Cinema is a wonderful thing. It can create all sorts of emotions and show us things that are impossible. Films can inspire us, drive our creativity and unite us as humans. But movies can also be comforting. If you’re feeling down, if you’ve had a tough day, if you’ve just broken up with someone… they can be the celluloid arm around our tired, slumped shoulders. Today, I’ll discuss some of my favorite comfort watch movies, why I think they are great as comfort watch films, and ask you to drop a few of your own in the comments. Let’s go, shall we?
Back to the Future (1985) – Relatability & Great Characters
A timeless story of friendship, teenage love and your mom getting the hots for you due to time travel. Zemeckis and Gale inadvertently created one of the most iconic films of all time, and it’s all down to the characters. You can feel Marty’s frustration, his need to be cool. Christopher Lloyd is incredible, as is Crispin Glover (despite the latter somewhat disowning the film since). If you look deep into it, the plot has more holes than a colander. But if you want something uplifting, comforting and relatable, Back to the Future has got your back. The friendship between Doc and Marty alone is worth the price of admission. An absolute gem of a comfort watch.
Apollo 13 (1995) – Inspirational
Ron Howard really hit it out of the park with Apollo 13. The movie came out at just the right time for the special effects to catch up with the story as well. Had the film been made 5 years earlier, it would not stand up as well as it does. Tom Hanks is the perfect Jim Lovell, ever-cool and inspirational under utmost stress. If ever there was a movie which depicted the perils of space exploration and the endless ingenuity of humankind, it’s Apollo 13. One of those comfort movies that makes you believe in humanity again.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) – “I Can Do It, Too!”
I know, I know. Controversial pick, a found footage horror film. But hear me out. Many of us cinephiles are aspiring filmmakers, and along with Kevin Smith’s Clerks, no movie in history makes you believe you can make a film more than The Blair Witch Project. The investment-to-box office ratio continues to hold a record, and it set the perfect stage for the dawn of DSLR filmmaking to come in the next decade. On a personal note, it also features a Hispanic writer and director in Eduardo Sánchez, a fact directly responsible for me believing I could make films, too. And I did!
Music and Lyrics (2007) – Success and Happiness Are Relative
This is a lesson that has taken almost my entire life to figure out. And it’s perfectly summed up in Marc Lawrence’s Music and Lyrics. Hugh Grant and Drew Berrymore are the definition of pure chemistry. But it’s how each character defines happiness and success that really sticks out for me. It’s not necessary to envy a richer former band-member. Writing doesn’t need to mean penning the next New York Times Bestseller. The subtle yet life-changing difference between conformism and appreciation for what one has got is definitely not something I thought I’d learn from a rom-com. But whenever I need to re-learn it, I pop this one on and fall in love with it all over again.
What Are Your Favorite Comfort Movies?
This list is highly personal, and I’m honestly dying to hear what your picks for comfort movies are and why. Find me @MarcosCodas on Twitter to discuss my picks, and why Marc Lawrence and Hugh Grant are one of the great pairings in film history.