My Favorite Comfort Movies

There are times when I’m craving comfort and want nothing more than to watch one of these movies and curl up on the couch or in bed for a shot of familiarity. Most of my comfort movies are from my childhood/teen years, or they’re ones I watched or mutually enjoyed with my mom. Some are ones that I identify with or that just seem so cozy. Either way, sometimes movie nights are best done with movies that you already know will bring you peace and make you happy.

This is my (very long) list of comfort movies for which I will almost always be in the mood.

While You Were Sleeping (1994)
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This has to top the list as it’s one that I fell asleep to for months as a teenager. I watched it so much that I can still recite, word-for-word, the entire opening scene, up until they’re in the hospital. Even then, I can quote the rest of the movie with a little help. This was one that my mom loved, and we watched on VHS until we bought the DVD. I’m pretty sure I still have the tape in a memories box somewhere even though I haven’t owned a VCR since I was 16. Sandra Bullock hasn’t aged, and I love 90s Bill Pullman so much. Plus, the Callahan family is so cute and loud and it reminds me of the best parts of my family.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)
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Another 90s movie! I actually didn’t watch this as a kid, but it’s one of my favorites as an adult. Crazy to think it came out the same year as Parent Trap. The technology is dated and the storyline wouldn’t make sense in today’s world, but I have a huge problem with romanticizing the 90s (probably because I was too young to have had any real problems during the decade) and New York, so this movie gives me all the happy feels. Plus, as a Mindy Project fan, it’s hilarious to see a young Chris Messina play a no-name bookstore clerk close to the end. Also, Tom Hanks is bae. I love him so much.

The Boondock Saints (1999)
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Probably a weird one for some people to see on a comfort movies list, but BDS is my all-time favorite movie. I have this fantasy of being a super badass vigilante, so that coupled with the fact that they’re Irish just makes this movie that much better. It’s definitely got a 90s vibe in quite a bit of the movie, but you cannot miss out on Norman Reedus pre-Walking Dead and Willem Dafoe and Billy Connelly are just fantastic actors in general. If you like action movies with heart and a story, you’ll love this one.

The Princess Diaries (2001)
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In her movie debut, Anne Hathaway played the wonderfully awkward, uncoordinated Mia perfectly. I think I watched this for the first time at my grandma’s house, but when she let us borrow her VHS copy to take home, we watched it constantly. I own the DVD now and watch it whenever I need my fix. I just love the old firehouse Mia and her mom live in, Julie Andrews, and the very real way Mia bumbles through everything from high school to state dinners with world leaders.

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
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My mom loved the books and was so excited when they announced they were making a movie about them. We used to watch this one together, and when I was old enough, I read the first two BJD books. I never read the last one, but I kind of don’t want to because I know what happens and I’m not prepared for that. I like the way Bridget Jones’ Baby worked out. Bridget is the epitome of a hot mess well before the term was as popular as it is today.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
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When this was in theaters, my mom and dad went to see it together and that memory is one I’ll treasure forever. They divorced when I was 2, so I don’t remember them being together (nor have I ever really wished they had stayed together), but it was nice when they did spend time together because I know they were friends and had a lot in common. Nia Vardalos is so funny and this movie is so sweet, and I had such a crush on John Corbett because of this one. I quote this one with my best friends quite often it really doesn’t get old.

The Bourne Series (2002-2016)
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Jason Bourne is a badass. I had no opinions on Matt Damon before I watched Bourne Identity for the first time, but I’ve been a fan ever since. I love that I figured out something new every time I watched it for a long time, and because of that, I admire the depth in storytelling and details they included. I recently bought the first book by Robert Ludlum but I haven’t started reading it yet. It’s my understanding that it’s much different from the movies, so I’ll have to set that aside while reading the series, but I just can’t wait.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
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I remember standing in line at the movie theater to see this with my mom and little sister. “Just be warned, there will be a lot of nerds here to see this,” she told us. She wasn’t lying. But because of her love of Douglas Adams, British humor, political satire, and general nerdiness, we got there early enough to only be the third group of people in line. We got fantastic seats, and I remember absolutely loving it. It’s one that I watch frequently to this day, still laughing at the jokes, and often getting “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” stuck in my head. Shane’s seen it enough times, now, in our seven years together, that he doesn’t even bat an eye when I throw out obscure movie quotes. Usually he can recite the next line. And best of all, I wrote this poem my senior year of high school based on the title of a poem from the book/movie. Once a nerdling, always a nerdling.

Driving Lessons (2006)
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I actually remember first finding this at Blockbuster, if that tells you anything. This is a bit of a weird one to a lot of people. They don’t get why I like it so much, and after I show it to them, they don’t want to watch it anymore, but I love it so much that I watch it multiple times a year, depending on my mood. Rupert Grint and Julie Walters are in this during filming the Harry Potter series – where, if you don’t know, they play mother and son. In this, their relationship is much different, but still so sweet as caretaker and little old lady, respectively. Rupert is awkward AF and Julie is way over-the-top in the best way. It’s just a perfect pairing and one of my favorites.

My Life in Ruins (2009)
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Another Nia Vardalos movie! She’s just so good at romcom and her comedic timing is great. Plus, the backdrop of Greece makes this movie feel like you’re on a vacation – if not a slightly dysfunctional one. Richard Dreyfuss’ dad jokes are actually pretty funny (and relatable) and I honestly could not have picked a cuter couple than Rachel Dratch and Harland Williams.

