I’ve just come back from a rehearsal for my first year production for one of my uni modules. It overran by about half an hour, and it’s safe to say that it was unproductive, and a bit of a disaster. So between that and needing to cram some final revision in for my exam (which is on Wednesday), it’s safe to say that today hasn’t been the best.
Fortunately, as I’m capable of doing with basically anything, there’s an answer for these woes in cinema, and there are many films that I watch that can put a slightly brighter slant onto bad moods, and bad days. So, if like me, you’re currently feeling a tad glum, take a couple of hours out to watch one of these movies, and hopefully you’ll be smiling broadly by the time the credits roll.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I was introduced to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by my mother, and the first time I watched it, I just adored it. The energy, the optimism, Matthew Broderick’s performance, of such charisma, and exuberance that you basically fall in love with him throughout the film.
Perhaps the best thing about Ferris… is that it shows, however ridiculously, between ‘save Ferris’ and the fantastic scene of Broderick singing on the float, that on a good day, a few people can accomplish an awful lot. It’s a film that never stops making me laugh and smile, and, no matter how many times I watch it, those final lines will always stick with me:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”
Manhattan Murder Mystery
I could have picked a lot of Woody Allen films for this list. Something like Bananas or Midnight in Paris really wouldn’t go amiss here. But the thing that Manhattan Murder Mystery has that really appeals, is that it seems that, throughout the film, the cast are having the time of their lives.
It’s the first time Allen and Keaton have collaborated together since Manhatan almost fifteen years earlier. And this is one of their few on-screen romances that doesn’t end with them splitting up. Once the movie ends, they’re both full of energy and it seems, even happier to be together than they were at the beginning.
From it’s almost constantly moving camera to its downright genius set pieces, like using an audition for a fake play and a tape recorder to ensnare a killer, Manhattan Murder Mystery knows exactly what it’s doing, and as a result is a parody of, deconstruction of, and love letter to the crime and noir movies of yesteryear.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Eddie Valiant and Roger Rabbit. Now there’s an odd couple if ever I saw one. A bit like Manhattan Murder Mystery, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? toys with, parodies and de-constructs noir and crime conventions, and it does so with reckless abandon and glee.
A fantastic blend of animation and live-action, the humour is madcap to say the least, with frantic verbal gags, and ludicrous physical comedy thanks to the animated elements, it’s humour that manages to keep a viewer on their toes, no matter how many times you see it. And besides, how can a movie that has the only collaboration between Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse in it fail to put a smile on your face?
Some Like It Hot
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon are a cross-dressing bromance for the ages here, and Marilyn Monroe gives a criminally underrated performance of charm, sexuality and depth.
Any film that’s about two musicians running from the mob in an all female band is likely to merit a smile from the viewer, but Some Like It Hot doesn’t stoop to exploiting that aspect for cheap or degrading laughs. What it manages to do is, in spite of its slightly wacky premise, is inject some genuine warmth into it. After all, who doesn’t recall those ending lines, “nobody’s perfect,” and not find themselves filled with joy?
Singin’ in the Rain
Every time I hear the title song of this classic musical, I will smile from ear to ear until it ends.
All of the films on this list have energy in abundance, but perhaps the one that does more than any other is Singin’ in the Rain. With it’s high-octane, downright brilliant choreography, it manages to inject some life into me even after days that make me want to rip my hair out. Gene Kelly is cool and charismatic with such ease you’re immediately drawn in. And across from him is Donald O’Connor as the.. Eccentric. shall we say, Cosmo. Between the uproariously funny ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’, and taking the instruction “Cosmo, call me a cab,” a little too literally, it’s impossible not to be uplifted by Cosmo, or by the film as a whole.
Also, it has ‘The Broadway Melody,’ one of the best pieces of choreography I’ve ever seen, either on stage or celluloid, and on its own is tempting to me to get a BluRay copy. If I’m not uplifted by Singin’ in the Rain, then something is seriously wrong.