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The Triangle Indie Film Meetup Group Message Board › Survey/discussion: your favorite "feel-good, at-home" movies

Survey/discussion: your favorite "feel-good, at-home" movies

Durham, NC
Post #: 46
(Partially suggested by, and the post-film discussion from the VOLVER group.)

So here's a fun survey to warm you up to the next Good/Evil discussion. Since the surge in popularity and ubiquity of home video in the 1980s, it's been possible, for a wide population of film fans, to collect a home library of their favorite movies to view whenever they want, rather than waiting for television broadcasts or local revival theatre screenings.

Everyone buys tapes or DVDs of their favorite films for different reasons. But we all have our favorite "comfort films," the "feel good films" we love so much that we watch them repeatedly, when we're blue, bored, or otherwise bereft of something new to exhilarate us, or for no reason at all.

So please post your top five Feel Good Movies for us to share. Here are some criteria to help you narrow your choices:

  • You probably own it, or plan to acquire it really, really soon.
  • You have seen it three or more times in this or previous lifetimes (so far's you know).
  • You may have proudly introduced others to it. And they probably fell in love with it, too. (Good for you.)
  • If your new beau/girlfriend can't stand this film, it makes you stop and reconsider the relationship. Seriously. (Okay, I'm joking about this one. I'm sure that none of us have ever felt this way.)
  • These are the films you reach for when you're dizzy, enervated, beaten down by the world, or just had a really lousy day; it may be combined with comfort food for immediate restoration of your soul or at least your good spirits. Given a choice between a hot tub soak, marathon phone call to your closest friend(s), affectionate back rub or one of these films, you ? pick the film.
  • When you're home sick with the bug and kept company by chicken soup, Nyquil, a box of Kleenex, and your favorite comfy robe, and you're too tired to even use the Internet, you reach for these films.
  • You'd pick one or more of these as a "desert isle" flick, not because you would be bored with all the sun, sea, and fresh air on the desert isle, but you just you can't imagine being stranded anywhere on the planet without seeing this film at least once a year.
  • If the tape/disc is damaged or destroyed by forces beyond your control, you gasp, maybe shed a tear, and immediately order a replacement from Amazon. (See item 1.)

Okay, ladies and gents, take a peek into your video collection, tell us your top five, and tell us why each one made your list.

(P.S. Try to post yours without reading or being influenced by other replies. As if you would....)
Chapel Hill, NC
Post #: 83
Hmmm I don't own many DVDs, but I have a few that I enjoy from time to time, and I also can name several movies that I will find playing on TV and have to stop whatever I'm doing or have planned to watch. Generally I enjoy films that evince subtle nuances and deeper meaning with repeated viewings. I also dig the craft of making a film that holds up to repeated viewings; you know how it works out, but yet it's still engrossing. It's one thing to be a "cult classic" but quite another to just be a great movie. Here are a handful (or so) of my favorites.

  • 2001: A Space Oddysey, Dr. Strangelove, or basically anything by Stanley Kubrick

  • This Is Spinal Tap

  • The Graduate, Easy Rider, or virtually any good late '60s flick

  • Risky Business - Yes! Instant classic from 1983 with Zen themes, art film aspirations, and a terrific soundtrack featuring Tangerine Dream (check out "Guido the Killer Pimp," "Lana" or "Love on a Real Train" for a rush), Muddy Waters, Talking Heads, Jeff Beck, Prince, and probably the only Journey song that doesn't suck.

  • Virtually any Bill Murray film from Groundhog Day to Lost in Translation. I even like to watch Scrooged around the holidays.

Durham, NC
Post #: 48
(Groundhog Day almost makes my list, too -- which I'm working on. Bill Murray and Andie McDowell ... what more could anyone ask for. Did you know the entire shot of him driving with Phil the Groundhog was improvised? Murray said he was afraid the animal was going to bite him ... and it did.)
user 2269270
Durham, NC
Post #: 7
Nothing very indie about it but my feel-good film is this 1992 film 'Singles' with its satirical take on the good old early-grunge era.

Chapel Hill, NC
Post #: 81
Singles is a pretty good flick, as I recall, also with a great soundtrack, and a nifty way to link Eddie Vedder in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Folks, if anyone lists Pan's Labyrinth, The Proposition, or Last King of Scotland among their comfort films, they're getting their message board privileges revoked.

