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The Courier: 30 days of film – day 15

Written by Film

Films, when all is said & done, are a form of entertainment. Sometimes we don’t want to get all sad or deep with a French film or a documentary on condensation. It’s then that we all go back to those films that we know will bring a smile to our faces. Today, it’s those joyful movies we celebrate.
Booksmart (2019)

This is one of my favourite movies ever and without a doubt, it always makes me laugh, smile and feel happy. This is a film that is about the power of women and I love that Olivia Wilde made something so relatable and funny for her directorial debut film. Whenever I watch it, no matter what mood I am in, it makes me feel happy – I will never ever get bored of watching Booksmart.

The pizza delivery scene? I have never laughed so hard in my life. The comedic performances are wonderful across the board. The visual flair of the sets and the killer soundtrack sticks with you long after the credits have rolled, especially the underwater pool scene. That is one of the most gratifying scenes of the decade. I’m so happy this film is the real deal. I’m so happy we got a comedic, feel good feel about women.

Also, when Amy doesn’t know how to interact with the girl she likes and just awkwardly throws up a peace sign…the representation the LGBTQ+ community truly wanted and needed.

Booksmart is entertaining and fresh in every single way and will not fail to make you happy and laugh when you really need it.

Lucy Lillystone

Image:IMDB
Grease (1978)

If there’s one film that’s guaranteed to brighten your spirits, that comes in the form of musical favourite Grease (1978). It’s cheesy, but it’s got a bit everything that even the most avid musical-hater can’t resist. As soon as those opening titles start blaring the theme song alongside cartoon versions of the plot, you know you’re in for a treat. Following the relationship between Danny (John Travolta) and the oh-so innocent Sandy (Olivia Newton-John), we see their ups and downs as they constantly face the interference of their friendship groups. Of course I’m talking about the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies, the inspiration behind so many dress-up parties and Halloween outfits since Grease became a global smash-hit.

A defining part of what makes this film stand the test of time is the incredible soundtrack. Every song is a gem and perfectly reflects the personality of the character singing it, from Danny’s popularity and fake demeanour with the T-Birds to Rizzo’s insecurities and jealousy towards Sandy. If you need a little pick me-up, a good laugh or fancy a sing a-long, Grease is the one that I want.  

Kate Dunkerton

Image:IMDB
The Big Sick (2017)

The Big Sick is one of those films that come around every so often and re-shapes a genre into something you didn’t know it could be. In this case? The rom-com. The Big Sick makes it more sophisticated, cultural and just funnier. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily v. Gorden co-write the rom-com based off how their own relationship started, as a now married couple. After Emily (Zoe Kazan) finds out Kumail’s parents are still trying to arrange a marriage for him, they break up.

Only for Emily to have been infected, put in a medically induced coma and leaving Kumail to tell her parents. Who he’s never met. So, slightly awkward to say the least.

The film easily switches between being a comedy, and sometimes more of a drama, whilst the ‘characters’ (obviously based off real-life) are more than likeable. Ray Romano is especially brilliant as Emily’s dad, matched against Holly Hunter as her protective but loving mother. Watching the trailer is enough to put a smile on my face, I’ve just got to convince my boyfriend to watch it now…

Harriet Metcalfe

Image:IMDB
Legally Blonde (2001)

Not going to lie, I was going to pick Billy Elliot (2000) because it is a wholesome, genuinely incredible classic, but I figured someone else would probably write about that. So naturally, it’s time for me to discuss Legally Blonde, which is clearly a film of similar calibre.

If anyone knows me then they probably know that Legally Blonde is one of those films that I watch over and over again. Hey, it starts and ends with the song ‘Perfect Day’- if that doesn’t make you happy, nothing will. You probably all know the plot but just incase, it’s about Elle Woods, a typical pink-wearing ‘dumb blonde’ who goes to Harvard Law school in an attempt to win the affection of her ex-boyfriend, who dumped her because he wanted someone serious. However, Elle actually finds her calling in law and realises that she deserves, and can do better, than her ex-boyfriend, Warner.

It’s so over-the-top and 2000s but it really is a feel-good film that also has an empowering message. Elle never puts anyone down, despite the fact that people constantly do it to her in the movie. Instead, she knows her worth and proves their initial impressions of her wrong. Everyone undermines Elle and her interests in shopping and her appearance because it’s too feminine, but they actually come to her aid as a lawyer. Plus, Elle is really smart! She deserved to go to law school, even if her intentions weren’t entirely for the best purposes at the beginning. She worked for months to get her average up, yet people like Warner still thought that she wasn’t determined or smart enough to be at Harvard. When Elle realises that Warner will never accept her, that’s when Elle really starts to thrive. I love that she proves everyone wrong who ever doubted her, and I live for Warner’s downfall.

