By Juan Calvillo
Relax before the spring semester by watching any of these five hilarious and fun winter season movies. Right now might be the perfect opportunity to invite someone, via FaceTime or other communication form, to watch a heartwarming and fun movie. This list will only stick to the theme of the winter season.
First on the list is the entertaining early ‘90s Disney film “Cool Runnings.” Starring Leon, Malik Yoba and John Candy, “Cool Runnings” tells the story of the first Olympic Jamaican bobsled team. Candy is perfect for the role of the Jamaican team’s coach, infusing both hilarious one-liners and heartfelt moments with the group of young men. Leon plays Derice Bannock, a sprinter who chooses to become a bobsledder with hopes of winning Olympic gold. The movie uses the fish-out-of-water approach, showing the team meeting obstacles and challenges with a can-do spirit. “Cool Runnings” is rated PG and is available to stream on Disney+.
The 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” stars the hilarious Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell as Phil and Rita. Taking place on the titular Groundhog Day, the movie is fun and irreverent from the onset. Phil is a bit of a jerk who only cares about himself and how he feels. Rita is a kind spirit who looks out for those around her. The movie focuses on the idea that people can better themselves if they have time and really want to improve. Murray is quick-witted as the often sarcastic and off-the-cuff Phil. MacDowell is effortless in her role as the kind-hearted Rita. “Groundhog Day” is rated PG and available for rent or purchase from iTunes and Amazon Prime Video.
Third on this list is “Edward Scissorhands.” The movie stars Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, Dianne Wiest as Peg and Winona Ryder as Kim. This 1990 gem from writer and director Tim Burton has a unique look and feel. Upon meeting Scissorhands, Peg and Kim take it upon themselves to introduce him to the world. Scissorhands is a shy and innocent young man and throughout the film’s run-time becomes a more open and accepted part of the town. “Edward Scissorhands” has the unique flair that accompanies many of Burton’s films, with a splash of outlandish looks and gothic sets. The best part of the movie is its ability to show what kindness and acceptance can do for people and communities. “Edward Scissorhands” is rated PG-13 and is available to stream on the STARZ app and on via STARZ on Amazon.
“Dutch,” from 1991, starring Ed O’Neill and a super young Ethan Embry is a film low on most viewers’ radars. Written by John Hughes, this film is one of the funniest and most childish movies on this list. O’Neill plays Dutch Dolley, the new partner of Embry’s mother in the film. Embry plays a stuck-up, angry and foul tempermented teen from a divorced family to perfection. The movie puts Embry and O’Neill in a road trip situation from beginning to end, causing plenty of moments where the feuding pair battle for dominance and respect. There’s a hilarious moment where the two get into a physical altercation that proves just how physical both O’Neill and Embry could be for laughs. “Dutch” is about coming to terms with the break-up of an old family and acceptance of a new incarnation of family. The movie is rated PG-13 and is available for streaming on MaxGo, Cinemax’s streaming application.
The top spot on this list goes to the 1987 Hughes masterpiece, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Written and directed by Hughes, the movie follows Steven Martin and John Candy through trials and tribulations as Martin’s character, Neal Page, tries to get home to his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Del Griffith, played by Candy, is a sweet, silly oaf who becomes Page’s traveling companion. The two could not be further apart in characteristics, which makes this road-trip-slash-buddy film even funnier to watch. Martin is the perfect uptight suit-and-tie person to play off of Candy’s lovable, teddy-bear-like qualities. With Hughes’ perfect direction and script on hand, the pair of comedic actors make every scene funnier than the last. What really shines about this movie is the ability for people to absorb those who are alone into their circle of friends and family. “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is rated R and is available to stream on the STARZ app, STARZ on Amazon or for purchase on multiple digital platforms.