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Movies for When Real Life Feels Like a Lot

This article is part of Roar’s collaboration with the Positive Peers this Take Time In, which is KCLSU’s campaign on 4-21 May to support positive wellbeing for students online during this exam period.

There’s no denying it. Life feels like a bit much lately. Between the pandemic and civil unrest across the globe, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. On top of that? It’s exam season. With this in mind, consider these film options to take your mind off things for an evening.

Whichever Studio Ghibli Films Floats Your Boat

The day Netflix introduced most of Studio Ghibli’s masterpieces onto their platform was a wonderful day. Characterised by beautiful animation and a dash of fantasy, Ghibli’s films cover themes like friendship and family, plus environmentalism and culture. Perhaps most well-known is “My Neighbour Totoro”, but equally delightful are “Spirited Away” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service”.

Anything Directed By Wes Anderson

There is no cinematography more endearing than that of Wes Anderson. Distinctive colour palettes make charming universes all the more enthralling. Whilst the stories and characters vary between films, each is captivating with a signature wit. Consider “Fantastic Mr. Fox”: a sunset- toned take on a children’s classic with a star-studded cast. If you’d rather watch something live action, go for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

The Young Adult Franchise You Fixated On When You Were Younger

It might be “The Hunger Games”, maybe “Divergent”, or perhaps “The Maze Runner”. Either way, I know you had a dystopian YA franchise of choice. Of course, some are more cringeworthy and cheesy than others, looking back. That doesn’t matter. A familiar universe and set of characters provide the movie equivalent of a comfort blanket. Bonus points if it’s a rainy day and you opt for “Twilight”.

Something That Tom Hanks Is In

I’m just going to say it. Tom Hanks does not miss. Because he’s starred in so many movies, there’s something from every genre to choose from. You want a hard-hitting drama to get lost in? “Captain Phillips”, “Bridge of Spies”, or “Greyhound”. Are you after something light-hearted? Go for “Forrest Gump” or “The Terminal”. There is a Hanks film out there for you, regardless of your preferred genre.

The “Three Flavours Cornetto” Trilogy

Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto” trilogy is a ridiculous romp through British comedy consisting of “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”, and “The World’s End”. Whilst each film is a standalone work, there are callbacks and references throughout each. Look out for the literal cornetto ice creams. “Shaun of the Dead” is part zombie slasher, part romantic comedy. Meanwhile, “Hot Fuzz” presents Simon Pegg as a police officer in a quintessential English village where things are not what they seem. The concluding offering, “The World’s End”, is an ode to British pub culture that descends into chaos as an apocalypse looms.

A Trashy Teen Romcom

Consider “The Kissing Booth” or “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”. If it’s got Noah Centineo in it, you’re on the right track. For those who are after a British iteration, “Wild Child” and “Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging” are uncontested classics in this genre. Whilst some of these are trashier than others, what they have in common is their ability to transport the viewer into the protagonist’s lives. Swap out your real-life responsibilities for these characters and their mundane, banal problems; brooding over a high school crush beats brooding over an assignment any day.

Whether you go for something animated or live action, trashy or true story, any of these options will give you just enough escapism to forget your worries. Even if it’s only for a day or an evening – try to step into someone else’s shoes.

If you’d like to pick up more tips and tricks to look after your wellbeing, join the Positive Peers’ Thrive sessions! You can also check out the Positive Peers website and the KCLSU Wellbeing Hub to explore what’s on offer.

Kat Scott-Hyde

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