In 1997, Princess Di was killed in a car crash in Paris. Elton John would later compare her to a "Candle in the Wind." In more England-related news, Tony Blair became Prime Minister, paving the way for Michael Sheen to make a career out of playing him. Tiger Woods, age 21, became the youngest golfer ever to win the Masters. Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a drive-by shooting, leading Puff Daddy and Faith Evans to craft one of the biggest singles of the year, the Sting-sampling "I'll Be Missing You." Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published - it would hit U.S. bookstores a year later with the name "Sorcerer's Stone." And who can forget Hanson's "Mmmbop"? South Park and Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on TV, while Coach and Roseanne called it quits. Oh, and Ellen came out!
On a personal note, I graduated from high school in Boca Raton, Florida, and moved on to college in Indianapolis. I also met Julie that year - little did we know then that we would now be man and wife, with a dog, a son, another baby on the way, and this blog.
Though there were plenty of quality flicks in 1997, it seems like the majority of them were released toward the end of the year - the '97 holiday movie season was a special one, made memorable by the gargantuan success of James Cameron's Titanic. Cameron would later break Titanic's box office record 12 years later with his own Avatar. Meanwhile, Spielberg tried (and failed) to recapture the one-two punch glory of '93 with the '97 releases of The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad. Special mention goes to Liar Liar, My Best Friend's Wedding, Grosse Pointe Blank, In & Out, Breakdown, The Fifth Element, and Starship Troopers. Other notable releases that year include: Air Force One, The Full Monty, Con Air, Contact, Donnie Brasco, The Devil's Advocate, The Game, Private Parts, The Rainmaker, Romy & Michele's High School Reunion, Rosewood, Wag the Dog, The Ice Storm, Alien Resurrection, and Open Your Eyes. And here are your Essentials: