Comforting Films, Vol. 1
When life happens or when you’re beyond exhausted – mentally or physically – or when everything hurts , sometimes the only thing you can bring yourself to do is to sit yourself down in front of a film, covered in blankets and surrounded by cushions, and either dull your feelings or actually make yourself feel better.
I personally like to turn to old favorites at times like this, to rediscover familiar comfort, or to finally watch something indulgent. I believe that comfort films should feel like the pillows you’ve surrounded yourself with. Soft. Warm. Cozy.
We’ll come back to the topic as we all have many different favorite comfort films here at the Attic – Raquel will be coming your way with a Valentine’s edit very soon. Here in the meantime, are a few of my favorite go-tos:
Julie & Julia — We’ve never been quiet about our love of Nora Ephron here at the Attic, and Ephron’s final film is somehow her most comforting. Julie & Julia tells the (real life) story of a food blogger who decides to cook every single one of Julia Child’s recipes in a single year, and the film is interwoven with parallel scenes of Julia Child’s first year of cooking. It’s heart-warming but not sappy, and it never fails to bring joy. (Bonus: it features a lot of fantastic food and makes you feel good and want to cook.)
Set It Up — A Netflix romcom Raquel recommended as soon as it came out. The story of two overworked PAs who decide to set up their bosses with each other but end up getting along themselves, it’s a bit silly, a bit far-fetched, but it’s fun to watch and makes you feel good. A good film to keep on in the background if you don’t feel like focusing at a hundred percent.
High Society — Sometimes watching rich people being ridiculous can be a wonderful balm, especially if it’s freezing outside and whatever you’re watching takes place far enough in the past that you’re more entertained than anything else. Made in the 1950s, High Society is a musical remake of the 1930s Philadelphia Story. It stars Grace Kelly as an heiress moving on or trying to move on from her ex-husband, played by Bing Crosby, and stage a wedding to a man somehow so forgettable I never remember his name even though I’ve seen both adaptations of the story many, many times. More memorably, it also stars Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong.
Notting Hill — A longtime favorite romantic comedy about a travel bookshop owner who falls in love with an American movie star. It’s just good and wonderfully 90s, and I feel like 90s romantic comedies are balms for all of our 20-something souls these days.
Mona Lisa Smile — A favorite film I’ve felt a lot of time feeling guilty for liking. When a TERF says it’s the worst film ever made, you know it’s good and has a lot of nuance. Taking place at a women’s college in the 1950s, the film tells the stories of a group of young women with different ambitions and their liberal art history professor. They all learn to see the world differently and not to judge one another for their choices, and I love it for being a comforting and aesthetic film. If you’ve watched Mrs Maisel and wanted a dramatic version in a film, this is for you.
Pride & Prejudice (2005) – There’s that meme going around saying “some of you don’t watch Pride & Prejudice (2005) multiple times a year […] and it shows,” and I love it, because this film is the closest thing we have to a visual cup of tea. It’s comforting and always the best.
Olivia Gündüz-Willemin is Editor-in-Chief of The Attic on Eighth. She is dedicated to reading her way through the world and trying to stay as calm as possible.