Scott Weinberg of Cinematical is recovering from oral surgery, which is of course the perfect time to watch some “comfort movies.”
I often say that movies should be rated on two scales — good to bad, of course (and we can debate forever what that means) and “watchability.” Some movies just go down easy for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with whether they are good or classic or smart or creative. And those are movies that are very good when you’re a little bit feverish or achy.
Of course the choice of “comfort movie” is very personal. Each of us has movies that are special to us just because we loved them when we were younger and have seen them so many times. I agree with some of Weinberg’s choices — “Finding Nemo” and “Princess Bride” will cheer anyone up. But while I respect his affection for “King Kong” (the original), “Raising Arizona,” “Lord of the Rings,” and “The Blues Brothers,” those are all too loud and frantic to be my idea of good convalescence watching. I like “Happy Texas” and “Galaxy Quest” and classic musicals like “Bells are Ringing” and “The Music Man.” I also like to watch some of my favorite television shows when I’m sick in bed. 22 minutes is about right for my attention span when I’m feeling sick. “Mad About You,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Sports Night,” “Will and Grace,” “Barney Miller,” “30 Rock” — pure video penicillin. I also like to listen to director commentary tracks when I’m sick, something I don’t usually have time for. I especially love the one for “Charade.”
I have loved movies for as long as I can remember but I first began to think about them when I spent the summer in bed with mononucleosis at age 16. Even though I only had a black and white television with just five channels, it was not a bad way to spend the summer — and not a bad way to learn about movies.