Whenever I’m having a bad day, I resort to lounging around on the sofa, accompanied by a goody bag of junk food, and a good old movie to escape into for a few hours. The majority of us are guilty of these days but if you’re not, consider this a guide of how to cheer yourself up. Whether a heart warming romance, or a family classic, films have a magical way of distracting us from our own lives, and may even leave us feeling inspired or optimistic.As a film junkie, I know which films work a treat in these types of situations, and one of my personal favourites is The Notebook. I have never experienced such an emotional response to a film as I have with this one, going from catching myself smiling at the TV, to feeling a lump in my throat; this romantic drama explores realistic situations, and misfortune. Set in the 1940’s, the film focuses on the relationship between working class Noah Calhoun and upper-class Allie who fall madly in love. Although like every couple they go through their ups and downs, but the couple also face disapproval from Allie’s parents. The story is narrated by an elderly man in the present, reading the story to an elderly lady in a nursing home; ‘I read to her and she remembers’. No matter what complications the couple face, all we want is for them to be together, and by seeing how they overcome all their struggles, and stick by each other through tough times, the film is a real eye-opener, and leaves you feeling very optimistic. For our book loving readers, this may also be one for you, as it is based on Nicholas Spark’s novel, also named The Notebook. ‘Behind every great love is a great story.’
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a good one for those going through a break-up. Staring How I Met Your Mother’s Jason Segel and comedy genius Russell Brand, this film is full of non-stop comedy. Although we do sympathise with Segel’s character, Peter, who is heartbroken over his breakup from his long-term partner, his feelings are explored in a comical way, rather than through drama. I find this to be very uplifting, as following his path to moving on and finding new unexpected love, we watch Pete’s journey through awkward encounters during unexpected bar performances, and bumping into his ex and her new lover on his post break-up recovery holiday.
For those of you who enjoy watching films with your kids, or even those like myself who are guilty of enjoying a Disney movie themselves, Up is one of my all-time favourite animations. If an animation can make me cry, it is certainly doing a great job at bringing a story to life, and yes, I am guilty at shedding a tear or two at this one. Be taken back into a world of fantasy and make-believe – an old man lifting his house into the clouds, to follow his deceased wife’s dreams of visiting and moving her abandoned club house to Paradise Falls. The old man, Carl, appears grumpy, lonely and unsociable – still heart-broken from the death of his childhood sweetheart, but there is light at the end of the tunnel when his life is turned around for the better by the unexpected meeting of a young explorer, who he forms a different type of love with, over a journey of adventure. After his wife having a miscarriage, he missed the opportunity to build a family, but this gap in his life is filled as he bonds with the young Russell.
As a nineties child I was a big fan of the high school chic-flicks, and Clueless is a film I grew up with and loved. The film follows the conventional high school clichés, and focuses on the rich pretty girl who is the popular one at school. Rather than focusing on her school work, she enjoys to create her own little missions such as transforming the unpopular newbie into becoming popular and well-presented like herself. During these missions, she manipulates her teachers into giving her higher grades in ways such as setting two teachers up. Distracted by focusing her attention on others, Cher becomes oblivious to her own love-life, as we watch her relationship blossom with a particular character unexpectedly.
This final film may be before my time but you can’t beat a classic! Dirty Dancing is filled with upbeat music, non-stop dancing, romance and iconic scenes such as the lift in the final dance. This film is known and loved by most. Following ‘Baby’, a timid young girl who is expected to live by her father’s expectations, we watch as her personality blossoms, similarly to her relationship with Johnny, her accidental dance partner. Usually being a good girl and obeying her father, after filling in for the resort’s dance teacher’s ill regular partner, Baby learns to make her own decisions by defying her father’s demand to stay away from the dancers and fulfilling her own dreams. If you’re searching for something upbeat and inspirational, this is definitely one to watch.
Written by Christina Cooper