Thursday, January 05, 2012

Comfort watching

It may seem like all I do is read! Actually that's a ton of what I do, but occasionally I do watch things too! Lately I've had a spell of not being able to sit thru anything new. That will pass--I've been in that valley before. I have favorite movies and tv shows that "comfort" me, allow me to relax, to breathe a little easier. And, that help tide me over in periods of loneliness.

I also listen--and not only to books. On Monday I was without an audio book so I caught up on the news by listening to N.P.R. on the way into work. "Morning Edition" had a delightful interview with film maker Mike Mills that resonated with me in so many ways.

There's some movies I watch, they're kind of like my anti-anxiety pill, my anti-depressant pill. I watch them at least once or twice a month probably.

Someone who "gets it!!" I did one of those stupid-over-used- YES!-fist-pumps, nearly swerved the car into a window company truck and smiled all the rest of the way to work! While Mills' list is nothing like mine, I loved that the Humphrey Bogart movies were apparently a sort of subliminal emulation of his mother who frequently said that in her next life she'd marry Bogart. He even used the delightful phrase "Bogartean hats" which makes me think of in terms of my favorite movies that I think of or say in certain situations. How many dull meetings have I visualized the Calendar Girls (approximately 1:10 in the clip below) trying to stay awake for the history of rugs or cauliflower? [Admit it, you've sat thru meetings or sermons where you had to be nudged to clap or smile or whatever was expected at the end, right? And, yes! I DO appreciate how hard it is to get good speakers on a nothing budget.]

"Aw, Thank God! For a minute there I thought it was going to be dull!"

What movies like "Calendar Girls," or "Steel Magnolias" or shows such as "Keeping Up Appearances" or "As Times Goes by" (or even my favorite child-torturing royal documentaries) do is remind me through their familiar lines and images, and sometimes even their story lines, of connection--of friends and caring. They take away the loneliness of being an adult living somewhere new (even after almost 4 years) and trying to forge new friendships not supplement the older, tried and true but now long-distance ones.

Here are a few of my favorite "comfort" shows or movies:

Steel Magnolias
Calendar Girls
Keeping Up Appearances
As Time Goes By
That Touch of Mink
The Grass is Greener
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Father Goose
In Harm's Way (when I miss my Dad)
Sabrina (the original version with Bogart)
The Trouble With Angels and Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows
Yours, Mine and Ours (either version)
Auntie Mame or Mame
Parent Trap (either version) (funny, all 3 of us will pull this one out)
Alvin and the Chipmunks (always with one child who'd die if the name was revealed)
Billy Elliot

There are others, but those are the main ones. And, yes, I have favorite books that give me the same lift, too. I've posted most of them elsewhere.

Loneliness is often a fault of my own though. I'm shy--yes, shy, especially on the phone. And, with 2 exceptions in the entire world, there is no one I'd be comfortable dropping in on. The phone is the same way for me--that's why I like texting and emails. As a single parent loneliness also comes from not wanting to put my needs first--or not making time to do that. Some times favorite movies, books or music can fill that ache. I do now have a few friends locally that I text and see at Church, but often there's no time to get together when we're all moms and mostly single ones to boot. My long-distance friends ARE there for me, but sometimes films are a nice salve on my mood.

How about you? Anything you re-read, re-watch or listen to over and over as a comfort measure? Leave your favorites in a comment. Who knows? Maybe you'll lead me to a new favorite!


Leonie said...

I will hanker after the Meet the Austins series by Madeleine L'engle or The Nun's Story (book and movie) or In This House of Brede (Rumer Godden).. Or anything with Hayley Mills!,

Becky said...

I love BBC period dramas...Pride & Prejudice, Middlemarch, Our Mutual Friend, Bleak House, etc. I never tire of watching them!

I also enjoy Keeping Up Appearances, tho my husband can't stand it!

Susan said...

I love this post! It makes me think, and I'm honestly not sure I have 'comfort' books or movies I go to over and over. I like the idea, though. I would imagine it *is* very difficult as a single mom to make new friends. One thing that surprised (and to be honest really disturbed me) was the different reaction I got when visiting churches as a single vs. when I visited with my husband back when we were dating. When I was single, it was like I didn't exist. Once I was with him, I was part of a couple and had validity. It's so many kinds of wrong ...

Hopewell said...

Leonie--ALL excellent choices. Becky--a lot of men don't "get" that show....we're simply higher beings than they are when it comes to tv!

Susan: "When I was single, it was like I didn't exist. Once I was with him, I was part of a couple and had validity." AMEN--I often say the hardest thing I do every week is go to Church. At one nationally-known mega Church when I asked about Sunday School I was handed a catalog to chose from until they learned my husband wasn't parking the car in the back 40. Then I was directed to the 2 singles classes--one for single women, one for 20-somethings.....

dstb said...

I've seen Calendar Girls, Steel Magnolias, Four Weddings, Parent Trap, and Billy Elliot.

Right now I am drawing a complete blank on "comfort" movies or shows (BTW, it is my husband that likes Keeping Up Appearances - maybe because he lived in London for a year).

I don't know if I would call these comfort movies, but I have enjoyed the following movies/shows:
Waking Ned Devine
Saving Grace
The Full Monty
Brassed Off
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Hamish MacBeth
Monarch of the Glen
Freaks & Geeks
The Wonder Years

Last week we had some extra viewing time, so we watched some movies we hadn't seen in ages including Breaking Away and Stand By Me.

We also watched the relatively new movie called Super 8. It got four thumbs up (out of 4) in our family. We're probably going to watch The Help tonight.

Seems like I can't leave a short comment.

Hopewell said...

dstb: I went to IU so of course "Breaking Away" is a favorite! "Englishman Who Went..." is great and so too is the "Full Monty"!!

I'm a child of the 60s so Wonder Years I could see the "modernizations" that occasionally slipped in, but I did enjoy it at first.

"Monarch" was on A/E while I was in Grad School so I didn't see much of it--I should get it on dvd some time!

becky said...

Monarch of the Glen is available on netflix to watch instantly...hubby & I got mostly through season 1. We enjoyed it but then started in on Lost and it's pretty addictive! We'll get back to Monarch one of these days.

Netflix has all sorts of British shows and movies to watch instantly...enough to keep me busy for quite awhile!

Hopewell said...

I used to get a lot of shows from Netflix on dvd. We just got a Wii and plan to do the instant for a change.