5 Comfort Movies for When You Feel Down
Ryan Duncan Crosswalk.com blogspot for ChristianMovieReviews.com and Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment and Culture editor
- 2015 Aug 14
Five years ago, I packed my life into the back of an ancient white minivan and moved from my childhood home in Chicago to start a new job in Richmond. I had just graduated college and was eager to begin living as an independent adult, but I had no idea how difficult those next few months would be for me. I didn’t have any friends in Richmond, my family was far away, and despite searching, I couldn’t seem find the right Church. It wasn’t long before loneliness set in, and all the bad things that come with it. So to combat these dark moments, I started a tradition: Once a week I would make a huge bowl of spaghetti (my favorite meal) and sit down to watch Howl’s Moving Castle.
Howl’s Moving Castle is an animated film about a young woman’s encounter with a wily wizard, and for some reason it always managed to cheer me up. Maybe it was the whimsical nature of the story, or the colorful design of its characters. All I know is, the film became a source of comfort for me. We all find ourselves in difficult circumstances from time to time, and it’s nice to have a certain movie that can help us smile when we do. So if you ever happen to be feeling sad, why not try putting on one of these five comfort movies?
The Princess Bride
Dread pirates, sword fighting, heroic rescues, true love, this movie has it all. Whether it’s the dizzying battle of wits against Vizzini, or the most awkward wedding in all of history, this story-within-a-story is bound to get you grinning. It’s not just humor that makes The Princess Bride so encouraging though, the message that true love can endure and overcome life’s trials is one Christians should take to heart. Throw in some strong themes of courage, camaraderie, and redemption, and it’s no wonder this movie is considered a classic. Anything less would be inconceivable!
For those who don’t know, Maverick is an old western about a wisecracking gambler named Bret Maverick who hopes to win the nation’s biggest five-card draw poker tournament. Though Christians may take issue with the gambling portion of the movie, there is no denying Maverick is a light-hearted tale that’s just plain fun to watch. The misadventures of Maverick and his two friends as they endeavor to reach their intended goal are both comical and poignant. In a way, they remind us that all big dreams take work to accomplish. Not to mention that, even on bad days, God can find a way to see you through.
Whether it’s the old animated version or Disney’s recent live-action remake, Cinderella is just one of those stories that encourages it’s viewer to have faith. While Cinderella herself is often accused of being a weak role model, the reality is she’s probably the most human of all the Disney princesses. Like so many of us, Cinderella is just an ordinary person caught in a difficult situation. She tries her best to have courage, be kind, and trust that tomorrow will be a better day. That kind of hope and perseverance is something we all should strive for.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Is that the clip-clop of coconuts I hear? In this madcap adventure, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table set out to find the Holy Grail, but really, that’s just a pretext for Monty Python to do what it does best. From killer rabbits, to angry Frenchmen, to knights who say “Ni”, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a ridiculous piece of cinema that has nonetheless found a place among many viewers’ favorite films. If you’ve already seen it, than you know what I mean. If not, well, what are you waiting for?
Literally Any Pixar Movie (except maybe Cars)
Pixar movies are a masterwork of raw emotion. They draw on experiences nearly everyone can relate to; being an outcast, feeling alone, losing someone you love, before showing us how suffering makes us into the person we are. They encourage us to dream, to embrace our emotions, and remind us that “there is a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4)”. Who can forget first met first time Remy made ratatouille, or Flik standing up to Hopper, or Carl and Ellie’s life together? When life gets you down, turn on a Pixar movie and remember Dory’s advice, “Just keep swimming!”
What about you? What is your comfort movie?