27 August 2008

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

Got the blues? Feeling low down? Depressed? Lonely?

Don't pick up that drink. Stay away from those drugs. Put down that tub of ice cream. Do what I do. Watch a movie!

One route is to watch a great film. Enjoying art at its best is a sure cure for the miseries. But what if your mood is particularly low? Taxi Driver (1976) or Citizen Kane (1941) aren't exactly pick-me-ups. Perhaps instead of Schindler's List (1993) you should try something a little lighter. Okay, here are some recommendations of films guaranteed to wipe away that dark mood and without a concomitant sacrifice of quality.

Duck Soup (1933). Ignore the film's supposed anti-war message and just enjoy the Marx Brothers at their funniest. Chuckles, guffaws and knee-slappers from start to finish.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). Ignore the dark side of Alan Ruck's character and enjoy watching Ferris stick it to the man. Hijinks and two rousing songs during a Chicago parade highlight this laughfest. Get ready to grin.

Footloose (1984). Ignore the social themes about repressing youth. Instead just dig the dancing. In fact you may just want to fast forward to the closing scene where the kids dance to the title song. Go Kevin Bacon!

Some Like It Hot (1959).
Ignore the grisly gangland murders and join Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marylin Monore for this Billy Wilder-directed laugh riot. Warning: your sides may split.

Palm Beach Story (1942). Ignore the confusing ending and beginning. You won't be confused about how funny this film is.

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933). Ignore the film's social themes and revel in the great Busby Berkeley dance numbers. You get to ogle Joan Blondell and laugh along with Guy Kibbee and Aline MacMahon, too.

Top Hat (1935). Ignore the weak story line. You get to enjoy Fred and Ginger, Hollywood's greatest dance team. Indeed just about any of their films together will have your toes tapping.

The Killing Fields (1984). Ignore...wait, this might not be such a good idea. Skip it.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
. (Pictured above.) Nothing to ignore here. The classic screwball comedy features the irrepressible Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, an improbable story line, and a leopard named Baby. The word zany comes to mind.

Animal House (1978). Ignore the scenes of sexploitation and enjoy the original–and still best–frat boy comedy. John Belushi's performance alone is priceless (but the DVD can be bought or rented).

Ninotchka (1939). Ignore the somber look at Soviet Russia and enjoy this classic Lubitsch romantic comedy. The suave Melvyn Douglass and the stunning Gretta Garbo are a toothsome twosome. Garbo talks and laughs and so will you!

Scoop (2006) Ignore the ghosts and enjoy the most recent of Woody Allen's many great comedies. No pretense at social commentary here, just a successful stab at tickling your funny bone.

Bananas (1971). Ignore the depictions of a repressive regime and revolution and enjoy another earlier Allen comedy. This is a comedy with some serious spoofing. Side effects may include uproarious laughter.

Ball of Fire (1941). Ignore the mean old mobsters and enjoy Barbara Stanwyck in one of her most sumptuous roles. Even steady ole Gary Cooper will induce a laugh or six.

Stripes (1981). Ignore the military themes. Enjoy Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy and Warren Oates in one of the smartest slap stick comedies ever made.

(Should symptoms persist after viewing one or more of these films, see your doctor.)


Chief said...

Czecholslovakia? It's like Wisconsin! Zip in, zip out, no problem!

Anonymous said...

90% of those films belong to the 30's and the 80's. Interesting.

(ok, the 35's)

JD said...
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Josh said...

I disagree, I think this is a pretty good list.

Definitely missing "When Harry Met Sally" - but overall I certainly agree in the comfort value of all your picks!

Anonymous said...

I agree,but some of those titles mentioned,are great movies too! But,if i'm feeling blue,I'd watch something completely different.A Mario Bava movie perhaps.www.pughfantastico.com

Anonymous said...

"Joe Versus the volcano" always works for me...

Bodz said...

I like the list!

But I agree that Ghostbusters and Jimmy Stewart need to be included.

Personally, these bring a smile to my face without fail:
1) Groundhog Day
2) Wayne's World 1 + 2
3) The Big Lebowski
4) The Burbs
5) Office Space

But still a good list.

chewynewyork said...

The Shawshank Redemption should really be somewhere on this baby. Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

You forgot Amelie! That movie is the only one I know of that will make me smile no matter what has happened to me. You can't help but grin when you are done watching it.

Yolanda said...

How about ANY Ed Wood film?

