I recently stepped outside my comfort zone and watched Top Gun.
It was there on my streaming menu. I pressed play. My young adult children laughed at me. ‘Mum are you feeling okay? It’s the type of film you hate.’
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The kids were correct. But on this Saturday night it was what I needed. It was Tom Cruise, before he turned into an iconic superstar. It was sunsets, sunrises and glorious young men at their peak. It was Anthony Edwards pre-ER. It was all about bravery and friendship and fun. And seventeen different versions of the song, Danger Zone. I loved it.Sitting on my own couch, watching it was bliss. I’d never really had a crush on Tom Cruise, but always found him endearing and sweet.
I’m a child of the 70s. The highlights of my life came from the box in the corner of the room. Over the years, the TV changed from small black and white portable to larger colour screen. There was a strange thing called a remote, and an even stranger thing called a VCR. There were DVDs and for about five minutes, laser discs. That was how you watched your movies after spending two hours at Video Ezy and trying to agree on what to borrow.
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Back to Top Gun. Recently on a Facebook group there was a discussion about the movies of Tom Cruise and was he a good actor or merely a very pretty face? Consensus was that he is a good actor – in spite of the prettiness. We all ignored the scientology issue and then moved on. That led to a further discussion re Pitt and Clooney and Keanu. Multiple sighs and gushes and fluttering eyelashes – everyone loves Keanu. He can’t be called Reeves – he can only be Keanu.
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Now my DVDs lie in a cabinet. Occasionally we pull them out and have an audit. As a family, we have access to 4 streaming services and spend half our lives flicking around trying to find someone that will suit our mood. When I need comfort, I turn on Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Some Like It Hot. For one daughter, it’s Love Actually, the other it’s Shaun of the Dead. If my husband wants to have a good cry he watches Cinema Paradiso.
I never would have picked Top Gun as my comfort watch and I’ll probably never watch it again. But it served its purpose last weekend. I needed a lift and Maverick and Goose and the planes gave me just that.
What is your comfort movie watch? The one you’ve seen 15 plus times, the one where you know you’ll cry, the film that leaves you devastated (or happy) Everybody has one.