To be honest, there are a handful more that I could add, but this list is already long enough. I am curious, though, what are some of your favorite comfort movies? Maybe we have some of the same, but I just didn’t add them to my list? Let me know in the comments.

Stay warm!

Love,
Angel

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No, I Will Not Participate in Your MLK Day Sale

I’m not sure how widespread the incredible work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is known across the world, but if you don’t know who he is, allow me to give you an extremely abridged history lesson. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a southern Baptist minister from Alabama who worked tirelessly to help end segregation and racial injustice toward black Americans during the 1950s and 60s. He worked with President Lyndon B. Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act in 1964, led the March on Washington where he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech (which you can listen to here), and was working on ending segregation in housing when he was assassinated outside of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray in April of 1968. You can find out so much more about his work and his life by searching his name on Google or checking out his Wikipedia page.

Now do you understand why I won’t participate in MLK Day sales?

There are plenty of ways and days for retailers to make money throughout the year that don’t take advantage of a nationally recognized holiday honoring people who’ve actually made a difference in this country.

During his last speech, Dr. King addressed the rumors of bomb and assassination threats, saying that he’d seen the “promised land” and that, while he’d like to live a long life, he was no longer afraid of death and he believed his work could be carried on by those who supported and followed him and believed in his mission. You know what he didn’t give as a reason for being okay with dying for? Some stores having 30% off the crap they couldn’t sell before Christmas so they can make way for new merchandise.

Retailers are notorious for doing this, and have been for decades. They use a holiday or day of recognition and/or remembrance as an excuse to hawk more of their stuff for some extra foot traffic into their stores and websites so they can make more money. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get that stores have to make money in order to continue putting out new products. I get that a good economy relies on people spending their money locally. I also get that some companies go by the “by any means necessary” mentality. What I, and quite a lot of people, can’t support is using civic leaders and veterans as a way to cushion their bottom line.

During Memorial Day, a day to remember those who’ve given their lives in the armed forces for this country, companies hype up their summer products, marking the day as the “unofficial” start of summer and the beginning of grilling season.

On Veterans Day, while some companies do give higher discounts to veterans and their families, civilians can also take advantage of their service and sacrifice by getting goods at a discounted cost in the name of supporting veterans.

Presidents Day sales? That one makes as much sense as MLK Day sales! Meaning, it doesn’t at all.

And don’t even get me started on fucking Columbus Day sales. The only thing worse than having a nationally recognized holiday for a man who not only didn’t know what the fuck he was doing, but acted upon and encouraged the slaughter, rape, and overall genocide of indigenous people, is having people celebrate it by buying stuff they bought at stores that was probably made using slave labor, and that they’ll throw away in a few months anyway.

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There are ways to go about getting support for your company on and around these national days of remembrance and recognition. For instance, on Memorial and Veterans day, giving discounts only to veterans and their families. On September 11, stores could give a steep discount to first responders. Hell, even making up days that aren’t about the aforementioned groups of people, just to get people talking. Macy’s does a “One-Day Sale”. Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works have their “Semi-Annual Sales”. All of these get people pumped about shopping at those stores, and it doesn’t even coincide with a national holiday.

I encourage shoppers to protest with their wallets, and tell the stores how you feel. Don’t shop on MLK Day or Memorial Day. Let them know you want to spend your money at their establishment, but that you won’t be doing so on the backs of those who’ve given their lives for this country. We can make a change. And it may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it should be.

In love,
Angel

The Problem with Winter Isolation

I’ve got a running theme about being alone and getting out of the house, lately, and this post will be no different. When I was explaining to Shane my ideas for the last post, he reminded me of this video where the guy stayed in his apartment with absolutely zero human contact. It’s called The Loneliness Project, and it’s actually a “campaign to end loneliness” about giving older people friendship and helping them to not feel isolated. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s very eye-opening and a bit shocking, and honestly, it feels a bit extreme. I mean, who honestly stays in their house with no contact with the outside world; not even a cell phone?

Truthfully, a lot of people. Whether they don’t have a phone, or are just not looking at theirs, it can get so so easy to let yourself start hiding, and then not want to come out of it. Especially for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. It’s not that you want to feel isolated; you just can’t physically make yourself get out of bed, much less out of the house. Continue reading “The Problem with Winter Isolation”

Things People with Anxiety Should Do Alone

If you suffer from anxiety, you know how easy it is to just let others dictate the day/outings/etc. You want to please others because you want to make sure they want to hang out with you still. Well, first, let me just tell you, they’ll still love you and want to be around you even if you choose an activity or restaurant that they hadn’t initially thought of. Second, sometimes it’s important to do things alone so you don’t feel the burden of worrying about everyone else’s immediate happiness, sometimes at the sacrifice of your own.  Continue reading “Things People with Anxiety Should Do Alone”

10 Ways to Enjoy Winter Even After the Holidays are Over

Now that the holidays are over, it’s easy to get in a rut or feel overwhelmed by seasonal depression. Between not getting off work until after the sun has already gone down, and it being too cold to enjoy time outside, winter can take its toll on your physical and mental health.

If you live in the south, you know that summer lasts more than half the year, especially here in Texas, so when those of us who hate the heat get actual winter weather, we want to be able to enjoy them. So, whether you need to get out of your rut or you want to make the most of the cold while we have it, here are some ideas for you.

Continue reading “10 Ways to Enjoy Winter Even After the Holidays are Over”