It’s Friday – that means movie night at our house! We’re thrilled to have our movie critic, professional actor, and life-long movie buff; Paul McGuire, back with us to share his picks on “comfort movies.” Whether this is the time of year you like to retreat from your busy life and nuture your soul, or you’re simply looking for a good movie to watch on a cold winters night, you’ll love Paul’s suggestions. I can’t wait to curl up on the couch and watch …
“A couple of days ago I posted a new status update on Facebook. I asked the question “What are your comfort movies? What movies do you retreat to when you are down or sick?” I was shocked at how many people commented on my status update. I’m glad to know people still read my Facebook page from time to time. Speaking of Facebook, I’m currently watching The Social Network. This was my favorite movie of 2010. It’s a fascinating look into the creation of Facebook and everything that comes with being an instant accidental billionaire.
Back to the topic at hand. Comfort movies are so subjective. Movies affect all of us differently, so while one movie could move or relax me, that same movie could bore someone else to tears. In my informal Facebook survey, there weren’t too many movies that were repeated; however, there were some common themes. Disney/Pixar movies, comedies, Jane Austen romances, and childhood favorites seem to comfort people.
What are the movies that comfort me? When I’m down and out or under the weather what movies do I turn to?
Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Jerry O’Connell, Corey Feldman
Stand By Me is my all-time absolute favorite movie of all time. It’s based on a novella written by Stephen King. Don’t let that frighten you. It’s not a horror story. The movie is about four twelve-year-old boys that go in search of a dead body that their town is looking for in 1959. I was about that age when I first started watching Stand By Me, and I have loved it ever since. The movie is dramatic, funny, and full of heart. The story is more than just four boys on a walk in the woods. The movie is about finding out who you really are and the importance of friendships in our lives. I’ve watched it countless times, and it never gets old. I will always think of certain people when I watch it, and those people bring joy to my life.
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Christopher Walken
Annie Hall is another movie that has made it to my Top 10 list. I have seen numerous Woody Allen movies spanning his whole career, and Annie Hall is the one that sticks with me the most. The movie follows neurotic Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and his failed attempts at relationships, primarily the one with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The story is told in a non-linear style, so don’t get too confused. I would also rank Annie Hall as one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. The humor includes quirky one-liners, physical comedy and many awkward moments. There are so many hidden gems that each time I watch it I think I come across something new. Annie Hall won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Jeff Goldbum, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Tom Berenger, William Hurt
The Big Chill is another movie about the importance of friendships. A group of college friends gather for an unfortunate reunion after the funeral of another college friend. The Big Chill has a wonderful cast. Even though it’s a bit dramatic for a “comfort” movie, there’s still a feel good vibe to it. It’s a pretty honest, realistic look at how people react when they lose a friend too early on. There’s plenty of funny dialogue, bad fashion, and awesome music to contrast the heavier tones to it.
Director: Bill Duke
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimi, Maggie Smith, Lauryn Hill
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit takes me right back to my childhood. I remember seeing this at Apache 6 Theater while I was in the 5th grade. The sisters head to Las Vegas to convince Delores Van Cartier, (Whoopi Goldberg), to pretend to be a nun again to help teach some misfit students music. She forms the music class into a choir and leads them to entering a state music competition. There are some hysterical one-liners from both Whoopi Goldberg and Kathy Najimi as they try to relate to their students. Sister Mary Clarence, (Whoopi, in habit), inspires these students to find their inner talent and to keep singing in spite of parental pressures or negative feed-back from their peers. After seeing this movie, I remember feeling more inspired to keep following my dreams of being an actor/singer. Sister Act 2 is one of those movies, that I have to watch whenever I see it on cable. I stop on that channel thinking I’ll just watch a few minutes, but end up getting sucked in until the very end. Even though I’ve seen it numerous times, I never get tired of it.
Like I said previously, comfort movies are very subjective. I don’t expect everyone to get the same impact out of movies like Sister Act 2 or Stand By Me as I do. Take some time to think about what movies you like to watch when you are blue. I would suggest buying a few of them and keep them handy; you just never know when you need something to fall back on.”
Until February when I watch some romances,
Movie Critic, Professional Actor, and Life-long Movie Buff
Paul’s Oscar Predictions http://elblogdepmcg.blogspot.com/2011/01/oscar-nominations-and-my-early.html