The film, despite its goofy nature, also deals with a lot of serious topics. Elle’s professor Callaghan sexually harasses her, and she doubts the reason why she got into Harvard. However, the film doesn’t let Callaghan get away with it and is fired, showing that his behaviour is not okay, which is pretty refreshing after many problematic tropes within teen girl movies. Also, on a less serious, but important-to-me note, the classic ‘bend and snap’? I bet tons of people have tried it. Elle Woods, truly a saviour for the people.

Elle is bubbly and her upbeat personality is contagious, but the ending itself is also fantastic. The line “Warner graduated without honours, without a girlfriend and without any job offers” whilst ‘Perfect Day’ is playing over it has to be one of the most satisfying endings to a movie, and never fails to make me smile. Reasons why Legally Blonde makes me happy? Case closed.

Sophie Hicks

Image:IMDB
Mamma Mia (2008)

Everyone has a movie they can watch over and over again. One that never fails to make them smile. For me, that film is Mamma Mia. Every time I watch it, it never fails to cheer me up and make me laugh out loud.

From the uplighting Abba songs to the incredible cast (especially Meryl Streep and Julie Walters!) and a feel-good story, Mamma Mia never fails to bring happiness. The moments between Donna, Tonya, and Rosie are hilarious and combining those with some of the best Abba songs and the silver fox Pierce Brosman (apart from his not so great singing haha!), how can you not love the film?

Most girls say they’d love to “do a Donna” and run away to a Greek island to fall in love with three men and it’s that escapism that we all dream of, who wouldn’t want to run away to a beautiful island like Kalokairi and sing Abba songs all day. This is a film that doesn’t just make you happy but has one of the best soundtracks to sing along to (you even get the lyrics on-screen when you buy the DVD!)

From the dance routines, the performances from the dynamos, and amazing dance routines from Colin Firth you can not fault the film, only love it.

Amy Harris

Image:IMDB
Teen Beach Movie (2013)

Surfboard choreography, full karaoke videos uploaded on the Disney Youtube, and starring my personal favourite white boy of the month Ross Lynch? The definition of feel-good. I haven’t seen La La Land but I am 99% sure that the iconic tap dancing bench scene is a rip off of the absolute banger that is Teen Beach Movie’s ‘Can’t Stop Singing’.

I can’t even pin my absolute love for this musical film on nostalgia; I never had Disney Channel and it only came out in 2013. I think the abundance of escapist, summery vibes and a billion 60’s-style outfit changes is what makes this so enjoyable, and some of the jokes (especially the time-travel related confusion in the sequel, including a 60’s surfer seeing an Inflatable Tube Guy for the first time) are genuinely funny. Cowabunga! (Am I even saying that ironically at this point?)

Leonie Bellini

Image:IMDB
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

It goes without saying that life is short, so it’s important to stop and smell the roses every now and then. This was something I’d learnt from this film. This film that is filled with relatable characters, chaotic energy and teenage rebellion. You can’t not love it. That’s why it’s such a classic, not only due to its life lessons but also the friendships and hilarity that all take place over one day of bunking off school. There are many reasons this film is such a classic and I’ve only named a few. The reason that it makes me so happy though is the air of freedom!

You can really put yourself in the characters shoes and spend the day as they do. You can watch it when you’re sick and stuck inside and still really feel how the characters do and the journeys they go on. This is because of the universal nature of the themes (I mean we all love a coming of age film because we’ve all been there) but more importantly it’s because of the lessons we learn from the characters we love so much. And if that doesn’t do it for you, a very public dance scene on a float to the tune of ‘Twist and shout‘ is bound to fill you with joy.

Eve Ducker

Image:IMDB

People achieve happiness in different ways. Some run (masochists).  Others paint. My personal method is a cup of tea and plotting new Animal Crossing hate articles for the sole purpose of upsetting Sophie Hicks. It’s the little things we do that help keep a smile on our faces. But there is one thing we can all do to help lighten the mood: watch a film. And a film I can’t help but smile throughout has got to be Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

It’s as 80s as could possibly get from a movie and that alone makes it a great film. This film is so 80s even I felt nostalgic watching it and I wasn’t even born until 2001. It’s such a simple story about a bunch of friends just skipping school and having a fun day in the city. That’s what makes it such a fun watch as there is no deeper subplot just pure, untainted fun with no worries what so ever. Watching the three of them have such a great day out can’t make you feel happy from start to finish. The humour is top tier and there will be more than a few moments that’ll make you chuckle. It’s an 80s movie that has aged remarkably and if you haven’t seen it, please do.

You’re still here? The article’s over. Go home. Go!

George Bell

Image:IMDB

Last modified: 29th April 2020

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