Instant pick-me-ups

March 18, 2010

There are only a small handful of films that instantly pick-me-up. Except for Hot Enough for June, which I only discovered last November, I've seen all of these movies 20 times AT LEAST. If I'm having trouble falling asleep at night, I can reenact the movies in my mind to help me drift off. Not only are they all in my top 10 favorite films of all time (not BEST films of all time, just personal favorites) but they each have some distinct quality that manages to zap me out of a bad mood instantaneously.

1. How to Steal a Million. This is my number one feel-good movie (and also my #2 favorite movie of all time). It's the first classic film I ever saw, so it has a sense of nostalgia and coziness that endears it to me. But it's also such a fun film to watch that I forget any troubles that might have been bothering me before putting in the disc. Oh... and Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe and Peter O'Toole's piercing blue eyes and tall slender frame don't hurt matters any either ;-)

2. Sunday in New York. It's been the subject of a good deal of gushing on this blog already, so suffice it to say it's one of my all-time favorite movies. Some of the scenes make me laugh out loud even though I already know the jokes and set-ups by heart. "Two heads are better than one... didn't know I had two heads, did you?" *Kate cracks up*

3. Hot Enough for June. First, the obvious ... it stars Dirk Bogarde. There are two parts that are so absolutely comically perfect they almost make my toes curl when I watch them. When Dirk (as Nicholas Whistler) is trying to find out who his contact is in Prague, and when he reluctantly asks to come back to the glass factory to look at one of the processes again. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. And anyone who could retain a bad mood after seeing Dirk Bogarde in this costume has absolutely no business trying to cheer themselves up in the first place:

4. Indiscreet. If you've seen it, you know. It's perfect. There's something about this movie that makes you feel like you are a part of their courtship, if that makes *any* sense whatsoever. This one especially works great when I'm feeling lonely :)
Anyway, it's just a really fantastic movie!

5. Follow the Fleet. Honestly, every Fred and Ginger film cheers me up, but for some reason this one does even more so.. which is totally bizarre because Randolph Scott is one of my very least favorite actors and I think his character is really rotten to Harriet Hilliard in the movie! But it has super fantastic songs and I could watch the "Let's Face the Music and Dance" number on repeat for years.

What are your cheer-up movies?


Millie said...


Seriously. I agree with ALL the films. Except FTF, cause I still can't get past Randolph. I adore Fred and Ginger, but then he comes on and I start getting all angry! Hahaha!

HTSAM is my top feel-good movie too!

Gosh, and after seeing SINY and HEFJ for the first time, I completely agree with you. I love them.

And Indiscreet! AHHHH! I seriously mustache it.


Um, can, I steal this for my blog too?

monty said...

Awesome post Kate. I just recently saw Sunday in New York and I loved it. It's funny as all get out and Jane Fonda is terrific.

Terence Towles Canote said...

I have to agree with all of the films, especially Hot Enough for June, which I count among my fell good movies. I also count The Beatles' movies A Hard Day's Night, Help!, and Yellow Submarine. Dr. Strangelove is another feel good movie for me, as is Pillow Talk. Of course, as a guy action movies number among my feel good movies, such as The Seven Samurai and The Great Escape. And I know it might sound like an odd choice, but The Apartment always cheers me up! Anyway, I have too many to list. :-)

Kim said...

Oh I love "How To Steal a Million" I really need to watch that one again.

In general Screwball Comedies pick me up because they are so much fun to watch. But probably the movie that cheers me up the most is Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro". It's probably the most charming thing I have ever watched.

Sally said...

I absolutely love this post!!! This cheered me up and I wasn't even in a bad mood! (that may not make much sense. I can't tell.) The only sad part is that I've only seen one of these movies. You can probably guess which one.

I think my instant pick-me-up movies are: The Gay Divorcee, Mary Poppins, The Thin Man, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and You've Got Mail (oh, and I have to throw in "Pick Yourself Up" from Swing Time because it never fails to make me smile).

By the way, that photo of Dirk is wonderful. It made me smile so much I had to stroll down to concentrate on writing my comment!!

Andi B. Goode said...

I love love love 'How to Steal a Million'. It's one of my cheer up films, too! I also love the dancing scene in 'Indiscreet'. Haha.
I tend to watch 'Laura' a lot. It's probably a strange choice for a cheer up film but it's definitely one of them. That or any musical I own - I tend to skip to one or two songs in 'On the Town' and 'Kiss Me Kate' - besides maybe 'Cabaret' because that's kind of heavy.
-Andi x

emma wallace said...

I adore "Follow the Fleet" but I confess - I think Randolph Scott - despite his dumbness and bad manners is so cute.

I love "Barefoot in the Park" and Gene Kelly in, well, whatever really, but especially "Summer Stock" and "Anchors Aweigh."

Unknown said...

Great post! I shall be ordering a few of these from love film, Have a sweet day!

Trippy Trellis said...

If I need a laugh, "The Women", my favorite comedy of all time, does the trick. In spades.
If I need a feel-good movie, "Sabrina" and "White Christmas" are my top two. Others in that category would include: "North by Northwest", "From the Terrace" and "Evil Under the Sun". They all, by the way, have memorable musical soundtracks.

The Cinemaphile said...

Wow, I have to agree with so many of the aforementioned films.

A couple of my personal favorite pick-me-ups are "Holiday" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, "Unfaithfully Yours" with Rex Harrison and Linda Darnell and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." The last one doesn't meet my normal criteria for a pick me up movie, and truthfully, it's not remotely on even my top 100 favorite movies list, but I think the color and exuberance gets to me because I not only stop and watch it every time I see it on TCM, but I find I have a smile on my face while I'm doing it.


Raquel S. said...

This is a great post Kate! I have my Instant pick-me-up films too. Yours, Mine and ours (1969) is one in particular that comes to mind.

I've come to realize that your taste in classic film tends to learn towards the later years. 1960s especially. :-) I'm always curious to see what decades or what types of classic films people are drawn to.

Unknown said...

Great movies everyone!!

Millie, feel free to steal ANY of my posts! Really!! :D

Raquelle, my favorites are the 60's and the 30's... not a huge fan of most 50's movies, actually!

janitox said...

robert good actor.