Don’t you ever get nostalgic about being sick as a child and not going to school and being mostly home alone watching movies on TV? I do too. Few days ago I came down with fever and took this chance to go back home and watch loads of movies. I chose most of them from the late 90’s and early 00’s to evoke that general sense of nostalgia.

I should mention beforehand that I’m not the movie watching kind of person. I feel uncomfortable watching melancholic, embarrassing, cringe-worthy, or crass movies. That is one of the reasons why it’s been more than a year since I watched a new movie.

I watch movies to escape, not for art or plot or story, so I have no problems fast-forwarding through anything that gets in the way. It also means that I like movies that are more ‘slice-of-life’ and comedy better. You will find that most of the movies below fall in the comedy or romcom genre. That’s premeditated.

I thought I’d post my list because I went to great lengths to make sure that the movies had happy endings and non-melancholic tones before I watched them. These movies, you’ll find, are generally bright and comic.

Harold and Kumar

I loved Harold and Kumar. It is about two friends’ adventure to a restaurant while high. Along the way they perform a surgery, smoke weed with and then ride on a cheetah, get their car stolen by Neil Patrick Harris and use a glider to escape a cop. This kind of outlandish plot and the comedy makes Harold and Kumar greatly enjoyable; and while there are several movies of this type that overdo these ideas and end up being just ugly, Harold and Kumar manages to make everything work together. I specially loved the character of Kumar as a brilliant slacker, and I think Kal Penn played him charmingly. There were a few scenes that I thought were way too disgusting to be funny, though, and I fast forwarded through them.

Pride and Prejudice

I finished reading Pride and Prejudice when sick and I really enjoyed it. It is set in the Regency era in Britain of which I know next to nothing so I decided to also watch the movie. The movie, as it turns out, is not set in the regency era but it is a good movie nonetheless.

Having read the book, I ended up skipping a lot. Mrs. Bennett makes it specially hard to watch. I couldn’t stand to watch her make a fool of herself so I skipped almost every scene she is in. I also skipped most of the ballroom scenes and any part involving Mr. Collins or Lady Catherine. Needless to say, I liked the book better.

But in a lot of places the movie adds to the book. I loved the images of English countryside: the farms and animals, the streams and rivulets, the incredibly photogenic trees, the meadows and so on. In the end, watching the movie supplied me with many images and settings that I want to place the characters of the book against by reading it again. Also, watching this movie makes me want to reread I Capture The Castle, which is also set in the English countryside.

500 Days Of Summer

This movie is one of those instant favorites. All characters are very endearing and the setting is interesting. I loved the non-linear narrative and the use of (500) as a counter. 500 Days Of Summer is funny, romantic and I’m definitely going to watch it many times again.

When Harry Met Sally

Watching movies set in New York in the late 90’s makes me very nostalgic, no idea why. And this movie is the epitome of New York in the 90’s. I loved it. At times it gets cheesy but give me cheesy over sad any day. Also, Meg Ryan is beautiful.

I’m definitely going to watch it the next time I get sick.

Pretty Woman

If you are okay with fast forwarding through some sappy dialogue then this is a good your-average-millionaire-falls-in-love-with-a-hooker movie. Pretty Woman is warm and funny, and I enjoyed it when I watched it. But … I don’t know. At some level, its just a rich guy throwing expensive gifts till a girl he has bought for the week falls in love. This must have been new in the 90’s but in 2019 I can’t help comparing Pretty Woman to the movies that it probably inspired.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

I had fun watching this one. Mr. & Mrs. Smith has a great setting that lends itself well to witty dialogue and banter between the leads. The characters are cool and funny. I didn’t expect any realistic action scenes going into the movie and wasn’t disappointed. The endless stream of bullets just didn’t touch Pitt and Jolie.

Watching this movie, however, I was reminded of how much I don’t like watching action movies. I don’t think I will watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith again, even though I enjoyed it.

The Sure Thing

I enjoyed every second the two leads were together, and very little else. Trust me, that’s a good thing because they are together for most of the screen time. I also must confess that I think Allison is (was? she’s almost 60 now) very cute.

I’d like to add here that I found it hilarious how hard the movie tries to sell Walter as a deep character when his motive the entire movie has been to get laid. I find myself smiling at the remark, “You’re too complicated for them anyway” made by his friend after he finishes counting the times he has had sex in the past and laments on how he isn’t getting to have any in the present. You can have shallow characters be likable too, you know, movie. This is just a minor criticism, however, and we do get to see him develop into a mature character. At any rate, I’d love to watch this movie again when I’m sick.

Easy A

When you go looking for funny teen movies, you find Easy A repeated on almost every list. I had also been meaning to watch this movie since the last time I binge watched movies like this (a long time ago).

Emma Stone is witty, her family is endearing and some of her friends are interesting. The movie is funny for the first half, which I really enjoyed. But then the slut shaming begins and the movie stops being interesting. I skipped many parts after that because after reading and watching as many YA novels and movies as I have, I can see it in my mind’s eye. Again, nothing’s wrong with the movie, it’s me. On a side note, I liked Marianne as a character: she made me laugh.

The Late Bloomer

The movie bloomed with promise but ended up withering before the movie was half over. They reduced a successful man, going through puberty at 27, to just another romantic drama. Also, his friends were kinda jerks. Still, it was fun to watch.

Seriously. This man is going through puberty at 27. Don’t make him just fall in love like every other sappy romcom character. Don’t make him piss off his friends and then send him back to apologize. Everyone does that. Do something original.

Austin Powers

I don’t know, I just didn’t laugh as much as my roommate had laughed a few months back when watching this movie. Also, as I said, I can’t watch characters embarrassing themselves and this movie is at least 40% about Austin Powers doing just that. Just didn’t float my boat.

On the plus side, I loved how this movie makes fun of old spy movies. And I must mention that the milk pouring scene in the end was brilliant.

Paterson

The atmosphere is so poignant, the tone so somber. The music is cheerless. This is not the kind of movie you want to watch when sick. All the same, Paterson is a beautiful film and I’m glad that I watched it. I could relate to the movie in that I had gone through a similar phase in high school when I walked alone and wrote a lot of poems, observing the world around me with that general feeling of serenity. I published the poems in a private blog and later deleted it. How I wish I hadn’t.

Paterson is a charming movie, one that I want to revisit to pay more attention to it’s subtleties.

She’s The Man

I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. The move is funny, has a comic setting and is fairly interesting. Amanda is adorable as Viola; it was pleasant to watch her various antics and expressions. Near the very end the story gets a little too cheesy for my taste but of course, cheesy is always better than sad.

Definitely goes on my list of movies to watch when sick.

You’ve Got Mail

I had a wide grin plastered on my face the entire time I watched this movie. It has got that charm that lures you in from the first scene. The premise is alluring, the actors are endearing, the music is used to great effect and it is relaxing to watch. Also, Meg Ryan is absolutely adorable. If I ever make a list of feel-good movies, You’ve Got Mail is going on the top.

I had been avoiding this movie for some time because it had Tom Hanks in it. I don’t know, I always had the impression that he only ever starred in heavy, emotional movies about war and death, and tragic endings. Now that I know, I can go watch Sleepless in Seattle too.

Sleepless In Seattle

The name is so pretty, Sleepless In Seattle. Roger Ebert writes, “as ephemeral as a talk show, as contrived as the late show, and yet so warm and gentle I smiled the whole way through.” I agree with him. I don’t feel like repeating myself so I’ll just say that everything I wrote about You’ve Got Mail applies to this movie too.

FIN