Thursday, September 6, 2012

Comfort Cinema

Fall always invites images of pumpkin spice lattes, changing leaves, sweaters, and pecan pie. The general theme of nearly everything related to fall is comfort. Comfort food in particular is often a topic of the season that is the launching pad to the holiday whirlwind. Comfort cinema is another way to enjoy and appreciate those crisper fall days. Here are some ways to welcome the cool weather by snuggling under a blanket on the couch and turning up the nostalgia factor with your remote control.

Comfort Cinema
What classifies as comfort cinema varies by season (ex. I love Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre but the former is a spring favorite; the latter a winter pick) and, of course, individual. These movies are just a few of the films that I seem to yearn for every time the weather changes. Watching each one is like visiting an old friend and I am always eager to see them again.

Little Women (1994)
Even this image of the March sisters comforts me. I reread the book every fall and vacillate between believing I am Jo, Meg & Amy. I also would absolutely subscribe to the Pickwick Papers and accept any and all marriage proposals from Laurie (hence, the identification with Amy).

Anne of Avonlea (1987)
What is more comforting than Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley finally pledging their love to one another in the midst of a day of apple picking? Really, try to find one thing...

You've Got Mail (1998)
I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if  I knew your name and address.
There are also references to twirling, children's books, pumpkins, Christmas trees with ruby slippers and repeated trips to Starbucks. I often try to recreate the feeling I get from watching this movie by visiting Cafe Lalo or wandering the Upper West Side. Sometimes (meaning usually), only the movie can do the trick.

Rudy (1993)
I am not a huge football fan but I challenge anyone to watch this movie and not root for Rudy to make it onto the Notre Dame football field. I cry every single time and so does my father and I am willing to bet his tears are not a result of just really loving the game of football.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)
 This movie almost did not make the list but then I realized I was excluding it only because I had recently posted about both You've Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally for my Nora Ephron tribute. I could not delete a movie so deserving of comfort cinema status merely because it has appeared here previously. This movie made me realize that one of the most important aspects of finding someone to date in New York City is so that you have someone to help you lug your Christmas tree down the street.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Yellow cabs, little black dresses, a writer who doesn't write, a cat named writing it seems so bland but in reality it is as sparkling as the jewelry at Tiffanys and as comforting as Holly and "Fred"'s final embrace in the rain.

The Cutting Edge (1992)
Hockey star and ice princess: two different backgrounds and one Olympic goal. 
My sisters and I used to watch this movie over and over again. The remakes and sequels are terrible but the original can brighten even the gloomiest day.

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)
Based on the true story of Senora Webster,a girl who participated in a carnival act during the Great Depression in which she dove from high towers on horseback into a pool of water below. The depression-era setting, the obstacles everyone in the movie must overcome and the love story that triumphs in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity (it's Hollywood but it's based on a true story!) makes this a movie to watch over and over again.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Judy, Judy, Judy...she met her future husband,Vincent Minnelli on this film and sang some of her most memorable songs (ahem...Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas) but she is not even close to the only reason to love this classic movie. Margaret O'Brien, long thought to be the scene stealer of the fictional St. Louis family in her role as Tutti, the brightly colored period costumes, the "gee whiz" language and a particularly amusing scene with a long-distance telephone call all make this movie a joy to watch again and again and again and...well, you get the picture. Garland did not want to make this movie because she felt there was no story but later admitted it was an amazing addition to her repertoire because although there is no action at the heart of it, there is a loving family living life and that element alone creates endless scenarios for the audience to relate to their own life (although perhaps in the real world we have less musical numbers).

Comfort Food
 Gourmet Popcorn

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Pumpkin Fudge

Mulled Wine


Faux Fur Throw


Pendleton Sweater

Pixie Pant

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