They're so incredibly bad you can't help but laugh while watching them!

makyo said...

ball of fire is one of my all-time favorite movies. the cast is spectacular. in that vein i would also add desk set, an oft-overlooked hepburn/tracy gem from the fifties.

Anonymous said...

Did the link to this say these movies are an "anecdote" to the blues?

Antidote, amigo.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with this list! However I find either Duck Soup or O Brother Where Art Thou to be the ultimate cures.

Anonymous said...

Agree wholeheartedly with Joe Vs. The Volcano. The sure fire movie cure for being down in the dumps is the Muppet Movie. Not the sequels, the original. You will feel better guaranteed!

Catherine said...

The Princess Bride always brightens my day. Also Bill & Ted or Wayne's World.

Jonathan said...

The Wizard of Oz!

Anonymous said...

In no particular order....Gross Point Blank - The Philadelphia Story - Other Peoples Money - McLintock - ....One of these usually does it for me.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but if we are supposed to "ignore" themetic elements of the films to be happy, then maybe they are not the best choices to begin with?

Anonymous said...

"No offense, but if we are supposed to "ignore" themetic elements of the films to be happy, then maybe they are not the best choices to begin with?"

Does the phrase, "tongue in cheek" ring a bell?

Tongue-in-cheek is a term used to refer to humor in which a statement, or an entire fictional work, is not meant to be taken seriously, but its lack of seriousness is subtle. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "Ironic, slyly humorous; not meant to be taken seriously".

Anonymous said...

Not a bad list but I hated "Ferris Bueller Day off", especially Ferrris Bueller himself. What an obnoxious spoiled brat.

And eh Footloose ?

Anonymous said...

My personal-cure-for-the-blues movies are:

My Cousin Vinny
Midnight Run

Pamcasso said...

it probably seems a saccharine choice, but It's A Wonderful Life always renews my hope in the world:)

Anonymous said...

I agree that Amelie is a happy pill in movie form. Also, Harold and Maude , Mind The Gap, any John Hughes movie, Wayne's World 1 & 2, Help! Rock N' Roll High School, Rushmore, Pillow Talk, I'm Reed Fish, Grease, Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, Be Kind Rewind, Roll Bounce, Young Frankenstein all make my grey skies blue again. Yay!

A Braunsdorf said...

Run Lola Run always works for me, but maybe that's just me. :-)

Apathygrrl said...

Movies that really do the trick for me are:
The Princess Bride
The Naked Gun
The Truman Show
Shaun of the Dead (this movie makes me laugh so hard i can hardly breathe)
Wayne's World
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Empire Records
Galaxy Quest
Ever After
and pretty much any episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (especially the movie)

Mynock said...

Just a couple of many that should have made the cut in my opinion...

Any Mel Brooks
Any Monty Python
Wedding Singer
True Romance (just makes me happy)
Pirates of Caribbean (1st only)
Super Troopers
Evil Dead Trilogy
Get Shorty
Mars Attacks (ACK! ACK!)

could go on and on really...

mynock said...

oh...and i wholeheartly have to agree with ALL of the ones listed by apathygrrl

David Hollingsworth said...

Some of my own favorites:

My Man Godfrey
Young Frankenstein
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Best In Show

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jonathan: The Wizard of Oz!!! Also, Napolean Dynamite, it's just sooo abd you have to laugh. Most Disney movies also seem to brighten my day. But not Bambi. Bambi is depressing.

kiarash said...
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Anonymous said...

Jimmy Stewart's work in "Harvey" never fails to make me smile.

silverin said...

Guys and Dolls makes the sun shine on me.

Anonymous said...

HAHA whoever said shawshank redemption forgot about the suicide theme i guess

Mr. Placebo said...

My favorite comedies, ever:
-Johnny Dangerously
-Blazing Saddles
-History of the World Part One

My favorite movie to watch when I'm feeling blue

-Evil Dead 2

namboodman said...

Great list!
Here are a few more:

What's Up,Doc?
THe Lady Eve
Sixteen Candles
Annie Hall
Hannah and Her Sisters
plus one obscure classic which contains my favorite comedic drunk scene, courtesy of Henry Fonda, who should've made many more comedies; he was a true natural in:
The Male Animal

Richard Hourula said...

Thank you for recognizing The Male Animal. Terrific film.

Megan said...

I like to watch Band of Brother when I am feeling down.