wall Street is the ultimate cautionary tale. At the center we see the evil, morally depraved Gordon Gekko (Douglas), who embodies the worst of the opulent 1980s. Sheen plays the young and naive newcomer who first believes he can make it big as a mover and shaker on Wall Street, but under the tutelage of the greedy Gekko finds himself tangled in an insider trading scheme and has to fight for his soul. Again, white-collar crime is bad. Thanks, Teach!
Indecent Proposal, starring Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Robert Redford, is a provocative twist on an age-old question: How far are you willing to go for money? Moore and Harrelson are a happy couple who find themselves in a serious financial crisis and head to Vegas (naturally!). There, a rich, handsome stranger (Redford) offers them $1 million for a night of you-know-what with Moore. What follows is scandalous, shocking and painful. In the end though, it's a good lesson in how just a little bit of moral compromise in the name of greed can eat you alive.