Don’t tell anyone, but National Treasure is one of my favorite movies. I conveniently “forget” to mention it when asked to list my all-time favorites, and no evidence of my love for the historical-fiction-film-slash-action-movie-slash-crime-caper can be found amongst my possessions. Yet my TiVo is set to record every showing, and I’ve searched it so many times on IMDb that even my browser thinks I’m pathetic. But who can blame me? Treasure has everything a movie-goer can possibly want in a film. Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Franklin Gates, last in a long line of treasure hunters! A conspiracy to hide billions of dollars worth of gold and jewels conceived by the founding fathers!
Believe me, the film snob in me didn’t want to like Treasure; she wanted to scoff and roll her eyes, to grumble pretentiously about the state of today’s film industry. But hearing Nicolas Cage gravely pronounce that he has to steal the Declaration of Independence was too much to handle. The truth is that though National Treasure may seem like just another big-budget Hollywood throwaway, the dialogue is hilarious and the fact that every member of the Gates family is named after a founding father is completely irresistible. But do me a favor: let’s keep this our little secret.