Movies from before things went viral.
Now is not the time to confront reality. I mean you can if you want to but don’t come cryin’ to me when you realize Twitter is what’s keeping the Xanax manufacturers thriving. No, now is a time for fantasy, a time for make-believe. A time to transport yourself somewhere else and shut off the part of your brain that the zombies find delicious. It is time, my friends, to watch the movies.
But not just any movies. I don’t know what kind of gluttons for punishment are making Outbreak and Contagion trend on Netflix but can y’all not? Why do you feel the need to make fantasy match reality? Wanna watch a movie about filing your taxes next? Good lord.
Below, a list of movies specifically chosen for their ability to keep your blood pressure within healthy margins. There’s no suspense, stress, or complicated plot lines to speak of. These are easy movies. They are calm, relaxed, and they don’t reference the internet. Lots of people are wearing cardigans. They’re the cinematic versions of a box of Mac-n-Cheese and you’re welcome.
You’ve Got Mail: Starting out strong for my New Yorkers currently standing on line at Trader Joe’s thinking social distancing somehow doesn’t apply to that activity. If you can make it through this film without buying school supplies on Amazon I applaud you. Also I feel like Meg Ryan is just a healing presence right now.
Notting Hill: AKA British You’ve Got Mail. Witty, but not aggressively so, relaxed because no one has a cell phone, and trustworthy because Julia Roberts is in it. This is one of our true no-brainers when it comes to quarantine classics.
Julie & Julia: A bit newer in time and thus does reference the internet a bit (forgive it), there is something monumentally soothing about this movie. Maybe it’s the butter, I don’t know.
Stealing Beauty: Ideal for anyone who dreams of the Italian countryside or a wardrobe like that of a young Liv Tyler. If residences like this really exist, that’s where I’m going when this is over.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: For those in need of something ridiculously funny and relatable. Watching this for the first time, I remember feeling like all of our families were being given permission to be themselves. And honestly, he’s not wrong about the Windex.
Kissing Jessica Stein: A sleeper 90s film (so much so that I couldn’t find a good gif for it), would you believe I watch this for the fashion and decor? It’s a very transporting movie, especially if you live in New York, have a Jewish mother, or appreciate quirky soundtracks.
10 Things I Hate About You: We were never going to make it through this without a 90s teen movie based on classic literature of the past, and believe you me there is more coming. Julia Stiles’ badassery and bedroom decor are precisely what we need to ignore what’s happening on earth.
A League Of Their Own: Skip the Betty Spaghetti part. Do you hear me?? SKIP IT. Also this gif is my forever mood.
Amelie: What we need right now, is some poetry. Also the subtitles will prevent you from second-screening Twitter on your phone. Fun fact: This soundtrack was my most-listened to music of the last decade, according to Spotify.
When Harry Met Sally: If you can’t leave the house, let Harry and Sally walk and talk all over NYC and do it for you. The 1980s soundtrack will also make you feel like maybe you need to go to old school cocktail bars more often.
The Life Aquatic: A movie that takes this much time to explain itself visually is nothing short of meditative during these difficult days. You can actually watch any Wes Anderson film you like, but this one is one of my favorites to stare at as if looking into the abyss.
Grumpy Old Men & Grumpier Old Men: These films doesn’t get enough attention if you ask me. They’re hysterical, feature one of the greatest comedic duos of all time, and are basically a franchise designed to let Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau hang out with Ann Margaret and Sophia Loren for awhile. Genius.
Pride & Prejudice: Save us, literary period drama, save us.
Empire Records: If you were born in the early 80s and this is not one of your favorite films of all time get out of my house.
Dazed And Confused: In my home, this and Empire Records are something of a boxed set. I love a good ensemble cast with a solid wardrobe and an epic soundtrack, I guess. And yes that’s two Rory Cochrane gifs in a row.
The Royal Tenenbaums: A uniquely superior film, even within the Wes Anderson archive, for achieving both visual and plot mastery. Also his wielding of an ensemble cast is like none I’ve ever known. They are his orchestra.
Pirate Radio: I don’t think any of you have seen this film and I really want you to watch it right now. It’s in my top ten movies of all time in terms of soundtrack and my top three of all time in terms of dream jobs.
Something To Talk About: It’s a movie with Julia Roberts and Kyra Sedgwick and there are horses and it’s titled after a Bonnie Raitt song what else do I need to say to you??
Return To Me: I think maybe I just like movies with old people in them? This movie is set in Chicago and stars David Duchovny and Minnie Driver and Bonnie Hunt who also directed the film and had her whole family make cameos in it and the plot is like something out of Modern Love. Also old people. Watch it.
High Fidelity: Having recently completed a rewatch of this film I can assure you it is perfect end-of-times viewing. Also set in Chicago which in my opinion not enough films are, this movie is what I imagine being in Gen X is like. Also, soundtrack.
Moonstruck: This is my favorite movie. It has so many of my favorite things! Italian culture! Brooklyn! Old people! No internet or cell phones! Cher!
Three Musketeers: You’re thinking I’m going to suggest some sophisticated adaptation of this tale. Like hell. I want you to watch the 1993 adaptation starring Kiefer Sutherland and Chris O’Donnell and I want you to enjoy yourself. Sometimes things can just be for fun.
Lost In Translation: For those of us who need to get truly lost in a film, this is one of my absolute favorites.
As Good As It Gets: Watch someone have more neurosis than you do right now. Can’t hurt.