Five Feel-Good Blue Monday Pick-Me-Ups
January blues well and truly set in? Don’t worry, it’ll only get worse. Just when you thought your post-Christmas turkey belly couldn’t get any flabbier, your wallet couldn’t get more empty or your social life more nonexistent, along comes Blue Monday. The last Monday in January was officially recognised by psychologists in 2007 as the most depressing day of the year, based on a formula taking into account six factors – weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing New Year’s resolutions, low motivation and the feeling of a need to take action. This year, the fateful day falls on January 25th, which unfortunately is shuffling ever closer like a newly given-up smoker who’s out of Nicorette gum.
Faced with such a bleak prospect, there’s only one thing to do – take to the sofa with a carton of Ben & Jerry’s, a bottle of the off licence’s finest, cheapest wine and some good old-fashioned celluloid escapism. To aid you on your journey into singing, dancing, shiny-eyed false happiness, we present you with the best fictional film characters through which to live vicariously on Blue Monday. Enjoy!
Singin’ in the Rain
Musical, magical and quite appropriate for the gloomy British winter weather, you’ll be joyfully jumping into puddles and irritating passers-by in no time after watching this Gene Kelly classic. The romance between a suave silent-film star and a plucky young aspiring actress, told against the backdrop of buzzing 1930’s Hollywood, is a universally appealing one, and both Kelly and Donald O’Connor will wow you with dance numbers that still stand up among the best of all time. Plus, the numbers are so easily translatable to real-life situations! Had a big night after falling off the wagon on your New Year’s sobriety resolution? Humming “Good Mornin’, Good Mornin'” to yourself on the way to the tube will make the horrific day ahead seem bearable! Facing a long walk home in a downpour? “Singin’ in the Rain” will unlock the hidden pleasures of being wet and cold!
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
For those who have returned from their Christmas holidays and realised their job is a tedious, soul-sucking hellfire, John Hughes’ tale of one man on a mission to take the ultimate sickie will go down ultra smooth. Young deviant Ferris (Matthew Broderick) manages to steal a classic car, dine in a fancy restaurant, lip-synch to Twist and Shout in a street parade amongst a crowd of cheering onlookers and outsmart his blustering school principal, all without Mum and Dad ever knowing he’s left the house. Your own sick day might be more about cups of tea and playing Halo in your pants, but hey, you’re still sticking it to the man!
The Full Monty
Having trouble finding anything other than pennies and balls of fluff in your wallet these days? Take a leaf out of Robert Carlyle and the boys’ book. When unemployed steel worker Gaz (Carlyle) is threatened with losing his son because he can’t pay for custody, he gathers together a group of fellow dole-office cronies for the ultimate harebrained moneymaking scheme – a one-night-only strip show. Let’s be honest, this movie makes being destitute look fun, which we all need a little of in these post-Christmas debt-ridden times. You’ll be boogying down in the unemployment line in no time.
The Princess Bride
Whether you’re in need of a little proof that true love triumphs over even the most depressing (and ridiculous) of circumstances, or just a damn good laugh, this ’80s satirical fairytale will give it to you. The story of star-crossed lovers Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn, pre-Penn) and Westley (Cary ‘Whatever Happened to That Guy’ Elwes), it also features a hilarious support cast including Andre the Giant as a reluctant kidnapper, Billy Crystal as a grumbling elderly faith healer and Wallace Shawn as a cocky villain who finds everything “inconceivable”. Something for everybody really.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
When life gets you down, what do you do? Take the piss out of absolutely everything. It’s the British way, and it’s perhaps best embodied in this most classic of all the Python boys’ films. Most of us have at least one drunken uncle who’ll insist on taking us through the entire dialogue blow by blow at the Christmas table, so in a way by watching this film, it’s as if the holiday season never ended. From, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a naughty little boy”, to, “I’m Brian and so is my wife!”, we defy you not to laugh at the classically twisted humour in Monty Python’s take on the life of Christ. The delightful irony of the final “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” scene still stands as one of the most daring bits of comedy ever. As pissed Uncle Jim would no doubt say, they just don’t make them like that anymore.
Got another feelgood film to share? Don’t bogart those precious endorphins. Let us know below.