But these days, the world being as it is, I find myself turning to what I want to be comforting movies. While my husband Sam and I usually devour films and tv with gusto, these days I keep wanting to watch something...nice.
I do miss writing about movies though, so here's a list of some feel good movies, in case you too are also looking for a little escapism through your screens.
Before we start though, what determines the "feel good" factor of a film?
1). The movie has to be engaging enough to get your head out of whatever else is going on. You can go into the movie in the middle of a raging fight with someone, completely wiped out from the world, and come out of it completely transformed. I still remember to this day when my cousin Peter and I sat down to watch Black Knight (where Martin Lawrence plays a theme park employee who gets transported back to medieval England, and yes the movie is exactly what you would expect out of it) and he said he was sure this movie was funny but the last time he had tried it he had been in such a bad mood, he hadn't been able to judge. So. All that to say, no Black Knights in this list.
2). It can't just be engaging. It should also be...happy. I've probably watched The Godfather and Godfather II over a dozen times and it's still engaging as hell, but...well, it's not really a feel good movie is it? Michael Corleone grabbing a character by the neck and proclaiming "I know it was you" is good cinema, but it's more likely to give you chills rather than the warm fuzzies.
3). I forewent (for this list at least) any bittersweet movies. To this day, I still laugh at almost every joke in Toy Story 3 like I'm seeing the movie for the first time, but I always weep bitter tears at the end of the film. I can't even say I weep like a child, because they're the kind of ugly tears that you can only shed when you've experienced the invevitability of time changing. On that note, remember when Pixar was good? And when it didn't feel like Disney was trying to emotionally manipulate you with every movie?
Anyway. No movies with beginnings like Up, no movies with endings like Toy Story 3. I also nixed any movies that rely on a large catharsis factor, or what I like to call the kdrama effect: where the main character goes through the wringer and it's supposed to be okay because in the end the good guys prevail and the bad guys usually bite the dust in an extremely ignominious manner and there's a big release of feelings. Sure it feels good at the end, but it's a little stressful on the way.
4). For the sake of variety, I tried to get a good spread of genres. So, even though I love heist films, there's only one heist film here. And even though I love adventure movies (National Treasure is Nicolas Cage's best role, I said it), there's only one on here. And so on.
In no particular order:
Good Morning (1959) Yasujiro Ozu
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse (2018) Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Bob Persichetti
Project A (1983) Jackie Chan
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Steven Spielberg
Babe (1995) Chris Noonan
It doesn't hurt that Hugo Weaving does such a killer job as the voice of gruff sheepdog Rex.
More to come tomorrow. If you have any movies that you've been enjoying as of late, feel good or not, feel free to drop a comment.