Let’s face it – we all need a good pick-me-up from time to time. Film carries the uncanny capability of not only reaching out and inspiring us through the imagination but magically carrying us into a completely different moment. There may be nothing better than a feel-good film; it’s escapism at its finest.
So call up a few friends, grab a bucket of your favourite ice cream, and enjoy a movie night at home. Seeing as it’s sweltering outside, staying in is always a safe and cosy bet.
Amelie (2001) From the director of Delicatessen, this soul-moving French film delves into the life of Amelie Poulin (Audrey Tautou), a Parisien girl who decides one day that her fate is to help those around her. Through her beautiful journey of fortuity and happenstance, she discovers love. From the film’s surrealist cinematography and soundtrack, to the most unusual of characters and its unattainable simplistic nature, this film cannot help but warm even the saddest of hearts.
Saturday Night Fever (1977) Not only does the music rock, but John Travolta’s dance moves are utterly sexy. Tony Manero (Travolta) lives through a depressing daily grind. The only thing that gets him through the week is anticipation of the Saturday night, Brooklyn disco. From his failing relationship with his father to unsuccessful attempts at school, Tony makes way for himself on the dance floor, teaching us not only to follow our hearts but to also find an escape when life gets you down.
Love Actually (2003) A passionately hilarious love film... even for the boys. It’s a story of eight different couples that are all interrelated and set in the heart of London, England . With great actors such as Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley and the inevitably swoony Hugh Grant, it will leave you laughing at moments and hurting at others. While love can often bring the most unexpected bouts of happiness into the deepest moments of heartache, it reminds us that it truly is all around us.
The Jungle Book (1967) Originally directed by Wolfgang Reitherman and reproduced again in 1994, this classic Disney film takes us back to our childhood. Sweet little jungle-grown Mowgli, Bagheera the panther and big bear Baloo– infamous for his care-free attitude– set off on their adventure and regardless of their scary run ins, they take it all in stride... ,the simple bare necessities... forget about your worries and your strife.’ And we can’t forget the jazzy ‘King of the Jungle’ performance by trumpeter and Vegas performer Louis Prima and company.
The Princess Bride (1987) From wizards to absurd battles, to rodents of unusual size, this is not your everyday fairy tale. Directed by Rob Reiner, this 80s classic turned from a bedtime story to a cult classic. Throughout the film, you cannot help but let the film coax your imagination into its enlightened and magical world, where good battles evil, and humour always triumphs.
Forrest Gump (1994) It’s that infamous quote referring to life being like ‘a box of chocolates.’ The cliché fashion rings true in the life of Forrest (Hanks); a simple man with a huge heart that faces the most unexpected twists and turns, from being drafted into the war to falling in love with free-spirited Jenny. Chronicling events throughout the 1950s-1970s, the scene backed by the Byrd’s ‘Turn, Turn, Turn‘ is a gentle reminder of how life works. Sing along and embrace it.
Yes Man (2008) While Jim Carrey usually drives us insane with his wacky faces and rather annoying characters, his role of Carl in this film caught us all off-guard. From running out of gas to his most recent heartbreak, Carl begins to take advantage of every opportunity with one word... yes. As cheesy as it may be, he begins living life to its fullest regardless of the ridiculous amount of crap that is thrown his way. Allow it to inspire you; and you might just find yourself wanting to yell 'YES!'
Singin' in the Rain (1952) Directed by Gene Kelley, this early 1950s romantic musical describes the life of popular film star Don Lockwood (Kelley), who in a mad romance with Kathy, decides to flee the enthusiasm and blinding bright lights for a more natural approach to life. From silly gestures of pie-throwing and running short-film sequences, Singin’ in the Rain takes you on a musical journey of love and life through its upbeat soundtrack and let’s face it, the rain truly is wonderful.
A Hard Day's Night (1964) This energetic and comedic full-length feature documents the crazy yet wonderful life of the Beatles as they try to rescue Paul’s loony grandfather. If you’re a Beatles lover, you can’t help but be fascinated by their personality quirks. From the classic tunes to their seemingly goofy take on nearly every situation, this film is bound to have you feeling good with bouts of laughter– sometimes, for no reason at all.
Up (2009) This is a sweet tale of a bonding friendship between 78-year-old Carl and young, adventurous Russell. Carl sets out on a hot-air balloon adventure after a promise made to his late wife Ellie, only to find little Russell waiting to take off with him. From talking dogs to various villains, the newly formed duo set out on the trip of a lifetime that leaves you giggling one minute and crying the next... cheers to childhood!