Six comfort movies as finals season approaches


Photo courtesy of IMDb

Some movies will always comfort you — over and over and over again — until you sink ever so slowly into oblivion. Now, if you are a film enthusiast who finds comfort in cinematic masterpieces while over-analyzing how the director’s choice of lighting relates to the protagonist’s growth story, this article is not for you. Comfort movies, to me at least, are not necessarily cinematic masterpieces. They do not need top-notch cinematography or a plot that makes sense. They do not need to change my view of the world around me. Or make me ask the big questions. Or make me dwell on life’s purpose in relation to the ever-expanding universe. The sole function of comfort movies is to envelop me in a numbing feeling of happiness, blocking out the rest of the world’s problems. 

Comfort movies are the light at the end of a bad day. They are what to watch when you stain your favorite sweater. Or are drowning in chem homework. Or experience a series of minor inconveniences. They are that friend that will always have your back. Maybe it is the movie you watched with your parents where you actually managed to not argue for the whole two-hour duration. Or the cheesy romance with the best ‘80s fashion that makes you forget you have not touched another human being in the past year. Maybe it is watching the hand scene in Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time just for that extra boost of serotonin. Whatever it is, you love it and it makes you feel all gooey and fuzzy inside.

Comfort movies can be guilty pleasures — and generally are. Do not feel the need to stick to your usual favorite genre. Diehard horror fan? Maybe try out a soft rom-com while binge-eating marshmallows without shame. 

To get you started, here is a list of my personal favorites: 

Courtesy of Paramount

Clueless (1995)

Staring at Paul Rudd’s face… Do I need to say more? Whether it is Cher’s immaculate wardrobe a girl can only dream about or her iconic blowout, the look of this movie perfectly captures the ‘90s chic buried in all our lookbooks. A few things to love about this movie: Cher’s heart-warming friendships with Dionne and Tai, the teen queen behavior, the witty lines and its ability to embrace “girly things”. But Tai’s truly inspiring dialogue “you’re a virgin who can’t drive” is really the cherry on top. You simply can’t watch this movie just once. 

Courtesy of Universal Studios

Legally Blonde (2001)

Live every day like Elle Woods. Bonehead’s boyfriend breaks up with you because you’re not “smart enough”, so you get into Harvard Law, forget about him, unravel a murder case, and then go on to fight animal testing (and win) in a sequel while maintaining a strong sense of self. Power moves only. This move is just as empowering as it is pink. 

“You got into Harvard Law?”

“What, like it’s hard?”

Courtesy of MGM

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Perhaps any film based on Jane Austen is a comfort movie. Regency era costumes. The luscious image of rolling green hills. Keira Knightley. The slow burn enemies to lovers romance between Darcy and Elizabeth. Jane and Mr. Bingley’s love at first sight. This movie has perfected all three elements to a universal favorite comfort movie — romance, comedy, and sarcasm. 

Courtesy of IMDb

Wild Child (2008)

An important fact about comfort movies: They do NOT need the best ratings. Wild Child has a scarce 41% on Rotten Tomatoes which fails to accurately represent its unique ability to take all my pain away. Emma Roberts plays Poppy, a spoiled American teen, who is sent to an all-girl boarding school in England after pulling one too many shenanigans. This film explores friendship, drama, and teen romance with a phenomenal soundtrack. 

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Home Alone (1990)

As quarantine blends into a daily cycle of a five-second commute from bed to desk to bed again and an occasional exotic hike to the … (drumroll please) kitchen. Home Alone is sure to bring back some sense of normalcy from the outside world if hearing the phrase “unprecedented times” in another school email is too much for you right now. 

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Lemonade Mouth (2011)

Throwback to all our childhoods with this teen drama musical centering around rebellion, camaraderie, and, of course, lemonade. Let’s face it: we have all secretly blasted Naomi Scott’s “She’s So Gone” in our room at two in the morning screaming the words into a hairbrush at our imaginary ex-boyfriend giving our stuffed animals a free concert. No, just me? Anyways, this movie is a sleepover must-have that stabilizes your mood by reminding you of simpler times. 

Previously I mentioned how a comfort movie is not necessarily a cinematic masterpiece. This is where I must invalidate that statement after looking through this list of movies — Legally Blonde, Clueless, Pride and Prejudice, etc. These movies are the special gems to which no other cheap rip-off could ever compare to. Solitary classics. 

The truth is the list goes on. There is no shortage of comfort movies. Find what works for you. Feeling a sense of impending doom? Open that Netflix tab, get your popcorn buttered, sit back, relax and enjoy the show. 

Forget about that English literature paper till tomorrow.