One of my guilty pleasures is my stack of romantic comedies that I watch over and over, some during special times of the year. Each brings a sense of joy to me, each for a different reason. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but when I find one I love, for whatever reason, I may be tempted to purchase it, and it becomes part of my beloved collection.
The first movie that started this collection is You’ve Got Mail. This movie is by no means the best ever made but it’s special to me for a specific reason. After graduating college, I stayed in the area, rented an apartment, and got a job. It was the first time I was truly, truly independent and on my own. After a year at the job I decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do. With no idea of what it was that I did want to do, I (shamelessly, in my mind – I wanted to be far from Long Island) moved back home for a while. This actually turned out to be a good decision because I was able to spend the time with my ill father and help my mother care for him. I also went back to school for a career I was interested in and eventually met my future husband. But when I first moved home I was far away from my friends, my then-boyfriend-but-soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, had no job, and felt utterly alone. So one summer afternoon, out of sheer desperation and a need for some entertainment, I popped my mother’s VHS copy of the movie into the VCR. I had seen it once or twice but didn’t really remember any of it. I found that I liked it – it was cute, in that romantic comedy sort of way. And it made me feel hopeful of all that my life could become, as any good romantic comedy will do. I enjoyed it so much that I watched it 3 or 4 times a week.
Over the course of the next year, the movie became more important to me because I found I identified with it more than I ever thought I would:
- The movie features Starbucks and I love Starbucks and coffee and the café environment.
- The movie is about books and reading and I love books and reading (it’s the only movie that makes me want to read).
- The movie is about two people who meet online and fall in love and that is exactly how I met my husband (and we had numerous dates at Starbucks).
- The movie is about living your life one way and finding that you’re headed in a whole new direction that you never saw coming and that’s pretty much what happened to me (without the glittery cinematic drama).
- I identify with Joe’s summary of people and Starbucks: “The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”
- I identify with Kathleen’s view of her life: “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.”
It quickly became one of my favorite movies for these reasons. I’ve watched it so many times I eventually got tired of it. But I still love it. I now watch it only once a year, in October. This movie is a fall-ish movie and fall is my favorite time of the year, October my favorite month. I look forward to it every year.
Some other favorites:
Bridget Jones’ Diary – It was the first book I read when I moved back home and I loved it. Also, I just love Colin Firth.
When Harry Met Sally – “I’ll have what she’s having.” It’s just an 80s classic.
Keeping the Faith – I watch this movie every spring. It’s just a fun, warm movie.
Love Actually – This is my most favorite movie of all time. Not only is it a great movie but it was the first romantic movie that I saw with my husband when we were dating. Awww. We watch it every Thanksgiving night to celebrate the upcoming Christmas season. Also, I love Colin Firth.
White Christmas – Starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, this is a mucho cheesy Christmas movie but my dad loved it and made us watch it as kids. We all have seen it so many times we know the dialog and songs by heart. We even got to the point where we made up quiz questions about it for each other. We’d all race to see who could answer the questions first. Now I watch it in remembrance of my dad. And it’s the cheesiness that makes it so great. I also love the dancing and the idea of clubs where one might go to see such dancing. I watch this one every Thanksgiving morning.
Holiday Inn – Another cheesy Christmas movie, also starring Bing Crosby, this time with Fred Astaire. My dad loved this one too. It’s not my favorite, but again, I watch it in remembrance of him. Trivia fact: this movie originally featured the song "White Christmas," which was made before the movie White Christmas.
Anything Jane Austen – I love watching Jane Austen movies for the language, the properness, the costumes. A few include: Becoming Jane, Emma, Sense and Sensibility. And I can’t forget Pride and Prejudice, mainly because I love Colin Firth.
The American President – Also just a great movie.
Anne of Green Gables – I have also watched this so many times that I can recite almost the whole thing (and that’s a lot of reciting!). I’ve been watching this since I was about 8.
Mama Mia – This is just one of the most fun movies I have ever seen. Of course, with the singing and dancing, it’s also quite cheesy but if you’re looking for something to simply enjoy, this is it. It stars many great actors and actresses, including Colin Firth. Did I mention I love him? And that he sings in this one?
This list of my favorite romantic comedies is just a glimpse into the things I love, which includes, you guessed it, Colin Firth. You can find out more here. =)