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How to Beat Those January Blues With Movies!

by Maggie Kruger

January sucks, doesn’t it? There’s very little that’s good about January [Editor’s Note: Hey! My birthday’s in January!]. Let’s look at why January is officially the crappiest month of the year:

1. You have no money cos you spent it all on Christmas presents.

2. You don’t fit into your jeans cos you spent December feeding yourself a diet of cake and Camembert.

3. Your face is puffier than the Staypuft Marshmallow Man after breakfasting on Mimosas for the entire Christmas period.

4. You walk to work on a Tuesday morning (like I did) in weather that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Roland Emmerich apocalypse extravaganza.

5. You have broken all your New Year’s Resolutions by January 2nd.

Personally, I think that January needs to be spent in hibernation. If I could, I’d crawl into my bed, champagne tipsy, at 3.30am after a brilliant New Year’s Eve party, and stay there until February 1st. The Man, however, disagrees, and so I need something to get me through the New Year Blues.  Chocolate’s out; alcohol’s not the answer; I can’t go back to the gym until I’ve got rid of at least 2 of my new chins… time to bust out the movies.

In January, you need films that make you feel happy, in a ‘wraps you up in a big quilt and makes you feel better about being a penniless fatty’ kind of way.  Now I realise it’s going to be each to his own in terms of which movies you watch, but I know that that for me only my old faithfuls are going to cheer me up.

Obviously you need to start with comedies. Any of your standard Sunday Night stock – Life of Brian, The Princess Bride et al – would be a perfect choice, but also consider squishy comedies that make you go ‘ahhhh’.  Uncle Buck is perfect, and I’m a sucker for both Sister Act movies. You have to find movies that are sweet, gentle and don’t strain your brain. Or that are just silly in a good way. Think Tootsie, Airplane!, Spaceballs, Three Men and A Baby. In fact, I defy you to watch the following clip without smiling:

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1984)But I know as well as you do that too much sweet stuff is bad for me, so I like to mix it up with something actiony. Big, overblown and loud are your watchwords: think True Lies, Rocky 4 and The Fifth Element.

Yes, I know that invoking the unholy Planet Hollywood trinity will most likely speed along the Apocalypse; yes, I know that The Fifth Element is batshit crazy and makes very little sense; and yes, I know full well that any Rocky film makes me bawl like a 2 year old who’s just discovered Santa isn’t real*, but they’re all really good and don’t need take any serious contemplation.

But what really, REALLY cheers me up, on nights like tonight when I’ve only just managed to persuade myself that lentil stew is a great alternative to pizza, is nothing short of eightiestastic: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun stars Sarah Jessica Parker before she turned into a horse (thanks, Family Guy) and Helen Hunt before she won an Oscar, as well as Shannon Doherty before she turned into a public liability.

It’s got everything – awesome dance routines, a cheesy love story and a bitchy mean girl, not to mention Ed Lauter (Best. Eighties. Dad. Ever.), a kooky best friend and a training montage that still makes me tear up a little. It’s fluffy, clichéd and totally implausible, but is just wonderful.

Check out the trailer:

Then go and find it and watch it immediately. Even writing about it now has made me smile goofily.

So with a handy supply of movies like these, January flies by faster than you can say ‘Bu-hut he’s suh-huch a goo-hoood ma-ha-ha-ha-ha-aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnn!!!’**. See you in February for Awards season!!

*Honestly, every time Rocky gets punched it makes me cry. I was a mess after Rocky Balboa, I couldn’t talk for sobbing for about an hour afterwards.

**Yes, that was me about an hour into Rocky Balboa. I am ridiculous.

Maggie Kruger fell asleep on her dad’s lap on her first cinema trip to watch Return of the Jedi in 1983, and has loved the movies ever since, even going so far as to study them at college, where she worked on a number of short films. She lives and works in London, UK, and will tell you that her favourite film is Dr Strangelove, although when pressed will also admit a certain weakness for 1980’s brat pack movies and most of Adam Sandler’s early work.Follow her on Twitter: @emmizzykay .


6 comments for “How to Beat Those January Blues With Movies!

  1. Gail
    January 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    What a fun article Mags! January is a very busy month for me at the office. I use TV and movies to unwind. I’ve been getting old 30’s and 40’s movies from my local libraries. It’s free, good entertainment. I’ve watched “High Sierra”, Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and “In a Lonely Place” all starring Humphrey Bogart. And a bunch more this month already. I’ve added a few movies that you tweeted too. I’m also trying to keep up with the Forgotten Flix and rewatch my collection of Bruce Campbell movies. All in an effort to keep me sane this month as I work on numbers and spreadsheets all frakking day. I don’t have enough time to watch all the movies I want but I’m trying! Right now I want to go home, curl up on my couch & watch “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” while trying to convince myself that the vegies I’m snacking on are truly better for me than chocolate or chips.

    • Dave Umbricht
      January 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Great January pick Gail – While Sierra Madre is a classic – “In a Lonely Place” is just a nasty piece of film noir. If you want another one, with some great dialogue, check out “Out of the Past” with Robert Mitchum.

      • Mags
        January 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

        Ooh that’s the one I think I already tweeted to you, Gail. Awesome movie. Double Indemnity’s good as well.

  2. Peter Nielsen
    January 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Great and funny article, Mags. As always, I should add! And yes, movies are a good way to cure the blues, BUT… you have to choose carefully or things can go horribly wrong! 😉

    • Mags
      January 24, 2012 at 9:39 am

      As well you know Peter, my mantra when picking movies is always ‘CHOOSE WISELY’ 😉

  3. Terry East
    January 18, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Nice article. I haven’t watched in its entirely in a few years now but “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” is a favorite of mine. As it comes out on Blu-Ray in April, I suspect I’ll be viewing it yet again. Here is to hoping that the planned remake never happens. For my experience, January is a great month for watching movies but February is probably the month that makes me more blue.

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