What three DVDs would you recommend for a Johnny Depp fan? Check out today's Ask the Critic question and post your own

By Ken Tucker
March 22, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST
Johnny Depp: MGM/Everett Collection

What DVDs would you recommend for a Johnny Depp fan?

My girlfiend is a huge Johnny Depp fan. I wanted to surprise her with a Johnny Depp film festival. What three DVDs would you recommend? —Woody James

Well, not to be sexist about it, but chicks seem to dig — sorry, women seem to appreciate — the softer side of Johnny. I would definitely go with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Benny & Joon, Depp’s back-to-back 1993 sensitive-soul flicks which, because he is an actor incapable of pandering or sleepwalking through a role, triumph over the sentimentalities of their scripts to become moving melodramas. For a third pick, I’d throw in a wild card. Maybe Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Depp’s most fruitful collaboration with director Tim Burton, an oddball fantasy that works as a parable about the pleasures of eccentricity. Or maybe rent a DVD of Depp’s old TV series, 21 Jump Street, in which, from 1987-89, he played soulful but tough police officer Tom Hanson. It’s the role that first caught the public’s attention, that turned him into a television sex symbol, and which he probably wishes you’d forget. But you’ll impress your girlfriend with your knowledge and open-mindedness, and beyond that, this is the fun of DVD-culture: You can craft your own filmography from different mediums, mixing movies and TV shows old and new, to yield a portrait of the artist as you would create it.

(Got a DVD-related question for Ken? Post it here.)

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