I’m not sure if I believe in comfort food. There is food that makes me nostalgic, or makes me feel young again, but it never truly comforts me.
I do believe in comfort movies. The movies that you play almost automatically when you’re really, truly sick as a dog; or when you just can’t face the world; or when a miscommunication over the apartment that you had a 6PM appointment to sign a lease on leaves you feeling a bit lost and untethered and lease-less.
My first comfort movie was Romancing the Stone. I could watch that one over and over. In fact I did, until the tape plain wore out. Luckily, subsequent roommates have since replaced it, knowing and marveling at the odd peace I discover watching Kathleen Turner slide hysterically down a muddy bank in Colombia.
Comfort movies are not static. While I still appreciate the jungles and crocodiles (“Look at those snappers, Ralph!”) of my youth, I moved on after a few years. To Tremors. Big gawdam monsters. Underground. I don’t even understand that one. But it always worked.
There’s nothing logical about comfort movies. They don’t necessarily remind you of your youth. They don’t necessarily make you laugh, though they may have once. They aren’t necessarily smart, stupid, well-made, cheery, gloomy, bizarre, or employing the most beautiful cast. They simply are.
I moved through Aladdin, Hudson Hawk, Speed, Serial Mom, Roman Holiday, and Secretary before discovering my current comfort movie. I have finally found Serenity.
Now this one kinda makes sense. I’m a Joss Whedon fan from way back (and come to think of it, he’s always been extravagantly comforting; we use to have Buffy & Phish Food parties, back when she was still gaga over Angel on the WB), and the idea of an outer space western is just so right, it can’t help but make you feel happy. And of course the writing is superior, the plot inventive, the characters supremely awesome… but all that don’t matter none.
It just is. Like Tremors, it is the right movie for the right time, and it will not be denied. Tomorrow it may be supplanted by Dumb and Dumberererer part 13, but today it is. Today, when I’ve cut my roots to the past and feel like I’m spinning off into the void, when ‘home’ is but a distant idea, when nothing but my trusty pickup Tach feels certain anymore, I’m reminded that they can’t take the sky from me.
Yes, I’m a nerd. A cozy, comforted nerd.