Casablanca ★★★★★

Well it took three viewings of Casablanca to *truly* fall in love with it. And now I'm really in love with it. The first time I watched the film was when I was fifteen and on a mission to watch every film on AFI's top 100 list (still haven't finished it). Casablanca is #2 on the list so it was top priority and my expectations were high because of how lauded and frequently referenced it was. Unfortunately, it didn't impress me very much. I thought it was *good* and could easily recognize its impact, but on a personal level I didn't feel much for it. I think I called it overrated it to friends as well. HA. I watched it again a few months ago for a film class and enjoyed it much more. I upgraded its original 4/5 to a perfect rating. I could finally appreciate the film for its unarguable excellence, but again, didn't *love* it on a personal level.

This time... oh boy. Since the fall, I've grown to love Humphrey Bogart. I've also seen La La Land three times since then. Hold the eye rolls. Yes, I think La La Land made me love Casablanca. You can roll your eyes now. LET ME EXPLAIN. The first time I watched La La Land, I saw Ingrid Bergman's face twice and thought it was foreshadowing romantic tragedy. Then Mia brought up the window from Casablanca outside the coffee shop and I gasped loud enough for my cousin to glare at me. I knew what was coming. I feel like a lot of people talk about the musicals that influenced La La Land and only briefly mention Casablanca, but I'd argue to say The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Casablanca are the film's biggest influences. I think falling in love with a modern film so clearly influenced by this great classic only enhanced my love for it. Everything about Casablanca was more exciting, interesting, and eventually more heartbreaking because of my experience with another film. I'm really glad I finally came around to loving Casablanca. I can't wait to revisit it many more times.

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