Comfort Movies

It came up the other day in conversation that we all have movies, even if it’s just one or two, that we count on. These are the movies we turn to when we can’t sleep, when we’re home sick, when we’re lonely, depressed or just plain bored. They are the movies we know by heart, yet they still bring us immeasurable joy, even on the hundredth viewing. Even though we have them on DVD and could watch them anytime, we still will sit and watch them if they’re on TV, no matter what else is on. We know every line, every scene, every detail. As comfortable as our favorite pair of slippers, these are the movies that just make us feel at home.

The irony of this list is that very few of my reliables are actually objectively good movies. If I bother to look up reviews, I would notice that most of them failed with the critics, some miserably so. And you know what? I don’t care. That’s the peculiar thing about our most beloved movies—there’s something about them that speaks to us that has nothing to do with being well-acted, well-written or well-directed. For one reason or another, these movies just hit us the right way, in the most subjective way. We spend our lives defending our love for them, sometimes with more passion than we defend ourselves. Perhaps, in a way, because they are a reflection of us, and we know it. But does it matter? No. They are a private pleasure, something that never needs to be explained, apologized for or excused. These are our desert island movies, the ones we can watch a thousand times and never get sick of. Sometimes, our relationships with these movies can provide a barometer for everything else in our lives. “You don’t like Star Wars? Sorry, this just isn’t going to work out.”

Love means never having to explain your love for Showgirls.

It’s time to come out of the closet, everyone, and admit to the titles that we can’t live without, no matter the consequences. It’ll feel good, I promise. I’ll go first.

    My Old Reliables, in no particular order:

Steel Magnolias
Muriel’s Wedding
Runaway Bride
The Godfather, Part II
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Star Wars
Notting Hill
The War of the Roses
The Wedding Singer
Ocean’s Eleven
Office Space
She’s Having A Baby
Funny Girl
Pretty in Pink
Legends of the Fall
St. Elmo’s Fire

There. Now you know my secrets. It’s not logic—it’s love.