For Class of 2007 Week, Fuse is celebrating all the greatest things culture gave us exactly one decade ago. Enjoy all our coverage right here.
Before Seth Rogen and his writing/producing partner Evan Goldberg gave us Pineapple Express, This Is the End and Sausage Party, they debuted with Superbad, a cornerstone of the early days of the "bromance." Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher "McLovin" Mintz-Plasse found the perfect chemistry to make this a high school party movie we seriously might still be watching in 2077. And even if we're not, we'll still be saying "fuck my life."
Could Pixar have bounced back any more beautifully from their first-ever misfire, Cars? Brad Bird followed his 2004 insta-classic The Incredibles with another genuinely magical tale for all ages. Ratatouille was the beginning of a flawless four-film streak for the studio, with WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 coming next.
Little Miss Sunshine's success in '06 felt like a watershed moment, one guaranteeing the culture-wide popularity of at least one (1) quirky, indie or indie-feeling flick per year. Diablo Cody (United States of Tara, Young Adult) made her screenwriting debut with Juno, won the Best Original Screenplay and secured her place in showbiz; Ellen Page became a household name. Also, on a $7.5 million budget, it became the year's No. 15 American earner with $143.5 million. Worldwide, it snatched $231.4 mill. Definitely the Cinderella story of '07.
Certainly not Will Smith's best movie, but, like nearly all his work in the first decade of the new millennium, definitely a hallmark of its year. It gave Smith his biggest-ever domestic opening weekend as a leading man ($77.2 million), and it's still his No. 3 American earner with $256.4 million.
Still sad about that dog, though.
Paul Thomas Anderson's most viscerally striking piece (which is saying a hell of a lot) was one of the great curveballs in auteur cinema. Five years after Adam Sandler showed us a new side in Punch-Drunk Love, Daniel Day-Lewis rewrote the book on Method acting as Daniel Plainview, a misanthropic, early 1900s oilman in the Southwest. The totality of the characterization was chilling, as was just about every choice Plainview made—especially when it involved Paul Sunday, played by a magnificent 22-year-old Paul Dano. (A Daniel playing a Daniel, a Paul playing a Paul).
Of its eight Oscar nominations in early '08, the two it grabbed—Best Actor for DDL, Best Cinematography for the god Robert Elswit (who's done all seven of Anderson's movies except The Master), were guaranteed. But it should've won a lot more.
The Coen Brothers' Cormac McCarthy adaptation handily bested There Will Be Blood at the 80th Academy Awards. Both films led the pack with eight nominations, but No Country got the big Best Picture and Best Director wins, plus Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem, never better) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Now, that all happened in early 2008, but it's a good indicator of how crazy the culture went for No Country in '07.
The still-green Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman, Dawn of the Dead) pioneered a new flavor of stylized graphic novel adaptation with Frank Miller's tale of Spartans fending off Persians in the face of brutal odds. Everyone saw it, everyone talked about it, everyone still quotes/modifies "THIS...IS...SPARTA!" Too bad it was actually just two hours of thinly guised Bush-era warmongering and xenophobia, huh?
Evil Dead mastermind Sam Raimi got in early on the superhero movie front with 2002's Tobey Maguire–starring Spider-Man. It was exceptionally received, as was its 2004 sequel. But No. 3 was an especially memorable data point for its marked dip in quality, and for still being the No. 1 domestic film of '07 with $336.5 million. (Also the third-biggest global pic with $891 M's.) Overall it was the worst-performing of Raimi's three flicks, and would be the catalyst for a 2012 reboot starring Andrew Garfield.
Judd Apatow's second film took everything The 40-Year Old Virgin did right and let it mature—a smidgen. The cast remains one of the most hilarious of an '00s comedy, led by first-time leading man Seth Rogen and featuring—[deepest of breaths]—Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr, Jay Baruchel, Charlyne Yi, Harold Ramis, Bill Hader, Ken Jeong, Craig Robinson, Leslie Mann and her two sparkling daughters with husband Apatow. Katherine Heigl is not a comic genius, but she and Rogen made it work.