Secret Stress-Relieving Remedy! Sunday Movies

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time relaxing. With all the work and chores that need to be done, it feels impossible to slow down. And yet, I know I need to. Sometimes I just want to be taken away to another world, another time and place. I used to LOVE, love, love going to the movies—to see the kind of movies I like—foreign, obscure, slow, and intense. But with kids taking up my whole life, and living in a place where movies like that come around once in a blue moon—well, going out to a movie theater doesn’t often happen. And honestly, I can’t stay up past my kids’ bedtime to watch grown-up movies after they are asleep. I’m too tired myself.

So this year, I vowed to start a new tradition. Every Sunday afternoon, I am going to call the TV to watch a movie I want to watch. Between Netflix and and TIVO, I’ve got my sources covered.

This past Sunday I watched Kitchen Stories. It’s a Scandinavian film set in the 1950s about a researcher sent to observe a single man in his kitchen in Norway. My family members all rolled their eyes at my choice. Their loss! It was a sweet, funny, bittersweet movie that made me FEEL like I spent the afternoon in Norway.

I am always amazed at the quality and brilliance of foreign films. We Americans believe we have conquered the world with our movies, but the truth is, we’ve done it with explosions and cheap laughs. It’s all about special effects and famous celebrities, rather than great stories and beautiful imagery. And, by the way, other countries make even funnier movies than we do—I’m thinking specifically of Australia and South Korea. But their humor often requires the ability to laugh at oneself, rather than at others. Something Americans have a hard time doing, I think.

Anyway, I have a few Gerard Depardieu movies on the way (happy, happy, joy, joy!). And I never did get to see Pedro Almodóvar’s movies other than Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down ages ago. Also, if anyone can recommend any good new Australian movies, I’m totally up for it!

Here are my Sunday at the Movies requirements: no violence and no major tragedy or tears. I don’t want to start my week with a headache and a bad feeling. Other than that, anything goes.


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15 Responses to Secret Stress-Relieving Remedy! Sunday Movies

  1. Kathryn January 8, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I think it’s great to have a “Sunday at the movies” time! I often find that watching my favorite movies puts me in a better mood and motivates me! I only own DVDs that I KNOW I will watch again. I’m a typical girly-girl (though I raised only boys – 5 of them) and my favorites are: While You Were Sleeping, Overboard and Murphy’s Romance. Movies can be like a good book (although nothing takes the place of some quiet reading time)…soothing your spirit and rejuvenating your mind and body! I think I feel a Sunday at the movies coming on for me!!

  2. abby January 8, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    “Brothers Bloom” super quirky and sweet
    “The Science of Sleep” ditto
    “Priceless”- a netflix watch instantly!

  3. Matt January 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Awesome idea. I appreciate the suggestions that people have posted here for non-violent non tear jerkers and will fill up my Netflix queue with these suggestions. Thanks everybody. I look forward to getting more ideas by visiting this page.

  4. Vidya Sury January 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    We do exactly that at home. My mother is confined to bed, on doctor’s advice and we’ve discovered that its great fun to watch all the movies we’ve always wanted to. We’ve built up quite a library, as movie DVDs are quite cheap. It felt very good to read your post.

  5. Renee January 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Lars and the Real Girl. The story is unforgettable.

  6. Mona January 8, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Try the BBC series that are on DVD. Monarch of Glenbogle, set in Scotland is one of our family favorites. We are midway through season one and enjoying the beautiful backdrop of the country. Funny, love story and humor. Great for young adult and those in their 100’s!!!

  7. Mary Ann January 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    As a foodie and a foreign movie lover, I hope you’ve seen Babbette’s Feast. If you are not scrounging the kitchen for a snack after that movie, you never will!!

  8. Sue-Ann January 9, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Love your Sunday idea. We like to buy & watch educational, underground films like “The Secret” & “You Can Heal Your Life”. These were both first books. They will change your life by giving you power & making you SMILE.

