One quote that has always stuck with me is from French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who said, “For me a picture has to be something pleasant, delightful, and pretty – yes, pretty. There are enough unpleasant things in the world without us producing even more.” Renoir spent a lifetime bringing his idyllic visions to play in his beautiful paintings, particularly in his masterpiece “Luncheon of the Boating Party” (pictured above). His stance on the importance of creating happiness through paintings has always made me wonder about the overall purpose of all art forms.
I’ve always had a particular attraction to darker movies. In fact, my overall relationship with movies would be completely different without such dark films as “The Godfather” and “Sunset Boulevard” and more recently “The Dark Knight,” but there’s something special to be said about movies and TV shows that just make you smile.
For me, nothing really makes me happier than a solid “Friends” episode (pre-season 7, we’ll say). Sure the gang had their ups and downs with the third season break-up and the Joey and Chandler feuds every so often, but watching the six friends together just gives me this warm sense of security. It was my favorite show growing up and even though Chandler’s lines have grown so familiar I rarely laugh at them anymore, there’s a particular comfort I get in watching it all over again.
I have the same sort of relationship with a few movies. “Amelie” is a beautiful story of a woman who anonymously helps out random people in need, a magical movie that always makes me happy. Then there are favorite comedies of mine like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Zoolander” that I can watch over and over and still make me laugh.
These days, it seems like outside of animated features, there aren’t really many films that really radiate happiness in comparison to the amount of darker films. Whether that’s a problem or not is hard to say, but I definitely know that it’s nice to have a happy film thrown into the loop at least every once in a while.
So what kinds of movies or TV shows do you watch to bring a smile to your face?