Right in the Feels
My top 5 movie recommendations for love and connection.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you if you are celebrating the holidays at this time!
I spent Christmas day alone this year.
Corbin went on an all-expenses-paid trip to Sweden to attend his office Christmas party, and whilst there, he caught Covid. He was a bit sick, nothing serious, but it meant he had to stay quarantined in his hotel room on Christmas day.
We passed the 10 days quarantine with copious Christmas movies. Each night, we would sync up our Netflix and watch the same movie, all-the-while chatting about it and cracking jokes over Whatsapp. We tore through familiar favourites: Love Actually, The Grinch, and Klaus. And a surprise delight this year was A Castle for Christmas. Did you see it?
Christmas movies helped keep our spirits up while we were apart and, thankfully, Corbin returned home in the early hours of this morning.
I love Christmas movies because they are often about love and connection: Families being together; cold hearts melting; love blossoming; happy children.
My favourite moment of any Christmas movie is in Love Actually, when Billy Mack (played by Bill Nighy) shows up at his manager’s door and says:
“Christmas is about spending time with those you love, and as dire chance and fateful cock up would have it, here I am in my mid-fifties, and I’ve gone and spent my adult life with a chubby employee. And as much as it grieves me to say it, it might be that the people I love is, in fact, you.”
It is a moment of sincere love and connection between men, beautifully written and so well acted by Bill Nighy and Gregor Fisher (who lives in the town I grew up in!). It’s awkward, embarrassing, genuine, and perfect. I am yet to watch this scene without bawling my eyes out - it gets me right in the heart every damn time.
Soon the holidays will be over, and we’ll pack the Christmas movies away for another year.
I, personally, like to keep the feel-good content going all year round. If you do too, I have five movie recommendations for you, that capture the essence of love and connection. The tender and spiritually-inclined among us will love them!
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
After the death of his father, Jeff is struggling to get his life together. A 30-year-old stoner who lives in his mum’s basement, he meets his destiny when sent out on an errand for wood glue.
Warm and heartfelt performances by Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Ed Helms (The Office), and Susan Sarandon (Stepmom).
If you have ever asked the Universe or your loved ones in spirit for a sign, you will love this understated movie.
A linguistics professor must learn to communicate with a mysterious and benevolent race of aliens that arrive on earth before humanity interprets their arrival as a threat.
This movie is about reaching out for understanding, and to be understood. It deals with themes of how compassionate communication can avert disaster, and the many ways we can show others how we feel and what we mean. Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.
Earth is dying, and Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughy) must travel through spacetime to find a new home for humanity. This movie is one of my all-time favourites, having been conceived, in part, by astrophysicist Kip Thorne who asked:
‘What if the most exotic occurrences in space were accessible to humans?’
The physics at play in the movie are accurate, so much so that a new theoretical model for black holes was devised and visualized in 3D for the first time during the making of the film.
This story shows that love is the only force in the Universe that can transcend space and time.
Six twenty-something New Yorkers each have different experiences of love. Written and directed by Josh Radnor, this movie shows the vulnerable, scary, unexpected, fish-out-of-water experience that love can often be.
What Dreams May Come
After his death, Dr Chris Neilsen (Robin Williams) must create a new life for himself in the afterlife, but what is Heaven, really, without the people you love?
This is a beautiful and moving film, based on a novel. It explores the effects of loss, and the lengths we will go to for love. It features a detailed and interesting view of what the afterlife may be like and what some of its rules may be. A visual delight.
Most of these movies are available on one of the big streaming services at any given time.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think? Did they get you right in the feels as they did me?
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