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December 24 2004

"Once More With Feeling" #7 in the (UK) Times list of 50 feel good films. It beat out such classics as "Singing in the Rain" and "The Sound of Music"!

You know, I never thought of it as a 'feel-good' film.
Don't get me wrong-I love Once More With Feeling, but it beat out Sound of Music? I guess that just shows the power of the verse!
Singing in the Rain is truly a feel-good film, and one of cinemas most enduring triumphs.

OMWF is TVs finest moment, bar none, in my opinion, but it's definitely *not* feel good at all!
This is 50 titles in search of a (holiday) theme, methinks. The writer should have gone with the somewhat looser "life-affirming" as the unifying principle, cos, you know, OMWF, "The Big Chill," "Say Anything," "The Big Easy," "Withnail & I"(!) These do not exemplify what I understand by the term "feel-good." Which is OK, since "feel-good" is kinda a throwaway epithet for a work that is a little too fluffy and light for my taste.

There are some real gems in the list though. I absolutely recommend "A Matter of Life and Death" (titled "Stairway to Heaven" in the U.S.), which is one of Powell and Pressburger's greatest, all the screwball comedies listed, especially "His Girl Friday," and the aforementioned "Withnail" to anyone who hasn't caught them yet.
haha... feel good? Did they actually understand what they were watching, or were they just distracted by the pretty music?
Merry Chrismukkah, everybody!!! May 2005 bring you better TV, more satisfying sex, lots of love and happiness and large amounts of cash! Wish you monsters...but only the hot, sexy kind in leather pants.
I don't know, 'Walk through the Fire' is fairly uplifting! Certainly a good allegory about fighting back depression.

Anyway, happy holiday season, whatever it is that you celebrate, wherever you celebrate! I was going to use the 'Wish me monsters' line but electricspacegirl used it so much better above - so what she said, from me too!
Well, whatever makes you feel good. Enjoy. And a second ditto for what electricspacegirl said!
"Give me something to *sing* about...I need something so *sing* about..."

And the answer is, No.

Not really uplifting!

Merry Christmas!

Or whatever you may or may not celebrate!

But. OMWF uplifting? Only in the way that Oedipus Rex, King Lear, Phaedre, et. al. are uplifting...but not feel good!

Feel good everyone, time for a holiday bourbon (or three) before bed and then a very merry Christmas, I think!
I love any time OMWF is given good press, but "feel good" film really is pushing it. I mean, by the end, not one single character is even remotely happy, which is kind of an important aspect of a "feel good" film. Bad stuff can happen, but it has to turn out okay, and this episode ends with the characters uncertain and uneasy about their futures.
You can just about see Willow's imminent descent into magic-fueled madness when she realizes that she didn't save Buffy from a hell dimension but rather plucked her rudely from eternal rest and peace...phenomenal drama, but not "feel good"!
It's fun to see some Italian stuff like Cinema Paradiso in the top five... I didn't know it was so successful overseas, too.

[ edited by Zamm on 2004-12-25 18:06 ]
Ahhhh, but it ended with a big dramatic kiss! Doesn't that make it a happy ending?

It is said in the theater that people leave a show with whatever was their last impression. That's why a good opening (to get them to pay attention) a good first act finale (to make sure they don't leave during intermission) and a spectacular finish is thought to be able to make a hit even if there is not anything much in between. It sounds like this person just remembers that Spike and Buffy finally got together with a big fat smooch in the last frame. And after all, even if everybody else was unhappy, that relationship went well...

(Note: Since I am fairly new and rarely post, the first and last lines are my sarcastic voice. This is a verrrrrrrrrry strange "feel-good" list.)

Happy Holidays to all.
I think good art can provoke what a late nineteenth-century poet called "sweet melancholy," that delicious sense of depression that bands like The Cure and The Smiths exploited so well. Maybe that's what feels good.

Or maybe it makes you feel good because no matter how bad life is, at least you weren't ripped out of heaven, forced to claw your way out of your own grave, and then obliged to work fast food. It does help keep things in perspective.
I'll feel this list is well adjusted. No cause to be sacastic. We're a open-minded group. We say our piece and we welcome others to do the same. I've said my word. Good night.
And Toy Story at number ten with a shoutout to a "great script". I wonder who wrote (at least part of) that....?

And in a way OMWF was a 'good' experience. It bought Buffy's secret into the open and started the road to happiness. It may have been a long, bumpy, road....
I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" at perhaps my own life's nadir...far worse than Georges Bailey's situation, I assure you...and I was infuriated...called George a whining little crybaby cretin...after all, he was beloved by his neighbors, had a beautiful family, and was married to the doting (and insanely beautiful) Donna Reed...and that wasn't enough to see him through a tough time?...things were so bad that suicide seemed the only way to go?

I watched this inspirational heartwarmer through admittedly very jaundiced eyes and thus have never been able to embrace it the way, well, pretty much everybody has...funny how context can dictate things...

I think Babe belongs on the list, to be sure...and I'd add The Cup, too. And, in a bit of an offbeat way, Stalag 17.

And, Our Daily Bread. A marvelous Depression-era movie by King Vidor.

One more: Charles Laughton's brilliant performance in Ruggles of Red Gap. Every American over 10 years old should see it.

Okay, still one more: Captains Courageous. Spencer Tracy, the greatest American actor ever.

[ edited by Lizard on 2004-12-25 23:01 ]
I should clarify that I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. (I'm also new to the list and probably not so good at expressing tone.) I really think that art can provoke a pleasantly sad feeling and include Buffy as a wonderful example of that kind of pathos-evoking expression. The show has been cathartic for me on any number of levels. I'm genuinely glad for the recognition of OMWF.
I will admit some silliness with the "at least I'm better off" comment, but again, not trying to be sarcastic.

Oh, and "It's a Wonderful Life" enfuriates me as well. I think "Amends" does a much better job with the Christmas/suicidal thoughts subject.
Biff, I totally got what you problem there...and, glad I'm not the only one who finds Wonderful Life insufferable (love lots of Kapra's other stuff, it should be noted.)

Yes, Amends...a far superior take on Christmas, redemption, repentence, sadness, joy...brilliant episode.
I just watched Amends. That's my idea of a great feel-good film. The snow falling never fails to make me cry - a good kind of crying.
During the last few minutes of even think that Faith has turned a's beautiful camera work...Willow and Oz...Faith and Joyce, Xander, disbelievingly tossing back his sleeping bag...and then Buffy and Angel walking by themselves through the town...a stunning non-reprise of the opening scene in Ireland...just wonderful...

[ edited by Lizard on 2004-12-26 00:23 ]
Amends is right up there with Prophecy Girl for superbly written and superbly acted, heart wrenching, scenes.

I know it's a tiny, tiny, little thing but the "snow" and the end as they walk down Main St is just.... well, I thought someone had put far too much powder in their washing maching....
It kind of looks like clouds, sort of adds to the storybook feel of the ending if we're feeling generous about the special effects.

I was thinking that the episode is kind of an inversion of "Wonderful Life." Right as Angel was starting to recover, an other-worldly being visits him to show him his past as part of a strategy that ultimately results in a suicide attempt. Almost a perfect counterpoint to the Capra film's narrative structure. Clarence is about as annoying as the First Evil, as well.

What's great about Amends is that it emphasizes the good one can do in the future over what lies in the past (where "Life" tries to base everything on what has already happened). It really is a great episode.

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