Fanatics of pop culture are present in our personal lives, as well as dominating the economy. From the stereotypically over-enthusiastic, to those with a truly great fan story, we’ve come across every one of them in our lives. Naturally, this is going to spill over to the movies we watch. Here are the Top 10 Best Fan Character Themed Films! There is also an Honorable Mention list of some other ones to check out, if you have already seen the list.
Read the list after the nifty little page break.
10) Fever Pitch – Back in 2005, Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were in this charming rom-com about a highly successful woman who dates a man who is, as her friends deem him, below her league. No pun intended, but he is a HUGE fan of the Red Sox, as well as a teacher, but she decides he is a nice guy, so she gives it a whirl. Things are going great, until baseball season starts. Pretty soon, she finds herself questioning who he is more devoted to – the Sox, or her? Some dicey moments, but it’s PG13, so pretty much the whole family can watch it.
9) Win a Date with Tad Hamilton – This 2004 film with Kate Bosworth as the protagonist is highly underrated. This PG13 movie highlights the dream scenario any fan girl (or fan boy) could have – winning a contest to go on a date with the most successful, handsome actor of the moment. Kate’s home-grown, small town character peaks the interest of actor Tad Hamilton, portrayed by Josh Duhamel, which rubs Kate’s other co-star and antagonist/secret admirer Topher Grace the wrong way. Which guy gets the girl?
8) Mall Rats – This raunchy 1995 Kevin Smith film is not only a fun watch, but has some great fan culture references. Jason Lee’s character is determined to meet Stan Lee at a book signing taking place at the mall, and Jeremy London’s character is headstrong to be able to propose to his girlfriend on the Jaws ride for a trip they were planning to take to Florida. Fun fact – the Jaws ride does show up at the end of the film, but it’s not the one in Florida that closed in 2012. It’s the Jaws attraction that is part of the Universal Hollywood Tram Tour. Mall Rats is rated R, so don’t let the kids watch this one.
7) Detroit Rock City – This movie partied like it was1999, AKA the release year, even though the film’s plot was set in the 1970’s. This R rated romp is hilarious and boasting a great story, which follows a group of four friends who are determined to see rock group KISS in concert. The character Sam Huntington plays has a militantly religious mom who burns their tickets in a fit of rage, which is just one sign of the hijinks these boys come across in their quest to make it to Detroit Rock City.
6) Fanboys – Released in 2009 with a plot set in the late 1990s. These Star Wars fans are all good friends since they were kids, except for the character that Sam Huntington plays, who has been busy pursuing a career (also his second time making an appearance on this list). When they learn one of their friends is terminally ill and doesn’t have much time left, they concoct a plot to sneak into Skywalker Ranch across the country and find a way to see Episode 1 (if only they knew how bad it would be). The bawdy film barely skirts the PG13 rating, so it will be a pure joy for anyone who is a teen or older.
5) Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen – From Lindsay Lohan’s glory days, don’t be turned away by the fact this is a PG rated Disney flick. This 2004 film depicts a city girl who has to move to a Manhattan suburb and away from the worlds of drama and music she loved in NYC. She makes a friend who also loves the same band as her, which happens to be breaking up and doing one final show in NYC. Will the girls make it to this band’s last hurrah? The film is family friendly without being a bore for adults, with lots of mature references.
4) That Thing You Do! – This is a classic movie with a wonderful cast, including Tom Hanks. The plot follows a group of guys in the 1960’s who start a local band and accidentally catapult into fame via their new, rebellious drummer. Along the way, these boys come across people in the industry they themselves were fans of before hitting it big, and try to keep from being one hit wonders. Though it is PG, this movie stands the test of time and anyone in the family will enjoy it – especially the awesome music! Soon, you will have stuck in your head – “Yoooou, do that thing you dooooo!”
3) Pleasantville – Equal parts funny, scary, touching, dramatic, and sexy, this 1998 PG13 film will not leave your mind after you watch it. The main character, played by Tobey Maguire, is obsessed with a 1950’s sitcom to distract from his less-than-perfect family situation. On the night he wants to watch a marathon so he can take place in an interactive contest, his sister wants to hog the TV so she and her date can watch something on MTV. Through some meddling from a mysterious TV repair guy who just happened to know the siblings just broke their remote, they are zapped INTO the program. How will these 1990’s kids deal with life in black and white, old technology, lack of racial diversity, and no sex?
2) Galaxy Quest – There are a handful of people who may not have heard of this film until after Alan Rickman’s recent passing, but those truly in the know will already have heard of this amazing film. Galaxy Quest is meant to poke fun at Star Trek fans and actors alike and their conventions, at first. Then, as the actors find themselves transported into space by aliens who knew of them from their “historical documents” AKA the episodes, they realize the impact they’ve truly had on others. The 1999 film was meant for a more mature audience, as you can tell there are moments where cuss words are badly dubbed over, but it’s an amazingly funny PG film that sci-fi and non sci-fi fans will adore!
1) Almost Famous – Really marking the beginning of a new millennium of film, this 2000 rated R release with an unbelievable cast is truly deserving of the number 1 spot on this list. A young kid in a conservative household during the 1970’s is obsessed with rock and roll ever since his sister left home, leaving behind for him her collection of records. He wants to become a music journalist, so after he meets his writing idol Lester Bangs, portrayed by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, he is given an assignment to interview Black Sabbath. The kid instead meets and follows a band called Stillwater on the road. Along the way, he learns what it means to be a fan, a groupie, a supporter, a traitor, and how to maintain who he really is on the way to his dreams. Another fun fact – this is the second time Jay Baruchel is on this list (Fan Boys), and Jason Lee’s second appearance on the list (Mall Rats)!
Honorable Mention – Since there are far more than 10 films that exist which have fan characters, here are five other fun films to check out:
- The Final Girls is a bit of a sleeper hit, but an amazing film nonetheless. From 2015 with a PG13 rating, a teenager mourns the death of her mom, who was a popular horror actress before she was born. She accepts an invite to go to a screening of this film as a guest of honor, but after a fire breaks out, her and a group of friends wake up IN the film!
- Paul, released in 2011 with an R rating, follows two guys from England who follow their bucket list dream items by attending San Diego Comic Con, then driving out to UFO/alien country to fulfill their extraterrestrial fan cravings. When they actually come across an alien, things get a little crazy.
- Bend it like Beckham, from 2002 and rated PG13, follows the female protagonist who wants to break free of culture barriers imposed on her by her family and be a professional footballer (AKA soccer player). Her hero is the film’s namesake and professional athlete/underwear model, David Beckham
- Spice World, featuring pop group the Spice Girls (all five of them!), was a fun 1997 for pop music fans. The gals played themselves in this wacky, fictional film that is rated PG and features them interacting with fans from every realm, from little girls to aliens!
- Nurse Betty, from the year 2000 with an R rating, follows a character who is obsessed with a soap opera star after losing someone close to her.