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.)