There are films that for one reason or another everyone finds comforting. You've seen them a thousand times and you'll watch them a thousand more. When you're sick it's what you want. When you've had a bad day, you want to turn on the old familiar and let wash away in the dialog and scenes you can already recite by heart. These are in short, comfort food films. As good for the soul as those books with the similar sounding title that this is in no way riffing on.
My collection of comfort films spans decades. Long before I was born, they were making films just for me. Very generous of them really. I grew up on classic film. Before we got cable, we'd set the VCR to record the midnight showings of old movies. In the winter we'd always have days where we'd have a classic movie marathon. The weather could be blowing icy death outside, but it wouldn't matter because I'd be tucked in a blanket, watching Danny Kaye sing silly words at a ridiculous speed. Bowl of popcorn optional.
One such comfort film for me is "The More the Merrier" a 1943 film starring Charles Coburn, Joel McCrea, and Jean Arthur. The story centers on Benjamin Dingle (Coburn) looking for lodging in Washington DC during a WW2 housing shortage. Eventually he runs across Constance (Arthur) who is subletting her apartment. Benjamin, old coot that he is, decides he'd like to see his roommate fixed up with a nice guy and as such sublets his half of the apartment to a guy he thinks is right for her.
It's a setup that's amusing without even seeing the movie. Probably why it was later remade into Walk Don't Run, which starred Cary Grant in his last role. Though I love Grant, he just wasn't as great as Charles Coburn in the role. Course the movie as a whole isn't anything to speak of. It has it's moments, don't get me wrong, but it just doesn't compare.
The original is worth watching if for no other reason than Coburn. He's one of those great character actors of old that could easily take the lead and improve whatever film he was in. In appearance I've always thought of him as a live action Winnie the Pooh. Albeit, a grumpy, cigar smoking Pooh Bear. But then you add to it Jean Arthur who is my favorite old time actress. Perfect comedic timing and that voice...
It all adds up to a movie that doesn't disappoint. On the classics scale I'd give it a 4 1/2 out 5.
Just one of many more that I will touch on from time to time.
One of the things that I love about comfort movies is that they really are 'to each their own.' With a mind to that, I will be having some guest posts in the future; other bloggers telling us about their comfort food films. I'd also like to offer an open invite to anyone who would like to guest post in the series. I'd love to know what your comfort movies are.