three hundred and ninety two

Watch IN BED: Films to Cosy Up to

Words by Jessica Ellicott

Comfort movies appear in all forms. They’re shape-shifting, highly personal creatures. Sparking feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and joy, they can morph to suit your desires. One day, they might come to you in the form of Diane Keaton, standing in a beautiful kitchen. On another, it could be E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, playing dress up in Drew Barrymore’s closet. Meg Ryan eating a pastrami sandwich. Jennifer Lopez falling in love. Pia Miranda on the back of a motorcycle. As the seasons change and we move towards cooler evenings, here are some select recommendations for films that share that elusive cosy quality.

The Parent Trap (1998)

First, we must bow down to the master of the genre, Nancy Meyers. A rigorous auteur of the comfort film, her very name evokes immaculate smart casual ensembles. The smell of bread baking. Fresh linens. Roast dinners. Holiday homes. Through films like Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday and It’s Complicated, Meyers has honed a certain kind of aspirational romantic comedy to mathematical perfection. Her first film The Parent Trap is one of those movies you somehow know every line to, despite not seeing it for years. It radiates with a hopefulness and charm that can only be created through the combined powers of Lindsay Lohan, goofy hijinx and California sunshine.

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

Undeniably cute, but not overly sentimental. Family-friendly, but not dumbed-down. Fantastical, while still rooted in reality. Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro is an ideal starting point to understanding the Studio Ghibli phenomenon. Beautifully pared down in terms of narrative, the film mainly focuses on enrapturing the audience with its world of wonder. One of the best and most creative films to evoke the experience of childhood curiosity, it’s an easy 90-minute ticket to filling your heart with joy and hope and other such good things.

The Forty-Year Old Version (2020)

One of the funniest and most refreshingly original films of last year, The Forty-Year-Old Version is one of those inspiring New York movies that make you want to hop on the next plane across the Atlantic. Written and directed by Radha Blank, who plays herself in the film, it’s a frank and deeply generous portrait of creative epiphanies and personal evolution told from the perspective of a woman on the cusp of 40. Radha is a playwright whose career has hit a wall, leading her to try her hand at rap, turning into RadhaMUSPrime by night. With a soundtrack rich with ‘90s hip hop needle drops and swooning jazz, the film is abuzz with an electricity worthy of its Big Apple setting.

The Truffle Hunters (2020)

Some films provide comfort by fully transporting you to an incredible, distant reality that you previously knew nothing about, but leave feeling a deep connection to. Honeyland was one of those films, Jiro Dreams of Sushi was one of those films, and The Truffle Hunters is an excellent recent example. Set within the luscious forests of Northern Italy, it immerses you into the carefully guarded world of truffle hunters, and their trusted, sharp-nosed dogs. Cult-like in their secrecy and refusal to give away their go-to spots, their way of life is as rare and precious as the delicacies they dig up. A film full of beauty, it’s a total luxury to observe these masters of their craft at work.

Screening at Golden Age Cinema.