Elaine at the movies: Winter Pick-me-ups

Elaine Blum

Welcome to that part of winter term when everyone is tired of the lack of sunlight, negative temperatures, increasing stress, lack of sleep and midterms. If you are anything like me, you probably need to find a few pick-me-ups to make it through to spring term. Here are some different types of movies that might help.
A childhood favorite: Revisiting a favorite from your younger days is not only a good trip down memory lane, but also a good way to see things that you missed the first few times around. Classic Disney films, for example, are filled with witty jokes that soar above the heads of younger crowds, yet now you can fully appreciate the humor. When revisiting “Beauty and the Beast,” I actually understood jokes such as Cogsworth’s “If it’s not baroque, don’t fix it.” Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed the satirical hilarity that is Gaston. Other recommendations for childhood favorites: “The Neverending Story,” “Aladdin,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” and “Hercules.”
A Pixar flick: I do not know anyone who can honestly say that a Pixar film does not bring a smile to his/her face. Each Pixar film is witty, well-written, happy, and the humor is suited to all ages. Furthermore, the animated shorts that accompany each feature offer ample entertainment even after multiple viewings. My personal favorite, “For the Birds,” never fails to brighten my day. Other excellent shorts include “Presto” and “Geri’s Game.” These animated shorts are a quick, guaranteed way to get a laugh. For feature films, I highly recommend “Monsters, Inc.,” “The Incredibles,” and “Finding Nemo.”
A romantic comedy: Occasionally it hits the spot just right to see everything work out picture-perfect — especially if it does so without gag-me clichés or being too predictable. The power-hitter of unique romantic comedies has to be “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” Bridget is quirky, awkward and often puts her foot in her mouth — and she still manages to get the guy in the end. “Music and Lyrics” also showcases a unique plot, hilarious beginning music video, and completely satisfying finish. Other stellar romantic comedies: “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Funny Girl.”
A laugh-out-loud comedy: Sometimes the best pick-me-up comes in the form of the mindless, ridiculous, low-brow comedy. For these times, I often screen Ben Stiller and/or Will Ferrell movies. Notable works: “Mystery Men,” “Zoolander,” “Old School,” and “Blades of Glory.” Other comedies tend less towards the ridiculous, yet provide just as many quotable lines. For crude-free hilarity, I highly recommend “Heavyweights” and “Cool Runnings.” For catchy, energetic, comical musical numbers, I recommend “The Producers.” I particularly suggest keeping an eye out for the number “Keep It Gay.”
There are numerous other films that cheer me up and I could easily fill a whole column with merely naming them all. However, my most important advice for de-stressing film viewing is to find a flick that will make you laugh. Furthermore, find a good friend with which to watch. Not only is viewing more friendly with two or more, but you can then later quote memorable lines for additional laughs.