A former member
Post #: 8
Some of my top ones:

  • French Kiss - Kevin Kline is so great in this, as is Jean Reno. Plus, the French scenery is lovely.
  • Philadelphia Story - Come on. This is about the greatest movie ever made. And I relate to the main character played by Kate Hepburn. She struggles to have tolerance for "human frailty". Cary Grant is understated (as usual) and perfect in the role of the ex. Jimmy Stewart is hilarious and vulnerable, and I love that monologue about Tracy having "hearthfires and halocausts". Miss Embry... she's great, too. And the younger sister... and ALL of it.
  • Swingers - A delightful peace where men show their vulnerability, which isn't always something you see. Plus, there are all these nods to other filmmakers. The dialogue is PERFECTION!
  • Being There - The ultimate imposter syndrome movie. Peter Sellers is the innocent, and he reels everyone in with his sincerity. They think he's a genius, and maybe he is. Filmed at Biltmore House, too. "On television, Mr. President, you look much smaller!"
  • Withnail & I (ganked this one from my ex-husband, but now it's definitely in my short list) - This is my ex-husband's favorite movie, and the way I knew he was inviting someone to be a close friend was that he invited them over to watch this with him. The dialogue is about the funniest on record. The down and outness of it all, the wretched flat in London... Richard E. Grant is divine and heartbreaking.
  • Hannah and Her Sisters - Best soundtrack ever, excellent cast, a really fascinating cast of characters. This is one of those "good Woody Allens".
  • Annie Hall - Come on. It's perfect. And I really relate to Annie: smart but occasionally ditzy. It's the perfect movie.
  • Finding Nemo - DELIGHTFUL film. I adore this. Plus, Dory is a great character, and I relate to her.

A former member
Post #: 4
Godfather II ('nuff said)
The Lion King (My daughter watches this movie at least three times a week and I watch it at least once)
Forrest Gump (The ULTIMATE feel good flick)
La Bamba
The Blade Runner
A former member
Post #: 1
These are some of my "feel good" movies: To Sir With Love (okay I loved it when I was 10 years old...), As Good as It Gets, Amelie, Crossing Delancey, About a Father (yes I can admit I loved a Hugh Grant movie - it was surprisingly endearing).
user 2469598
Chapel Hill, NC
Post #: 8
1) Most movies from Michael Mann:
Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Collateral. To what extent they are "feel good" -- someone making
movies where every frame is "just so", that makes me feel good, even when the subject matter is
not that uplifting.

2) Let it Be Me: the most underrated romantic comedy of all times, with the most
underrated actress of all times, Yancy Butler. It plays maybe once a year on TV, and
I twisted the arm of a friend to tivo it, then burn a DVD (3 yrs ago, when this was

3) The 13th Warrior. I know, I know... still, to me this is a better version of "Gladiator". Has a bunch of very humane heros, humour, on top of being an amazing adventure movie. In any case, a movie that has swords and armour cannot be too bad.

4) The Beast: a cult classic war film. Uplifting in a haunting, and depressing way.

5) The brotherhood of the wolf: heroes chase mythical man-eating beast in medieval France,
many kungfu fights. No kidding. Absolutely magnificent.
It must be said that this one is very divisive. I have several friends with whom I agree on 95% of
films, I recommended this one to them, and they thought it was the most ridiculous one ever.
But the ones who loved it -- it seems like we share something deeply (perhaps something dark...)

I own very few DVDs, but I have 6 of the above ones, and the others I rented so many times, that
I could have bought them 5 times over smile
Durham, NC
Post #: 52
As the yank that started this, I had planned to start off with my list. Alas, I tallied up my top "stay at home and ignore the phone" favorites, and the list was > 15. I'm still whittling it down to 5 with a mental machete.

Meantime, I have to chime in...


SINGLES: I loved Cameron Crowe's SINGLES, it's been much underrated. It was the first Campbell Scott film I saw (he's always interesting, particularly in THE SPANISH PRISONER, THE SECRE LIVES OF DENTISTS, MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE and a horrific classic, ROGER DODGER), and cemented my lifelong crush on Bridget Fonda. Tak Fujimoto filmed it, Richard Chew edited it ? there was a LOT of talent flowing on that film. Gotta love a film that Tim Burton does a cameo in.

Abby, you're polymorphously perverse.

FRENCH KISS: "Beautiful, gorgeous, wish you were here!" Meg Ryan does an amazing job channeling my bestest friend Ruth, right down to the hair and exclamations. "Luc." "Luke." "Non, Luc." "Look." "Non, LUC."

BEING THERE: Hal Ashby and Peter Sellers heaven. Add Caleb Deschanel's cinematography, and it's a near-perfect flick.

FINDING NEMO: "I speak whale." "You do not..." "I do!" :D

ANNIE HALL: We all need the eggs.

Ann: yep, you haven't lived until you've heard Lulu deliver the title song of TO SIR WITH LOVE to Poitier. I had a thing for Judy Geeson when she was in DANGER UXB on Masterpiece Theatre. The quintessential peaches 'n cream British damsel.

Gabor, I'm with you on Michael Mann. His masterworks MANHUNTER and HEAT aren't "feel good" flicks in the sense I'm thinking of, but I *can* put on THE INSIDER anytime I just don't know what I want to watch, and I'm happy. Mann's visual design esthetics and insistence on letting the viewer connect some dots and color in the squares for him/herself always impresses me. The MOHICANS love scene in the fort has to be one of the 10 most romantic, um, collisions ever staged. (I'll work on my list of the other nine next week.)

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF: Two words: Monica Bellucci. I'd watch a 90 minute film of Bellucci flossing her teeth.
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