This is a one of those stories from Paul Collett, a good friend of the site, on how Michael J. Fox, Luke Skywalker and Buzz Lightyear once teamed up to help him through a tough time.
About a year ago I had a week off work with some kind of virus which meant I couldn’t or perhaps shouldn’t leave the house, and as the boredom set in the inevitable search through the DVD collection started. To my delight I found Teen Wolf, a present bought for me one Christmas from my best bud Jon (you may know him if you’re regulars to the site), I watched it and utterly enjoyed it, despite the dodgy make up and pretty naff story line, it made me feel good and bought a smile to my face. Maybe it was the performance of Michael J Fox who I have always liked, or maybe it was the harmless story line or the feel good ending, either way I felt better.
With that my road to recovery was set. I went out and bought a copy of Short Circuit, Gremlins, Big, and The Goonies, all of which were films that I loved as a child. By today’s standard the special effects were no greater than a Blue Peter show, there was no HD, 3D or an R2D2 in sight. I sat snivelling in bed and watched them all back to back and every one bought a smile to my face, be it the dodgy Indian accent in Short Circuit, the toys being played with in Big – they all did one thing successfully, and that was make me feel better, forget my ailments and gurgling belly and enjoy the memories of my childhood. I was able to sit back, relax and watch films that were easy to watch, with no fake twists or turns, no women turning into robots (memories of Transformers 2 are hard to shake…) and no 15 mile wide space ships that only Will Smith can destroy. They were good honest family fun.
When I had watched all these films, I had a thirst for more, and so out came the Pixar films and one by one I watched these and began to realise that its only these films that really catch the imagination and family fun that the old films bought the viewer. They are innocent, funny and speak to the inner child in us all, plus there’s a moral at the end. So having watched so many films in a few days, I generally felt better and made a quick recovery and was back to work in no time. They say laughter is the best medicine, and I agree with that, but I also think a good film that can make you think of happy times can go a long way.
On a closing note about films and illness, about 10 years ago I was struck down with meningitis, I was in a bad way and dreading every time I had to go for a scan. Until one day Jon made a card for me made up of pictures of various films (mainly star wars) that were our favourites when we we children, and every time I had to go for a scan I took that card with me and thought about Storm Troopers, lightsabers and the heroics of Luke Skywalker. Once I did that the scans bothered me no more. So, when you’re feeling down or a bit under the weather, get out a good film, as it will guarantee to make you feel better.