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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

Heather H.
user 2533711
Cary, NC
Post #: 21
In no order, here are some of my at home/feel good movies:

1. Pretty much anything Christopher Guest has written qualifies as a good at home/feel good movie: Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. And I just noticed looking in IMDB that he wrote The Big Picture too!

2. Devdas - the most expensive Indian film made at the time. It is a love story based on one of the most popular Indian novels of all time, exquisite costuming and dance numbers, beautiful cinematography. Not exactly "feel good" since it is a drama, but it is still something I would want to watch over and over. I saw it in the theaters at Madstone, and had to order the DVD in India since it was not available in the States, and I have lent it out quite a bit to other dancers/friends.

3. The Princess Bride - possibly the ultimate at home/feel good movie of all time for me. I'm looking forward to introducing my daughter to it. Finding out that my boyfriend (now husband) had his own copy of this film pretty much cinched the deal for me :)

4. Wings of Desire -- it is so rare to even see this movie anywhere, since the German rights were tied up for years. I found my copy in some quasi-legal way I believe, and it's just VHS. Recently, TCM aired it and so I have that permanently saved on my DVR, with a very nice introduction by Robert Osborne (I love that man - may he never die). There is just something so fragile and beautiful about this film. It was one of the first art house movies I saw, and I was very much influenced by it. It is very meditative and slow going (the way many indie/art films used to be) so husband fell asleep halfway through the last time we watched it together. Luckily (for him!), we were already married and pregnant by then so I couldn't kick him out so easily :)

5. The Adventures of Robin Hood. There, I said it. I love this film. I love Errol Flynn. I love Olivia de Havilland. A true classic. Runners up in this category are Captain Blood and The Sea Wolf. :)

Brian, I also will tune into Dr Strangelove, 2001, and anything by Stanley Kubrick. Sometime in the last couple of years I saw Barry Lyndon simply because it was one of the few Kubrick movies I hadn't yet seen.

Love Groundhog Day too:)

Abby, we've been Watching Nemo in our toddler-dominated household countless times, and yet I still enjoy it every time. I agree, the character of Dory is great. We're also watching Mary Poppins quite a lot, and it stands up to repeat viewings as well.

Gabor, 13th Warrior was the movie my husband and I saw on our first date -- we thought it was good too, although it could have been the company :) I still have my ticket stub.

David, Spanish Prisoner would probably go on this list as well -- its plot is so dense that every time I watch it, I go in not quite remembering what happens, so it is almost like watching it for the first time again.

This was fun :)
A former member
Post #: 3
Love this question. Here are the movies I've seen more times than any one person ever should, in no particular order:

  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • Pride and Prejudice (1995 Colin Firth version)
  • Monsoon Wedding
  • Love Actually
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Mansfield Park
  • The Sound of Music
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
  • and last but not least, not a theatrical release but I think it was brilliant and I used to watch this over and over for the performances, despite the subject matter--Angels in America

Oh no, I apparently have a major case of Anglophilia and costume drama-itis, but maybe it's redeemed by the fact that my actual favorite movie of all time is still Pulp Fiction? Oh well...
A former member
Post #: 9
Monsoon Wedding and Love Actually are ones I really like and would like to see again and again. That scene at the beginning and end of Love Actually really gets me. You know, the one with the people greeting their loved ones in the arrival area of Heathrow. I've been there. I've seen it. It's quite something.

Singles... totally excellent, and I've seen it a million times, although I don't have it on DVD, so it's fallen off the list of ones I watch a lot these days, but what a great flick. I love Campbell Scott deep in the post breakup blues. Very realistic. Very good stuff.

"We're huge in Belgium!"

Love the Pearl Jam/Soundgarden cameos, too. I'm a music geek.
Durham, NC
Post #: 51
I know, I said "pick five." Can I practice what I proposed? Apparently NOT. My list started out huge with 16+ films, and cutting it down to 5 was TOUGH. Writing descriptions of each to sort out the chaff, I found myself expanding it, oops. Enough, already. My choices might change next week, but for now ... here are 5 of my desert isle picks, according to no rhyme or reason. Join me, bring your own beach chair.

1. Baraka -- After an IMAX success with CHRONOS, Ron Fricke traveled the world with 70mm cameras and time-lapse motion control gear to create one of the most amazing non-verba,l nonfiction films ever. There are scenes of breathtaking beauty, and others of everyday horrors and historical tragedies. Through it all runs a theme suggested by the title, the Sufi word for "the breath of life," that has to be experienced and understood on a personal level. Like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, this film can hold different meanings for each person seeing it, but everyone comes away awed.

4. Black Stallion/Never Cry Wolf - Carroll Ballard distilled Walter Farley's rather syrupy and "golly, shucks" tale of a boy's horse winning a Seabiscuit type race, into a sweet, mostly non-verbal ode to a child's bond to one special animal. Kelly Reno steals the show as the plucky little lad who survives a shipwreck with the help of a wild, Arabian stallion (though many said the horse, Cass-Ole, did). Songwriter Hoyt Axton and Teri Garr do small, endearing turns as his parents. Okay, never mind what I said about stealing the show, Mickey Rooney came out of retirement to play the gruff, seasoned horse trainer who befriends both boy and steed, and his performance is so true, so natural, you forget it's, well, Mickey Rooney (the Academy nominated him for an Oscar, too). Photographed with amazing beauty by Caleb Deschanel. Just to show this wasn't a fluke, Ballard followed this with his mystical adaptation of Farley Mowat's NEVER CRY WOLF. Charles Martin Smith, playing another boy lost in the wilderness, volunteers to make camp in the remote, arctic tundra and penetrate the secret world of wolves. He's been assigned to establish proof that the wolves are decimating caribou herds; what he learns is quite a different power balance. In the process, he finds meaning in the world, and in no small feat, finds himself. Amazing photography by Hiro Narita, amazing music by Mark Isham. This is the kind of film that stops time and transports you to another realm for 105 minutes.

