Author Topic: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films  (Read 1595 times)

etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2020, 10:33:05 PM »
Boy Meets Girl
Eric Schaeffer, 2014

A movie every Republican in Kentucky should watch. ;) Boy Meets Girl is a funny, engaging look at what it means to be a transgender growing up in a conservative area, and how personal relationships are like lifelines when the world at-large can seem oppressive. Non-professional actor (at least at the time), Michelle Hendley, puts in a nuanced and assured performance as Ricky, a transgender woman who aspires to go to fashion school in New York. Director Eric Schaeffer did the smart thing and found an actual transgender actor who had some similar experiences to play the role. The two together are not afraid to “go there” or “show this”, which makes it remarkably sexually progressive and authentic in feel.

Ricky’s familial bonds with her brother and father rather show a blueprint for acceptance in a transgender person’s family, though what we later uncover about others in her life is certainly less happy. Obviously, the issue of Ricky being transgender is not an issue at all in the household, or even for Ricky’s best friend Robby. While the two are pretty obviously in love, Ricky’s fling with Francesca, a cisgender woman, creates tension and pushes them to finally open up to each other. This is a totally sex-positive film, which to me is a feel-good element that’s not to be underrated. Acceptance and appreciation for differences is good. Having sex how you want to with whom you want to is good. Both parties (or all parties) mutually enjoying sex is good. Sex-positive is positive. Once Ricky and Robby are pushed all the way together, it gives way for a touching little ending. (Although I’m a little concerned as I feel Ricky has just been doxxed, but like, in a good way?) I have done a good bit of complaining in my life about how modern romcoms are often very hollow, at least from what I can catch over my mom’s shoulder (OK, I’ve seen some, but not of my own suggestion), but Boy Meets Girl is smart, deals with some weighty issues, and comes out smiles. Maybe even a tear. A happy tear.


This marathon is going on hiatus until the new year, so I can get caught up on this year's feature films.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 10:35:29 PM by etdoesgood »
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Bondo

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2020, 06:26:46 AM »
One thing I appreciate is that even the seeming villain is ultimately given the space to develop depth and complexity, as explanation not justification. Maybe it makes it all too rosy (it goes to some dark places but is arguably still too gentle) but I think there is a place for films to model the society we want and not get stuck in simply magnifying the real world's tragedies. It is a film that listens to and respects these red state people while also not compromising its moral compass. It calls them in rather than calling them out. In that way it feels quite political without actually seeming political at all.

etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2020, 11:26:45 PM »
Yes, having the marine boyfriend involved in this new type of love triangle seemed a bit contrived, like can I get a few more degrees of separation. However, it also had its utility toward showing different paths toward understanding one's sexual desires and how to fulfill them, as well as feelings of shame and regret at not conforming to the norms you've always been taught were unbreakable lest you want significant pain and sorrow in your life. This very much takes a common-humanity approach, not an Us v. Them one, and it's all the better for it.
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etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #63 on: January 02, 2021, 05:39:29 AM »
Number 7 Feel-Good Selection



Write-up will be out by Sunday, January 10, at 11:59PM. Going to give myself a week to get back into the swing of things.
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etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2021, 06:21:28 PM »
Had to scratch Patients last second, because though JustWatch says it's available on YouTube, it's not. I have nowhere else to watch it. I'm going to see if I can do some digging and see it by next week.

The random generator says I need to watch The Sting instead. It's going down soon.
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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2021, 07:28:43 PM »
Had to scratch Patients last second, because though JustWatch says it's available on YouTube, it's not. I have nowhere else to watch it. I'm going to see if I can do some digging and see it by next week.
I tried to help. Patients is also known as Step By Step. IMDB lists it as 2016, but the busted YouTube link has it at 2017. I tried all these combos, and even in my backdoor sites I could not find it available.
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etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2021, 11:33:54 PM »
The Sting
George Roy Hill, 1973

Warm Blanket Movie - Just kick back, relax, watch, ahh

I don't know why it took this long to add the Warm Blanket Movie award, but here it is. It comes up for The Sting, because while it's not inherent feel-good, and even includes a death toward the beginning that I find troubling at best, and another later on that is just, whoa, but it is good-natured throughout. It's also a warm-blanket kind of film because of the awesome, catchy, certainly iconic ragtime soundtrack and detailed dedication to its 1930's Chicago setting, with its indoor phone booths, soda stands, neighborhood bars, and killer men's wear. Instead of moving to the shadows of a noir, we often get bustling streets in the perfect lighting for a lively heist plot that has its twists and turns down pat. Newman and Redford are a lot of fun together as mentor and student, and Redford does just enough to have you checking his allegiances, while never having a lot of heavy or tense scenes where dramatic irony may bring us a more serious or grave mood. It's not what this thing is. Definitely more of a warm blanket.

