Monday, 7 February 2011


It is that time of the year. Noses all around are blocked, coughs get worse and voices deepen. Then one day you wake up and realise that you’d rather write an extra 5,000 words for your dissertation than get out of bed and even your dear flatmates tell you that you look “kinda shit today”. So, once you accept your fate and decide to stay at home, you’ve got to prepare yourself for a long day of doing nothing. Lemsip, honey, paracetamol, water, vitamin C, tissues, and nasal spray are on your bedside table and you succumb into a long and troubled sleep. Until about 12-ish. And then what?

Reading is out of the question, working too. Your brain seems to have disintegrated into a mushy sponge and you can’t really torture yourself with any kind of logical/analytical/verbal exercises. Therefore, unless you’ve been blessed with a great collection of audiobooks (apparently Stephen Fry is the narrator to go for), your DVD collection or the wonderful world of the Internet are your companions for today.

Checking your facebook becomes boring after a while, so maybe you should watch something – something not too long, not too depressing and not too demanding; in other words, a feel good movie with a high entertainment factor that you perhaps have seen before. Here is a list of films I would highly recommend to any fellow bed-ridden sufferer, these are relatively short, uplifting and not too sickly-sweet. Gesundheit!

1.     The Goonies. 1985
      Dir.: Richard Donner
      With: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin.

      This is one of my favourite children’s films. A wonderful treasure hunt with some Spanish gold, awesome baddies, really charismatic children and some truly funny lines. This film became a classic but not many realise that both Sean Astin and Josh Brolin play the main characters here!

2.     Zoolander, 2005.
Dir.: Ben Stiller
With: Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell.

I don’t know any other comedy that has been recycled into so many memorable lines like Zoolander. It also features many great cameos from a huge amount of people. Mind you though, watch only if you are really, really ridiculously good-looking.  

3.     Some Like it Hot, 1959.
Dir.: Billy Wilder
With: Marylin Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon.

Another classic. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are two misshapen musicians who witness a mafia execution. They decide to flee Chicago and disguise themselves as part of the all-female band going on a tour to Florida. I especially marvel at how masterfully Tony Curtis could transform into a woman. Some Like it Hot is so ridiculously funny for many reasons, but its final scene is perhaps the greatest one out there.

4.     Little Miss Sunshine, 2006.
Dir.: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
With: Abigail Breslin, Tony Collette, Steve Carell.

This is slightly more serious. Still, a comedy, although more on the black side, Little Miss Sunshine was the indy hit of 2006. Even my parents have seen it. It’s a lovely and realistic story of a dysfunctional family on the way to California in a broken van for the daughter’s beauty pageant. The little girls in the pageant make for a seriously disturbing show.

5.     Groundhog Day, 1993.
      Dir.: Harold Ramis
      With: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell.

      Bill Murray – gooood! Andie MacDowell – baaaad. But the film is still great. What would you do if you were stuck in the same day for the rest of your life? I think any film with Bill Murray is worth watching, especially if  he plays  the asshole type.

6.     The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001.
Dir.: Wes Anderson.
With: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller.

I love everything Wes Anderson makes. I think he is a real auteur of contemporary cinema, with a completely unique style and sense of humour. I only picked the Royal Tenenbaums because it is perhaps his best-known film, but any other ones would do as well – Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Darjeeling Limited, Rushmore, etc. This particular one is a story of a dysfunctional family, like all his films, with a great cast: apart from the parents played by Hackman and Huston, there are the children – Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and appearances by Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Danny Glover.

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