5. Casablanca/To Have and Have Not -- Both have great, timeless stories, superb dialog, an overabundance of great character actors, and Bogie dealing with stunning female leads. I can't pick one over the other. One has Claude Rains and Dooley Wilson, the other has Hoagy Carmichael and Walter Brennan. I suppose CASABLANCA aces the other in that it's about a very hurt and anguished man, overcoming his pain and bitterness to "do the right thing" and save his love and her husband, even after she crumples and professes her devoted love for him. Every man secretly dreams of being in that position and acting so honorably. Bogart showed us how it's done. But then, Howard Hawks gave Bogie and Bacall such crisp, naughty, smart dialog, who can resist it when she tells him, "It's even better when you help?" When Hawks and his screenwriters (including William Faulkner) were tackling the "Steve" and "Slim" dialog (nicknames borrowed from Hawks and his wife), they realized that since Bogie's popular screen persona was based on his portrayals' surliness, any strong female lead would have to be just as surly. 20 year old Lauren Bacall was more than up to the challenge, and sparks fly beginning with their the first scene. Despite it, Bogart got to show his tender, soft-spoken side. As she later told it, following three weeks of getting along famously on the set ("he made me laugh every day"), Bacall realized he was the love of her life. I guess for that alone, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT is my fav. Their chemistry and mutual regard was the real thing.

14. Thursday Afternoon - When someone gave Brian Eno (the "father of ambient music") an old video camera to play with, he discovered it to be a new, electronic paint brush. He assembled distorted recordings of New York skylines into moving impressions of the natural and manmade worlds in symbiosis. In this 81 minute collaboration with San Francisco photographer Christine Alicino, with unstructured ambient music created with Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois, Eno sequenced seven shifting, mutating, hypnotic "video paintings" that changed a TV turned 90° into an art gallery canvas. I've used the music to cure headaches. The images are by turns sexy, kitschy, dreamy, complex, and abstract.

17. Victor/Victoria -- Julie Andrews and James Garner show us how real, adult romance is done in this early 1980s comedy by Blake Edward. The plot, borrowed from a Depression era German film, is about a woman who masquerades as a man, performing as a music hall female impersonator. She's a hit both in and out of the "Gay Paree" set, and all is grand until a very special man steps into her life. Complications amid tissue-thin gender role models ensue. Robert Preston and Jennifer Ann Warren ("Wait! ? Lock the door") are also terrific in this. From start to finish, it could be Blake Edwards' most perfectly timed comedy.
A former member
Post #: 10
Princess Bride - YAY!
Groundhog Day - Another YAY!

I love the part in Nemo where Dory says, "WELL HI!" to the shark. Friends say that reminds them of me.
Durham, NC
Post #: 54
"I was undead and kicking, but without a clue as to how to live."

The list grows.... For the third time in about a year, I'm watching Bryan Fuller's Dead Like Me (Season 1) again. Maybe it's Fuller's (and others') great writing: smart, cynical, philosophical, satirical, bizarre. Maybe it was the way that Mandy Patinkin and Ellen Muth deliver their lines with utter honesty and perfect timing. Or maybe it's Stewart Copeland's (Rumble Fish, The Rhythmatist) "happy-sad" music, which Cuisinarts all kinds of musical styles into a mash of boppin', rompy melodies and incidental pieces. Most likely it's the story arc about a depressed 18 year old dropout underachiever, whose family is breaking apart, and gets killed on her first day working a dreary clerical temp job by a flaming toilet seat from the de-orbiting Mir space station. Luck of the draw gives her "undead" status as a grim reaper (accidental death and catastrophe division), walking the earth as one of those who collect the souls of recently deceased. Season 1 takes you from her initial Kubler-Ross stages of death, adapting to her new "life," rebelling and finally relenting to her new responsibilities, and ultimately starting to grow up. Episode 14 ends on her first undead birthday, reconciled to life, and starting to become her own person. Great stories, great framing story, and never a dull moment. And OMG some of the dialogue is priceless.

"... It was hard to keep pissing and moaning about not having a purpose in life, after Death handed me one on a platter."
A former member
Post #: 3
Feelin' no particular order:

1. Deja vu (Jaglom's)

2. Notting Hill

3. Finding Nemo ('kid-optional' wink )

4. The Commitments

5. Four Weddings and a Funeral

6. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Yeahyeah, I know, 'tis nothin' more than a 'chick-fest'
Chapel Hill, NC
Post #: 93
This topic is getting a lot of play. Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Check out this Lists of Bests site for inspiration and comparison.
Durham, NC
Post #: 84
When Harry Met Sally is definitely my all-time feel-good movie- love the priceless intermittent interviews with the old married couples. Amelie is my second choice- quirky and sweet.
Durham, NC
Post #: 64
When Harry Met Sally is definitely my all-time feel-good movie- ....

I saw recently that director Reiner's mom's line -- "I'll have what she's having" -- is one of the AFI 100 Most Memorable Quotes. ;)
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