List: Movies to Lift Your Spirit from

Posted on July 31, 2016 at 2:03 pm

I was honored to be asked to participate in this critics’ discussion of movies that may not be our favorites or the best but that always cheer us up.

Here’s what I wrote:

I have a bunch. I call them “flu movies,” and they are the only ones I will buy, to have on hand any time they are needed. Many are musicals, like “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “The Music Man,” and “Bells are Ringing.” In a moment of very dire professional circumstances, I admit it, I watched “High School Musical.” Three times in a row.

Some are funny, like “Galaxy Quest” and “Happy Texas.” Some are romantic like “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist,” and some are empowering like “Stick It.” Some I know by heart, like “The Philadelphia Story” and “His Girl Friday” and “I Love You Again.”
My view is that movies fall along two axes. The horizontal is bad to good. But the vertical is what I call “watchability.” Some movies aren’t especially good, but they effortlessly evoke a kind of pleasant dramatic justice that makes them cinematic mood-elevators. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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