Right now, the best thing for everyone to do is stay home as much as possible in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the harsh consequences it can have for many members of our community. However, a lot of us get bored at home when that’s our only option. I suggest that everyone should switch it up and do something that they would normally never do to keep the home environment lively and exciting. My family is turning to movies.
Now, I know watching movies is not the most original activity to do during a pandemic, but please stay with me.
Usually, if someone in my family wants to watch a movie, at least one person has a problem with it. There’s only four of us – myself, my older brother and our parents – but we can never seem to agree. To drastically simplify it: my dad likes war and prison movies, my brother likes action movies, my mom likes Hallmark Channel-style movies and I like something with a character-driven plot. Imagine fitting all of that into one movie.
So, for this social distancing period, my brother had the idea for each of us to pick five movies, to compile those twenty movies into one list, pick a random number each night or so and watch whoever’s pick gets chosen. Each person only gets one veto.
After dinner, when my brother clicks “Enter” on the website that computer generates a random number for us, we are all on the edge of our seats to see who the big winner is of the night.
So far, we have watched “On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg; “Uncut Gems,” a movie about an underground jeweler and the debts that he owes to the wrong people; “The Irishman,” a three-and-a-half hour long movie about the mob and “Forever My Girl,” a movie about a man who leaves his fiancé at the altar and returns eight years later with regret.
At first, I thought this would be a very stressful and judgmental experience because I didn’t want everyone to judge my movie choices or get mad at me for making them sit through something that they didn’t like. But it has honestly been really entertaining to watch movies that I never would have chosen for myself, as well as movies that I have wanted to see but never had a reason to watch. I didn’t want to learn about RBG’s life alone in my room, watching from my laptop, but it was such a great experience for us all to learn about her life together in our family room, and root for her success in her first trial. Despite our differing political opinions, it brought us all together to watch something that I think everyone was surprised to enjoy as much as we did.
I’m not trying to say that movies brought my family together. I think we are already a pretty close family and we didn’t need Hollywood to bring us back together in a symbolic, Hollywood-like way. But, I do think that we take our closeness for granted and often go off to our own corners of the house after dinner. Our movie list has given us something to look forward to during such a scary and confusing time.
Anyone can make their own movie list – whether it is with your family or friends – and if you have to quarantine alone, then you can even watch the movies separately and talk about them afterwards over the phone.
It doesn’t even have to be movies. I just want everyone to realize that we have so much at our disposal right now, and there are always new ways to have fun at home.