Many of us have a favourite movie. Even more of us have more than one favourite.
Some movies make us happy, others make us sad, and for some of us it’s not just the content of those movies that evokes an emotion, but often the time and events surrounding the first time we saw that particular film. Like a smell or a picture, it will forever be a reminder of times gone by.
When I was a child it was Disney movies with their happy endings. I dreamed of being a real life princess. Dancing with my prince, or flying on a magic carpet…anything was possible and that is an important thing to know and feel at that age. When I watch those movies with my kids now I remember that feeling of wonder and amazement. I honestly feel again that anything is possible.
A I got to my teens, I fell for musicals, again with happy endings, and full of what is meant to be spontaneous song and dance. Grease, Dirty Dancing, and Footloose were among my favourites. When I see these movies now, I remember how they gave me a sense of “romance” and dreaming that real life heroes existed for us “normal” girls. Someone would always come along, no matter what you wore, or what group you belonged to, and ask you to dance. Someone would always come and rescue you from being the outcast or the last one left without a partner.
In my later teen years I was drawn to movies with no real substance. I have always been a fan of classic movies, starring classic actors like Cary Grant, and Katherine Hepburn, but in my late teens I turned aside from those cinema pioneers, and embraced movies starring Adam Sandler, or Brendan Fraser. Movies like Billy Madison or American Pie (with its sequels of course) that had no real point other then to give comedic relief and sexual hilarity.
Even in these movies I can find a useful purpose. They were popular at a time when we were supposed to be becoming responsible adults. I think they help you to remember to have fun in a world that can sometimes be to serious.
Even as I entered my 20’s, I still clung to these old favourites and their happy memories, but found new favourites. Movies based on history, hardship and still the theme of love. People growing up and having families seemed more prominent in these movies. Romantic comedies, and more serious dramas.
I came to appreciate movies like “The Painted Veil” and “The Man who Cried”. Both rather dramatic movies taking place in the early 1900’s. Bits of history thrown in around romantic story lines showing hardship, but love still conquering all. Showing the reality of war, but still that people continue to love and live even with all that horror around them.
Not all of my favourites have a point though. I love Hellraiser, and can’t get enough of Lord of the Rings. I cried watching “Reign over Me” and I still enjoy the ridiculous cowboy antics of Indiana Jones.
But even those movies still evoke a memory or two of my feelings the first time I watched. I remember watching Indiana Jones with my dad (who passed away almost 10 years ago now) and I remember Mike taking me for our first date to the drive-in and seeing “A Knights Tale”.
And let me tell you…watching movies with zombie babies in them when you are 5 months pregnant with your first child will forever turn you off Zombie thrillers.
So as the title of this post says…a movie can be like an old friend. It was there for you when you needed it, it never changes, and will always be there for you again when you need or want it there.
And who doesn’t love just channel surfing on a boring afternoon and finding that amazing old friend unexpectedly again.