A comfort home fix via the movies

The Academy Awards just wrapped up over the weekend, and once again I failed to see any of the movies nominated this year. It’s not because I don’t enjoy watching movies. I do. Very much. Next to reading a good book, watching an engaging, engrossing movie is right up there with one of my favorite things to do. Especially on the big screen in a darkened theater.
However, I also enjoy another kind of movie watching. Repeat comfort movies at home. It’s like comfort food, only a comfort movie. It’s the kind of movie I might want to watch if the weather is snowy or chilly. Or if I am not feeling well either with a nasty cold or a mean case of the blues or I’m feeling a little lonely. It’s the kind of movie that gives you a you fix like a bowl of homemade mac and cheese or chili or whatever your comfort food fix. It fills you up, satiates a need and leaves you warm inside and extremely satisfied and fulfilled. And it makes you smile.

On these particular days I am drawn to movies set in what I find to be incredibly comfy, cozy, homey homes, where the home is a key, central part of the movie. It’s a home that is not extravagant , not a mansion, just something really comfortable – warm and inviting with just the right decorating touches. For example, I was feeling really run down one one recent Saturday, and I did a little channel surfing and found the movie “It’s Complicated” and watched it for a second time. If you haven’t seen the movie it features Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. The crux of the movie is set in the home of the character Streep plays. I find every part of this home so appealing, a home you would walk into and feel instantly comfortable, including the kitchen where Streep’s character whips up an impromptu gourmet meal for Martin’s character, her architect. She entertains her friends in the living area and shares her frustrations and indiscretions. The home also is where Streep’s character is given a joint by her ex-husband, Baldwin, while she is soaking in the claw foot bathtub. Who doesn’t love a claw foot bathtub?

Steven Martin also made two “Father of the Bride” movie set in cozy, homey homes. Memorable scenes include George wanting to have a barbecue wedding in the backyard and eventually settling for a wedding reception in the house, and George and Nina having a little fun on the kitchen floor and ending up with a baby on the way in their middle age years. After finding out about the baby on board and knowing the nostalgic value of a family home George buys the home back in “Father of the Bride II” after impulsively selling it.
“Driving Miss Daisy” is another movie set in a gorgeous, gorgeous home this time in the South. One visually impactful scene is where Miss Daisy is sitting in a white wicker filled sunroom with sun streaming in multiple windows framed in white curtains. Just gorgeous.

If you add an ocean outside these homey homes, I love the movie even more. Think Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in “Something’s Gotta Give.” They stroll along the beach with the waves breaking and sending up white spray, and Nicholson’s character contemplates climbing up a flight of beach stairs after a heart attack to gain strength to be “ok back in that department.” Later the two meet up in the kitchen in the middle of the night in their pj’s to make pancakes.

One of my favorite movies combining a warm, meandering older home and the ocean, plus a great story, is “Rich in Love” with Albert Finney, Kathryn Erbe and Jill Clayburgh. It’s set in South Carolina and it has Erbe’s character, a teenager, trying to figure out why her mother has abandoned the family. The house is huge and inviting and has giant wrap around porches. The house and the movie are truly treasures and will give you the ultimate homey home movie fix.

I have lived in 15 different places in the last 30 or so years. This Victorian apartment in Wisconsin was one of the most homey homes.

I have lived in 15 different places in the last 30 or so years. This Victorian apartment in Wisconsin was one of the most homey homes.

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