11 Best Movies to Unwind to ...

149
COMMENT

When you hear the phrase “great movies to unwind to”, what comes to mind? Lately my tastes have been on the lighter side. It's not that I don't like complex stories; the number of dramas and thrillers in my collection will attest to that. However, we don't always want a deep, philosophical experience. Sometimes we just want to be entertained. To that end, here are some of what I think are the best movies to unwind to. They might sound stupid, but sometimes you need to set your brain aside. If you're like me and don't have one, they're even better.

1. Idiocracy

This is easily one of my favorite movies to unwind to. Luke Wilson is recruited to be part of the Army's “hibernation project” and ends up waking up five centuries in the future. He wakes to find that everyone around him is dumber than a box of rocks and gets roped into a government post he has no idea how to do. The people's names (for instance, the president's middle name is Listerine) and the sheer weirdness of the world around him is hilarious and guaranteed to make you fear for the future. :) If you're one to quote movie lines the way I am (can you tell I hang out with guys?), you'll find a lot of funny ones here.

2. Magic Mike

The appeal of this movie should be obvious but, in case it isn't, I can explain it in two words-Channing Tatum. If he's not your type, there's also Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey. Oh, and, the story line is interesting too. IMDb even says that Channing Tatum has, um, “previous experience” when it comes to taking his clothes off in public. I'm not sure how true this is, but I'd “review” him in a minute.

3. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

This movie shows that you don't necessarily have to laugh to relax. It's about a trio of chain-gang prisoners who escape and follow their “leader” to find his wife and children. It's loosely based on Homer's “The Odyssey” so having read that story can help you follow the action, but you can enjoy it either way.

4. Chicago

This musical is about an aspiring performer who goes to prison for killing her lover. It's set in 1920's Chicago, thus the name. I think the coolest thing about this movie is that all of the actors do their own performances. I never knew Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere could dance like that, but they are awesome. If nothing else, you must see the Jail House Tango. Crazy.

5. Grumpy Old Men

I'm not sure if the word “frienemies” can apply to old men, but this movie has two of them competing for the attention of an eccentric widow who moves in across the street. They insult each other and do some rude pranks, but ultimately they love each other. I think my favorite part is the blooper reel; Burgess Meredith's character lets loose with the kind of one-liners you'd expect to hear from your typical “dirty old man”. To read some of them, check out the “Crazy Credits” section on the “quotes” page. The sequel is okay, but nowhere near as funny as the original.

6. Mystery Science Theater 3000

Even if you're not a sci-fi fan, you can get a big kick out of this movie. For those who haven't seen the TV show, it's about a guy who is shot into space where he's made to watch stupid movies while an evil scientist plots to take over the world. To get through the day, he makes a couple of robots who join him in making smart-assed comments about some of the worst B-movies ever made. In other words, they do what we used to do in high school. Like I said, even non-sci-fi fans will find it hilarious.

7. John Tucker Must Die

This is what happens when three high-school girls find out they're all dating the same guy. Instead of fighting with each other the way some women would in real life, the girls point their rage in the right direction and scheme to get back at the guy who's been playing them all. They set him up to get his heart broken the way he broke theirs. It's not exactly “high-concept”, but it's still fun to watch. Plus, Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”) is hot.

8. A Knight's Tale

This movie is about a young squire who, with the help of his friends and a naked drifter they pick up on the side of the road, poses as a noble to compete in jousting tournaments. It stands out from other “period” movies because it has a bit of humor laced into the drama; seriously, do you really think you'd hear “We Will Rock You” at a medieval jousting tournament? :) I don't know about you, but I always love a good “underdog” story. Paul Bettany's Geoffrey Chaucer “introductions” before the events are almost as fun to watch as Heath Ledger. Almost.

9. The Birdcage

This is one of the late Robin Williams' movies a lot of people forget about. In it, he's part of a very flamboyantly-gay couple that has to scramble to impress the deeply-conservative parents of his son's fiancée. Some people might find the stereotypes in the plot offensive, but Nathan Lane is funny enough to make it all pan out.

10. Office Space

As someone who has worked in cubicle farm like this, I can completely relate. Okay, I can't relate to “scheming to steal from the company that screwed you over” part, but it makes fun of the mind-numbing boredom common in these places. If the famous “printer assault” scene doesn't make you laugh or least ring true, I can't help you.

11. Where the Heart is

This touching film casts Natalie Portman as a pregnant teenager who is abandoned at Wal-Mart by her boyfriend. A couple of kind women take her in and help her rebuild her life while one of their sons falls in love with her. It's definitely a “chick-flick”, but those are always good for a lift.

These are just a few of the movies I like watching after a hard day. What are yours? Do you agree with my list? Which ones have I missed? Discuss!