A Film For What Ails You

A film for what ails you

Now autumn is upon us and the nights are drawing in, there’s no greater comfort than curling up on the sofa with a chunk of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut, a glass of wine and watching a film.

For any affliction of the spirit, there’s a film to fix you – and if it doesn’t fix you it will at least provide you with a couple of hour’s worth of entertainment.

For when you feel like the world is a terrible place. There is such a thing as watching too much news. Whilst it’s great (and important) to be informed, there’s no shame in taking a break to watch something completely escapist. Think of it as replenishing your reserves.

For this, I think the best things to reach for are any films with animals in: Homeward Bound, Turner and Hooch, Jurassic Park. Pretty much any musical will help with this too – Grease, or even better Grease 2, My Fair Lady, The Wizard of Oz – they’re all going to transport you to an all singing, all dancing world of fun where the threat of nuclear war is but a distant memory.

For when you need motivating. Hello, this is me all the time. When I need a cinematic kick up the arse I turn to Working Girl, Dirty Dancing (she practises so much guys, and she’s on holiday) and Rocky. Thief is also strangely motivating…motivating me to start a life of crime!

For when you need to laugh. I’m here to tell you that I watched Role Models once a week for almost the entirety of 2009, and 2009 was better for it.

Special mentions for Wet Hot American Summer and Legally Blonde.

For when you want a hug and a warm bath. If you want a hug and a warm bath, maybe first go and source those two things BUT AFTER THAT watch My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sleepless in Seattle and the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

For when you need to feel a little bit magical. Now let me recommend you all go and watch the greatest film of all time, which I watched e v e r y night of my second year of uni or else I could not fall asleep (drum roll please): Practical Magic.

Special mentions here go Hocus Pocus, The Craft and Matilda.

What are your go to films for when you feel down in the dumps? Do you watch any films over and over again? Let me know in the comments or email hello@terriblypersonal.com

7 Empowering Female Characters

Do you ever read or watch something and think: oh my god, I need to be this woman?

Maybe she’s got her shit together, perhaps she’s super smart, or she might be so funny you had to spit a mouthful of tea back in your mug because you were laughing so much at her one liner.

Well, here are my 7 most empowering female characters,  from book, film and TV.

NUMBER 1 – Tess McGill from Working Girl. I love this film. Tess, a working class girl, from Staten Island works hard to follow her dream of working in the City despite her family and friends’ derision. I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it but she proves just how smart she is and never really wavers from her goal.

NUMBER 2 – Lorelai Gilmore. I thought about putting Rory on this list because she’s so smart and hardworking but then I thought Rory is all those things because of her mother. Lorelai is hardworking, determined and positive. She tries to do as much as she can independently and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She raised a daughter alone, put herself through school as a mature student and built her own inn. She just gets things done.

NUMBER 3 – Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale. Okay, so she’s routinely raped by the man who now ‘owns’ her under the patriarchal regime which took away her rights to a family, to read and to handle money but bear with me. Offred refuses to give up on her humanity. Throughout the book, and the TV series, she never gives up hope that one day she will be reunited with her daughter. She dares to love Nick, to form bonds, because she refuses to become suspicious and insular like the Gilead regime wants her to be. I think Offred in the TV series may actually be even more empowering to watch than she is in the book. Perhaps because we have more time to get to know the character, or perhaps because she says ‘fuck’ so liberally.

NUMBER 4 – Dana Scully. Whenever I’m feeling a lack of motivation, I like to channel Dana Scully. This woman. She’s a doctor, an FBI agent, an owner of a fabulous assortment of pant suits AND she manages to get Agent Mulder out of a multitude of scrapes and disasters. Every time a man mansplains to me on Twitter, I am Dana Scully rolling her eyes at her partner’s insistence that Werewolves killed the victim, even though the autopsy she just performed using real medical science proves otherwise.

NUMBER 5 – Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm. Few women are as single minded and determined as Flora Poste. She sets out to move in with distant relatives and completely change their way of life and that’s exactly what she does.

NUMBER 6 – Hermione Granger. She’s smart, she’s sure of herself, she’s not afraid to make herself heard. She also knows that you get from life what you put into it – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to imitate Hermione when I’ve had a test or an essay deadline looming.

NUMBER 7 – Julie Guille from The Blackbirder. I love Dorothy B. Hughes’ books. And Julie Guille makes this one so special. She is in trouble but she doesn’t just wait around for it to find her, she goes on the run. She knows how to handle herself. She takes risks and uses her intelligence and just plain bravado to get herself across the country for the chance of a better, safer life.

Which characters do you turn to when you need to feel empowered? Let me know in the comments.