So, there are the genres of movie we all know – the romcom, the horror film, et cetera. But movies go way beyond that, in terms of niche. Then there are the genres that are a bit more specified – genres you couldn’t really plan for.
For example, some years ago one of my best friend’s life wasn’t going well, and he just watched Ocean’s 11 over and over. But that would be a crappy marketing technique, wouldn’t it? “Ocean’s 11: because sometimes your life just sucks.”
For me, the perfect movie during the holidays is The Muppet Movie. When I hate the world and feel helpless, I get a sudden craving to watch The Road Warrior. And when I hate the world during the holidays I re-enact The Road Warrior with Muppets.
That’s a lie.
There are the movies for moods, movies for seasons, movies for weather.
And they can be movies that are otherwise not good. Everyone has that movie that they love because they saw it under exactly the right conditions, and then you tell your friends, so they watch it and you realize… oh… maybe you have to be in a certain frame of mind for Tango & Cash to seem great.
At the moment, I’m thinking about insomnia movies. You can’t sleep, you go through the crucial stages – denial, dread, anger, counting (if I fall asleep right now I can still get ___ hours of sleep), fury, despair, hatred of God, acceptance – and then putter out and watch TV. And the perfect thing comes on.
So what makes the perfect insomnia movie? Is it one that puts you to sleep because it’s so boring? Or is it one that calms the mind?
I remember seeing a movie called Water once in the middle of the night. This is not a good movie, even if you could find it I wouldn’t suggest it. In fact, my memory is that it starred Michael Caine, Jimmie “Dynomite!” Walker, and Scottish comedy genius Billy Connolly as a guerrilla soldier who will only sing because he refuses to speak until the island is liberated, which convinced me that I’d imagined it, but nope, there it is on imdb. But for an insomnia movie? It’s simple, nice, charming without excessive cleverness. Ditto an 80’s Steve Guttenberg movie called Bad Medicine. To me, an insomnia movie leaves you feeling peaceful. Entertained without challenge. Pleased without memory.
So, for our Weekly Question of the Week, what do you think? What would be the perfect insomnia movie? You’re up, can’t sleep, unhappy about it, plop down on the couch and turn on… what… that makes you feel calm and pleased?