January is the month of the year that you tend to stay in....get cabin-fever...run out of spark from the holidays....add up the days of sunshine (less than four)....and feel like you got a six-pound rock in your shoe. You'd like to soak up some sunshine, mow the yard, and yearn for just a little positive effect on your life.
So, my list of movies that are appropriate this time of year, to make up for the lack of sunshine or over-abundance of snow and ice:
1. The Quiet Man (1952), with John Wayne. Toss in some Irish landscape, a bit of humor, some hidden-story, and a good ending.....you have an epic.
2. Forest Gump (1994), with Tom Hanks. It weaves a long story with some dramatic pieces sprinkled into it, and delivers some inspirational moments.
3. My Man Godfrey (1936), with William Powell. It's a witty piece which surprises you with a great ending. Maybe some five-star acting in between.
4. Gladiator, (2000), with Russell Crowe. Epic Roman era story. I admit, there's some high and low points to the movie, but it is inspiring toward the end.
5. Local Hero (1983). A British piece over the odd way that locals handle big oil men.
6. Along Came Jones (1945), with Gary Cooper. It's a western-comedy which rarely ever gets played except on the classics channel.
7. The Philadelphia Story (1940), with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. What you end noticing toward the middle is a five-star comedy script, with a twist or two at the end. The filming took barely six weeks and most of the movie was done with a take or two.
8. A Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). If you can find the director's version (192 minutes)....it's better than the normal version that you typically see on TV with the 160 minutes. My favorite of the movie was the Dick Shaw-surfer dude, but there are a dozen oddball characters making the movie worth watching.
9. Secondhand Lions (2003), with Micheal Caine. It's a southern-type story, that involves two old guys who probably have led lives ten times over, and one brief summer with the nephew who comes to visit and will end up staying permanently. Somewhere in the middle of the movie, they will introduce to the lion, and she influences the ending of the movie to some degree.
10. The Sucker (1965). It's a French-Italian comic gangster movie with Luis de Funes. It might play once a decade on the classics channel. If you can find it with the subtitles.....played on a large-TV screen....it's a great comedy that plays at a fast pace. In essence, it's a French-made Jerry Lewis-style movie that progresses along at a mile a minute.