The bringing to life of this big con job is incredible. The mark, a crime boss named Doyle Lonergan, gets his own one-room Truman show built for him in the form of a horse gambling outfit. Everyone in their is paid to string him along until he drops a huge bet and gets taken for a ride. In other crime films, you might see the boss as a more aggrandized figure, saying little, carrying a bit stick and whatnot. Here, Lonergan is simply bad-natured, mean, and self-important, so watching this caper unfold against him is light and fun. Like seriously, CINECAST! him. The best use of dramatic irony is always to an amusing or comedic effect. We are forever directed to the machinations of the elaborate heist, and at the end, two new friends get to walk out hand-in-hand. A pretty fun way to end the weekend.

Next Up: Heart and Souls (if I can find a way to watch it), or Penelope (if I can't)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 05:17:20 PM by etdoesgood »
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smirnoff

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2021, 01:11:34 PM »
The Sting

It's also a warm-blanket kind of film because of the awesome, catchy, certainly iconic ragtime soundtrack
I do really enjoy the framework those little breaks provide. I wonder where the idea came from to break the story up in that way. It's not hard to imagine the movie just carrying on without the pauses. But as you say, there's something warming about it. A injection of nostalgia and structure. A reminder of what's being constructed.

I'm curious how the final con played out for you? I remember being surprised by its scale. Like just when I thought I understood who the players were, the other shoe drops and we discover there's a whole other outer orbit of players. The first time I saw it, that rocked my world. It was pretty early days in my film watching life and I hadn't learned how common that particular twist would be in con type movies.

etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2021, 07:43:40 PM »
Penelope
Mark Palansky, 2006

I believe in the premise, and the adorableness and wonderfulness of Cristina Ricci with a pig's nose and James McAvoy, enough not to mind some of the rootlessness of this film. It lays it on a little thick in the end, but Penelope is one I'd probably rewatch in a rough patch. It could be one of my favorite movies heavily featuring rich people, too, as the wealthy usually repulse me.

It's not complicated, the Ricci character Penelope was born with a curse and has a pig's nose. Her family tries to marry her off to a rich man, under the assumption that a blue blood will break the curse. McAvoy's Johnny Martin tries to take advantage of the situation to earn him some more money to feed his gambling addiction, so he plays it off as if he's a man named Max Campion, who comes from wealth. What happens next, I'm sure you can guess, but I enjoyed how it unfolded.

For instance, there is a sequence where Penelope tries to figure out Johnny/Max's instrument, and the ensuing try-out is quite amusing. Their game of chess, though played through a one-way window, is oddly intimate. Then, Penelope's own search for self-discovery, and eventual self-acceptance, has its own set of cute and fun moments in a city and world that is rife with character and a life of its own, truly fairy tale stuff. She goes from grotesque monster to curiosity continuously trailed by the paparazzi. It's bizarre, but there are many heartening and sweet moments that make it work. The rather surprising entrance of Reese Witherspoon as a bit of an outsider and wing woman is a bit distracting, but this film was crying out for a good female friend for Penelope, a strong feminine bond. This makes the film work for me as much as anything else.

Granted, for some, it will be far too sentimental. Syrupy. Saccharine. The last three days I've seen Instant Family, 2 or 3 Things I Know About her, and Penelope. All over the place. I prefer film as art over just entertainment, and I actually think the stabs at pure escapism fall short of what can be done in books and comics. Some films, though, just seem like acts of love, meant to warm the heart. Most of those, I cannot stand, which is why I started this marathon, to find the ones that can ride the line and manage to be good films that also warm your heart. Penelope may not even do it. But this was just great utilization of the entity that is Cristina Ricci, in all her odd sweetness, it worked for me. A part of me is skeptical. The rest felt rather warmed.

A Happy Cat - Feel-good for sure


Bucket, Filled - This just brought me up a notch


Warm Blanket Movie - Just kick back, relax, watch, ahh
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etdoesgood

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Re: E.T. v. Filmspotters' Favored Feel-Good Films
« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2021, 07:45:09 PM »
The Sting

It's also a warm-blanket kind of film because of the awesome, catchy, certainly iconic ragtime soundtrack
I do really enjoy the framework those little breaks provide. I wonder where the idea came from to break the story up in that way. It's not hard to imagine the movie just carrying on without the pauses. But as you say, there's something warming about it. A injection of nostalgia and structure. A reminder of what's being constructed.

I'm curious how the final con played out for you? I remember being surprised by its scale. Like just when I thought I understood who the players were, the other shoe drops and we discover there's a whole other outer orbit of players. The first time I saw it, that rocked my world. It was pretty early days in my film watching life and I hadn't learned how common that particular twist would be in con type movies.

The final con is awesome! I admit that I did not see that outer orbit coming, and was distressed by the mass betrayal about to take place. Like, is her really going to CINECAST!ing do this? It made the ending all the more pleasing to me. It was that final realization that moved it into feel-good territory for me.
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