  9. Donna in Delaware January 9, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Babbette’s Feast is a great movie! I’ve been with Net Flix for about 1.5 years now, on and off, and I really do appreciate the amount of foreign movies that they stock. We just finished one (Maria, you wouldn’t like it) set in WWII Germany. It’s titled ‘A Woman in Berlin’. I love historical, fact-based movies and so does my husband, especially during WWII. Some extraordinary movies have been made about that era. I’m certain that people are tired of the subject, but you must admit that it was an extremely interesting time in the history of the world. They won’t even show this movie in Germany and I believe the book was written in the ’40’s.

    Maria is correct in saying that the quality and brilliance of foreign films is absolutely amazing. I have always watched foreign films for as long as I can remember, especially as a child during the ’60’s when A Man and A Woman was made (French, of course). There is a movie called ‘MEETING VENUS’ with Glenn Close, set in, I believe, the Czech Republic and/or Hungary. The music was evocative, sensual and beautiful. There are so many other fantastic foreign movies out there to choose from. I am tired of all the “F” words and violence that make up American movies. It seems that every other word is “F”. Do we not have a vocabulary in this country anymore? It’s like being a sub-culture in the film industry, compared to foreign made movies. You don’t get that filth! We don’t seem to be fazed by the filth and violence in our movies anymore. We (the movie audience) actually cheer sometimes when violent things happen to others in a movie. It’s sickening!

    As MONA said, Monarch of the Glen is wonderful! It is so enticing that you won’t be able to wait until the next episode. We simply loved it. I had been watching it for the 6 or 7 seasons that it was aired on PBS. We were hooked, so much so that when we were in Scotland this past summer, we went to the area where it was filmed in the Scottish Highlands. We were disappointed because we could not go into the castle. It is privately owned and being updated. There was scaffolding everywhere. You could only see the castle from the road and the gate house to the castle’s entrance. Unfortunately, the program was filmed in different parts of the country and put together to make it seem like it was one big, beautiful property. We were not disappointed with the area. That country is magnificent in scenic beauty. I’ll never forget that trip.

    There is another program on DVD from the BBC called ‘JUDGE JOHN DEED’. It is a long running series in Britain and I started watching it when we lived in Canada. It is very well produced and you get a good glimpse of the British courts and justice system. Amazing. You can only purchase it for now. I’m not sure if Net Flix have the series or not. They didn’t have it when I joined Net Flix. There is so much out there, but I would suggest watching the BBC and PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre. Even their Mystery Series is good. Good luck. Didn’t mean to be long-winded.

  10. Donna in Delaware January 9, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    PS. The Brits have an excellent sense of humor. Although it is dry humor most times, I think the American audience will get it. Some of you may need to listen carefully if you are not used to hearing certain British accents and British English. Some of the Scottish accents in Monarch of the Glen are very thick and you will probably not understand certain characters. They talk fast also, which will probably make it worse for some listeners. Forewarned is forearmed!

  11. texfan January 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    We get DVD’s from our public library, which has a large and continually expanding collection of non-US films (in Palo Alto, CA). A recent favorite for me is The Syrian Bride. It has wry humor and an upbeat ending.

  12. Barbara B. January 11, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    Try the British series, Lark Rise to Candleford. It’s about two rural towns of these names in the late 1800s, and the various people who live there, joys and sorrows, etc. I just love it. No violence or bad language, the characters are interesting and you’ll be drawn in.

  13. Carrie January 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Amelie, or anything else with Audrey Tautou. Love Actually (not foreign, but a majority of the actors are British). Bend It Like Beckham.

  14. JassiMostru June 5, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Very nice and intrestingss story.

  15. Elizabeth December 18, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    I LOVE your ‘Sunday at the movies’ idea. Perhaps i will adopt it myself. Here are some of my fave movies:

    Like Stars on Earth: foreign
    Raising Victor Vargas: independent
    Mad Hot Ballroom: documentary

    (just a few to begin with)

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