“What on Earth is a comfort movie?” I hear you ask.
While trying to come up with a decent definition, I found this article over at Piddleville that described it best by saying that “in some ways, it’s best defined by what it is not.” It’s most likely not a cinematic masterpiece to most critics. It hasn’t won fifty awards. It’s not overly dramatic; it doesn’t make you dwell on the past or get worried about your future choices. It doesn’t make you think about the meaning of life. In fact, it probably doesn’t make you think at all.
A comfort movie is that which makes you feel warm inside, all fuzzy and smiley even when you’re having the worst day, and your cat just destroyed your favorite pair of slippers. There is no real drama when it comes to comfort movies. They probably won’t make you cry – or, at least, they’re not supposed to. It depends on where you’re at emotionally, I guess. A comfort movie is that which you keep coming back to whenever the tide of your life is going bananas, like a sailor who’s returning home.
It does not have anything to do with its ratings. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t even a candidate to the Oscars. Or even the Teen Choice Awards. You just love it, and it improves your mood exponentially no matter what. Maybe it’s a movie you used to watch as a kid and brings back all kinds of lovely memories. Maybe it’s a 90’s romantic comedy where the outfits they wear are so adorably ridiculous that it makes you laugh. Maybe it’s staring at young Paul Rudd’s beautiful face that does it for you. All I know is that, whatever your movie of choice is, it provides you with a certain feeling of comfort that nothing else does.
Here’s a list of some of my comfort movies!
- Pitch Perfect (2012)
Look, I watched this movie a long time ago, but I re-watched it a couple of weeks ago and realized I could keep coming back to it every single day. I’ve seen it twice in the last week and (spoilers ahead, stop here!) Becca and Jesse’s kiss at the end still makes me swoon.Do you know what’s great about musical movies? There is a soundtrack that you can either buy or Spotify it, and it will be your most faithful companion. You don’t even need to watch the movie to feel at home.
- Clueless (1995)
When I was a child (I was born in 1993), this film was on television so often that I just thought it was a TV show. Of course, I watched it every single time. To this day I still don’t know how I never realized I was watching the same scenes over and over again. Baby Tania was just a confused child.There are several things I just LOVE about Clueless: the iconic fashion, Cher’s hair, her friendship with her two best friends, Paul Rudd playing the super nice guy who works for the girl’s father and still gets the girl (because he’s freaking Paul Rudd, that’s why) and the infinity of gif-able moments. It makes me smile every time and makes me feel all warm inside.
- A Cinderella Story (2004)
There is just something insanely heart-warming about early 2000’s Hilary Duff and her career choices. Sam Montgomery is bae. I don’t care that much about Austin Ames because, let’s face it, I don’t particularly like Chad Michael Murray, but you just really want Sam to be happy. And you’re just so satisfied with the ending. Even if you ended up dramatically reenacting that scene where she tells him waiting for him is just like waiting for rain in that drought: useless and disappointing. My poor, poor baby Sam.
- Mighty Joe Young (1998)
I was never one of those girls that was into princesses and super girly stuff. My favorite movie was whatever had an animal in it. That’s why it’s no surprise that the one I’ve probably watched the most times in my life is Mighty Joe Young, starring Charlize Theron and a big ass gorilla – Joe. Jill and Joe both lost their moms to the same vile hunter on the same night, so they grew up together, to the point that they didn’t have anyone else. Joe was constantly in danger. The film is all about Joe’s journey to a reservation in Los Angeles (with his gal pal Jill, of course), where he is not really comfortable – especially when the mean man who murdered his gorilla mother shows up again.Seriously, it makes me emotional every time. I love animals so much it’s stupid.
- Legally Blonde (2001)
Again, I watched this movie back when it came out and then again when I was a teenager. I liked it, but it never really spoke to me. About a month ago, however, I watched this with a friend and oh boy. Oh boy. What a lesson in empowerment. Live your life like Elle Woods did when her stupid ex-boyfriend said she wasn’t smart enough for Harvard Law School. I hate ex-boyfriends.
- The Holiday (2006)
Anyone who’s familiar with this movie will tell you the exact same thing: when it’s over, you don’t know whether you want to move to a huge mansion in Los Angeles or a small cottage in the heart of England. It’s like everyone’s problems, no matter how big, could be solved in the film’s locations. Cameron Diaz is the successful Hollywood trailer creator who is not doing that well in her personal life. Kate Winslet is basically another version of Bridget Jones. And they both manage to find happiness and make you happy.
- Mean Girls (2004)
Let’s face it: Mean Girls is the ultimate teen movie. Whether you’re a teen right now or not, chances are you probably love this movie. In the last few years, it has become an Internet phenomenon and I, for one, am not even a little bit surprised. While it was funny enough when it came out, it has become an iconic portrait of the most exaggerated high school experience in the 2000’s. Confess: you have probably quoted Mean Girls in the last month. It’s unavoidable.
What are your comfort films? Any of the ones we mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below or via Twitter at @TalkNerdyWithUs – we can all use some Comfort Films inspiration sometimes!