While we’re approaching one of the biggest holidays in the United States, reports of COVID are also on the rise. For most of us, that means we’re staying home, staying six feet apart, and celebrating a family holiday without the family. Perhaps this is a good thing since your family voted for the other guy or you don’t want to get into it with your uncle. But for others, that means losing good quality time with the people you love. It’s a tough time of year when the pandemic has made it difficult for us to get together. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t still meet virtually and watch a good movie or two.
Of course this time of year, I’m always hunting for a holiday movie or two. There’s a few new holiday movies coming out on the streaming services that I will definitely be getting into, but there are also the movies I watch that technically aren’t holiday movies, but always watch during this time of the year. As we approach our big holiday season and traveling to see family is becoming less and less of an option, I just want to spend my days keeping my hopes up and celebrating in the small ways that I can. It’s heartbreaking that I won’t get to see my family this year, but at least I can remember the good times by revisiting some of my favorite films to watch during the holiday season. Here’s what I’m watching for comfort this year:
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
I think this is every reader’s comfort movie. The scenes of them at the ball and having dinners surrounded by candles and chalices filled to the brim with dark red wine. Ah, this movie always brings a comfort. Based off the book written by Jane Austen, what I like about this particular adaptation is that it gets more into the emotions both Mr Darcy and Elizabeth felt for each other. Granted, the 8-part BBC version has those emotions as well, I feel like Mr Darcy in this film had a little bit more soul than Colin Firth’s very stern ‘I love you, most ardently.” It’s the hand flex scene that really sets this movie apart from the original.
Little Women (1995)
I’ve watched the Greta Gerwig version of the film and I thought it was great with some great summer vibes. But the 1995 version with the 90s mega stars including Christian Bale, Winona Ryder, and Susan Sarandon will always hold a sacred place in my heart. It’s not completely true to the novel (neither is 2005 Pride and Prejudice), it’s got the gist of it. But the homliness of family and spending time together during one of the biggest wars in American history, it sounds like something we’re all dealing with nowadays. I also love young Eric Stoltz as John Brook. I just have a mini crush on him is all.
A Little Princess
Something about the directorial style of Alfonso Cuaron and an old story about a young girl who moves from India to America (she’s white, but during the time period, India was occupied by the British) and at the same time losing her father to a massive war being fought in Europe. This is one of the movies and stories from my childhood that dared me to daydream even when everyone is watching. It’s the movie that made me think that there’s tiny bits of magic in the entire world and regardless of race, class, and gender, you can also be a princess in someone’s life. The girl literally lived in an attic space with no warmth or friends. Her reality was way worse than her dreams and yet she’s able to continue to dream despite it. It always made me hopeful especially during my more cynical years.
Paris has a very big soft spot in my heart. I love Paris so much that I’ve been twice! But this movie came out at a time when I was losing the battle with adulthood. I was gaining more responsibilities. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I feel like I’m still trying to figure that out, but when I saw young Amelie take on those responsibilities and even find magic in her little life (magic in the real world is very important to me, if you haven’t figured that out yet), I was transported to a place where I can be a responsible adult and go to the day job and work the 9-5, but also believe that I can make change in this world. The change may be small; it may benefit only one person, but the power of changing one person’s life for the better is far more mystical than changing the lives of thousands at once. It filled my little heart with joy and I continue to try and find little things I can do to make someone else happy.
You’ve Got Mail
Of course I’m going to add some Nora Ephron movies to this list! One of my all-time favorites (that actually has a holiday scene) is You’ve Got Mail. Give me any movie that has books as its main topic and you have me sold. You’ve Got Mail is a timeless one, though and so many of us love watching this movie not only because of its book references, but the people in it. You can’t help but love Kathleen Kelly and be on her side to save her little shop against the Big Bad Fox Books. You also love Joe Fox because despite being a billionaire, he’s kind of cool and relaxed. He’s still the modern-day Jeff Bezos, but I think real Jeff Bezos has a bottom line for a heart.
When Harry Met Sally
Oddly enough, I love watching When Harry Met Sally after the holidays and right before the new year. It’s because the last scene takes place on New Year’s Eve and quite possibly one of my all-time favorite declarations of love. I would have never believed Billy Crystal as a romantic lead, but it works in this film and he’s the kind of romantic lead you want. He’s a bit cynical, not very romantic, but the covnersations he and Meg Ryan’s character have throughout the movie really make him such an interesting character by the end. I even love Meg Ryan with her quirky eating style and constant need to have things done in a certain way. Let’s not even discuss the fake orgasm scene at the deli. lol.
What were some of the comforting movies that supported you through the holidays?