By Derek Delson
Movies are a gift. As we sit trapped in our houses for weeks on end, I am sure many of us are realizing how lovely movies are. They are not only an artform that I cherish deeply, but also a form of storytelling that can take us to other worlds and help us forget the one we are in now. This “transportation” quality of film is one that I am certain will be invaluable while the panic of the coronavirus corrupts our streets and communities. Known around school as the “guy who recommends movies,” I figured I could do my part and give you all some excellent films that will entertain, distract, and make you laugh, cry, or think. With no further ado, here are my favorite comfort movies, in no particular order.
Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro
Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and beautifully hand drawn by the revered Studio Ghibli, both Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro show the power of animation. They are a mix between poetic storytelling and dazzling animation. If you want to show something that the entire family will love, Miyazaki’s films are the ones to choose. While Miyazaki has made dozens of others, I feel that Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro are the most relaxing and entertaining. Some of Miyazaki’s other films handle more mature subject matter.
Paddington and Paddington 2
If I had to define the feeling of a hug in one movie it would be Paddington. In every way, Paddington is a cinematic hug. It exudes a warmth that is contagious. Like Miyazaki’s films, the Paddington movies are family films that anyone can enjoy. Paddington and Paddington 2 are expertly written and directed, and wonderfully crafted in all senses of filmmaking. They will cheer you up regardless of your current mood.
Especially at times like these, I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy. One of the very few rom coms to follow a science fiction premise, About Time is a different yet welcome romantic comedy. The element of time travel shakes things up and truly makes the genre exciting again. The film is written and directed by rom com guru Richard Curtis, the man who has been delivering laughs for decades with classics Love, Actually; Notting Hill; and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Sing Street is a hidden gem that you will be singing and dancing to by the end. It is a fun 90s throwback with a simple premise: boy makes a band to impress a girl. However, this Irish comedy delivers its fun premise with a whole lotta heart and a whole lotta depth. Sing Street is better than it should be, and will deliver you glowing music moments that you will remember for years to come.
Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine is one of the greatest comedies I’ve ever seen. Tracking a wacky family taking a road trip to get the daughter to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. It is perhaps one of the funniest dysfunctional family dynamics in cinema. Little Miss Sunshine is hilarious, yet it never lets the humor overpower the beautiful emotional scenes.
Written, directed, and starring a group of childhood buddies and SNL stars, Brigsby Bear is a truly original modern comedy film. Sadly, it has not gotten the appreciation it deserves. Brigsby Bear follows a very child-like adult who worships a TV show called “The Brigsby Bear Adventures.” However, when tragedy occurs and his life changes forever, he tries to make the TV show he loves into a film. When I watched it in the theater, I was utterly blown away. It is magnificent and will have you smiling from beginning ‘til end.
Here are some additional films I think that you all would love:
- 21/22 Jump Street
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/Home Alone
- Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse
- Back to the Future
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople/What We Do In The Shadows
- The Princess Bride
- When Harry Met Sally
- The Birdcage
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- Any Edgar Wright film (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Baby Driver)
- (500) Days of Summer
- The Devil Wears Prada
- Love, Simon
- The Before trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight)
- Napoleon Dynamite
I hope some of these movies bring you joy in this insane time!