30 Day Film Challenge – 14. An Eternal Feel-Good Movie

Some films are the antidote to a bad day. When stress builds up, when your chest aches, when the tears don’t seem like they’ll ever stop flowing, these films will always put the smile back on your face like a warm and loving pair of arms wrapped around you tight.

Most feelgood films tend to be family fare, and this makes sense – there’s usually an element of nostalgia involved because you watched the films at a young age in happier times. Watching the films gives you the warm and fuzzies as you remember a simpler life when summer holidays would last forever and once your homework was done you were footloose and responsibility-free.

Subject matter is important for a feel-good movie, too. Doom and gloom don’t usually go hand in hand with warm and fuzzy – that said, many a Goth has a soft spot for The Crow, so who am I to dictate what makes you feel good? For mem though, it’s usually a good silly comedy that puts me back in my happy place.

Cool Runnings is such a film.

Three Olympian sprinter hopefuls find their chances of competing in the 100m race scuppered, but with the help of a comic relief sidekick and John Candy’s world-weary coach they might just hit Olympic gold after all … as Jamaica’s first bobsled team.

This is actually a true story, albiet heavily fictionalised in true Hollywood fashion. Strange as it may seem for a tropical country, Jamaica does have a bobsled team, and they did indeed first compete in the Calgary Winter Olympics. They even crashed in one of the qualifying races, stopping them from officially finishing. The rest of the film is fun light-hearted nonsense.

It’s a great underdog story – four athletes (can a boxcar racer be considered an athlete? close enough) have to learn an entirely new sport, entirely unsuited to their home climate, travel to a freezing cold foreign country and endure the ridicule of their peers as they learn to bond as a team and to trust one another. It’s cheesy as all hell, sure, and entirely predictable to boot … but it puts a smile on my face every time it’s on. My sister and I will often ask each other ‘Sanka, you dead mon?’ – though we’ve never asked anyone to kiss a lucky egg. That’s just weird.

If you want a fun sports film that you don’t need to think hard about, you could do far worse than giving this a try,

Feel the rhythm…

Feel the rhyme…

Get on up…

It’s bobsled time…


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