Comfort Movies and TV Shows

There are some movies that we turn to when we just need to visit old friends or places. I call these “comfort movies.” We don’t necessarily have to be sad or lonely or feel under the weather. They’re just movies that strike a chord within us and make us feel good. The equivalent of comfort food like meat loaf and mashed potatoes or macaroni’n’cheese or tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

My main comfort movie is my all-time favorite film: The Best Years of Our Lives. It’s the story of three men returning home from World War II. I also enjoy the Andy Hardy movies from the 1930s-40s. Mickey Rooney plays the teenaged Andy in these fun, light-hearted films. My favorite is Love Finds Andy Hardy in which Mickey co-stars with Judy Garland. Or I can visit up north with the hilarious residents of Dog River, Saskatchewan, in the TV series Corner Gas.

I asked a few friends about their favorite comfort movies and discovered an amazingly varied list. One of my sister’s favorites is The Princess Bride, starring Robin Wright and Cary Elwes. Besides being a sweet and funny love story, it also features a nice story of a grandfather and grandson. And is there anyone out there who doesn’t recognize this line? “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

A close friend says she plays her I, Claudius DVDs, the BBC series about the first Roman emperors, with Derek Jacobi in the title role. She also loves The Lion in Winter, the movie about King Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons, starring Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn. Nothing like incredibly dysfunctional families to put your own woes in perspective.

Another friend loves While You Were Sleeping, the romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, and the Thin Man movies about detective Nick Charles and his lovely wife and accomplice Nora. William Powell and Myrna Loy play the crime solvers. One other friend loves Persuasion, based on her favorite Jane Austen novel of love thwarted and rediscovered, and Cold Comfort Farm, a comedy starring Kate Beckinsale.  She plays a young woman who loves to put things right -- and changes the lives of the residents of a rundown farm.

One of my co-workers says that Enchanted April, with Josie Lawrence and Miranda Richardson, is her go-to comfort movie. The film centers on four English women in 1920s and how a month in Italy renews their lives and loves. Another co-worker loves Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the musical romantic comedy starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell. She always enjoys the wonderful story along with the great songs and dances.

The choice of favorite comfort movies and TV series is as wide-ranging as people themselves. Which titles would you list?


I would say my comfort movies

I would say my comfort movies would be Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version), The Scarlet Pimpernel and of course Man From Snowy River! :)

I think that particular

I think that particular version of Pride and Prejudice is a nearly universal favorite.   And The Scarlet Pimpernel is a great suggestion, too, for those of us who love a real romance with our swashbuckling. And The Man from Snowy River is not only a wonderful romance/adventure/western (it may be set in Australia, but it's a western), it's also an incredibly beautiful movie.

Thanks for commenting and for the adds to our list!


I can't count the number of

I can't count the number of times I've watched the 1940 film adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." And an adaptation it most certainly is -- lots of liberties are taken, from omission of certain characters to the decision to costume the ladies in Victorian rather than Regency gowns -- and moreover fans of the 1990s TV miniseries will be left wailing, "Where is Colin Firth?" Let them wail. This genuine treasure from Hollywood's golden age is not to be missed. Among its many pleasures: Laurence Olivier's smoldering Mr. Darcy, a lively Herbert Stothart score that incorporates musical passages from sources as divergent as English folksong and "Pictures at an Exhibition," and -- best of all, in my view -- an array of scene-stealing character actors: Mary Boland, Edmund Gwenn, Melville Cooper, and the redoubtable Edna May Oliver.

The 1940 version of Pride and

The 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice is so much fun to watch. Olivier is a wonderful Darcy and I think Greer Garson strikes the right attitude as Elizabeth Bennet. As you say, quite a few liberties are taken, but I still enjoy it. And the character actors! I, too, adore the actors from the 30s and 40s and this movie has some of my favorites -- especially Edna May Oliver.

I heard an interview with Colin Firth who said he was at first intimidated by the role of Darcy because, to him, Laurence Olivier was Darcy. I wonder how Firth feels now that most people consider him as the quintessential Fitzwilliam Darcy.  I confess that I enjoy Olivier, Firth, and Matthew Macfadyen as Jane Austen's most famous male character. 

Thank you for writing!

My number one comfort TV show

My number one comfort TV show is M*A*S*H.  I can sit down and watch that any time, I don't even care if I start in the middle of a program.  It's like visiting with old friends.

I, too, love M*A*S*H! I would

I, too, love M*A*S*H! I would choose it as the all-time best U.S. sitcom. Thanks for commenting!