Cold and Flu Season Movie Guide

It’s that time of the year, the time of cold sweats, thermometers, soup and tissues. That’s right, it’s cold and flu season! As I lay in bed sniffling, popping Sudafed and chugging Emergen-C, I thought, “Ugh, I wish I knew what movie to watch to fit my current illness stupor!”

So here it is. A few guidelines for a “sick day movie”:

1. Nothing overly complicated. You’re in a medicated haze, so why strain your brain trying to follow a winding plot line?

2. Nothing medical-related! I love crazy medical stories, the gorier the better. However, I would not suggest watching Contagion or a House marathon while ill! You WILL think you are dying of those symptoms. You’ve been warned.

3. No dramas! No Titanic, no The Notebook and definitely no Sophie’s Choice! Why would you do that to yourself? You’re already grabbing tissues every few minutes; let’s conserve the Kleenex supply, folks.

4. Maybe just some old favorites – nothing you will be rewinding if you miss a few seconds due to a sneezing fit… or an impromptu nap.

Away We Go

Who wouldn’t bask in the delight of John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph when feeling under the weather? Well, here is the gist of it: Burt and Verona, a married couple with a baby on the way, travel across the United States in search for the perfect city to raise their future child, meeting off-beat friends along the way with a touch of classic road trip greatness… and a killer soundtrack.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

How about imagining you AREN’T phlegm-y and achy and that you are just playing hooky with your BFF? We all know Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and we all love it. Live your sick day vicariously through Ferris, Cameron and Sloan.

The Breakfast Club

Sick days are all about watching old favorites. Maybe you are watching it because you are thankful the days of detention are over or because you have a minor to major crush on ‘80s Emilio Estevez (guilty). Either way, The Breakfast Club is the way to go when lying in bed or on the couch sniffling and aching. It is a major distraction, no matter how many times you’ve spent the afternoon with Claire, Brian, Andrew, Bender and Allison, it is always as good as new.

Midnight in Paris

Why not spend two hours in Paris? Just be warned, after being wrapped up in the world of 1920s Parisian beauty, you will look around at your table covered in tissues and packets of Emergen-C, you in your sweats with unbrushed hair, and think, “I don’t care if this minor ailment could have hospitalized and risked my life in 1920s Paris, it would have been more glamorous!!”

You’ve Got Mail

Can be substituted for When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Kate and Leopold and not a Meg Ryan movie, While You Were Sleeping. What isn’t to love? First off, what isn’t there to love about mid ’90s Tom Hanks? I know you wont admit it, but aren’t we all a little nostalgic for those ’90s AOL sounds? Dial up tone? You’ve got mail? Goofy screen names? Yep, I was a ’90s child; I know it all.

The Wizard of Oz

Isn’t this a no-brainer? Escaping into a world of singing munchkins, a cowardly lion, tin man, scare crow, and a green witch? What more of a distraction from feeling like you need a visit to the wizard could you get? And the music – oh, the music! Instead of hacking and coughing to clear your throat, how about croaking “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”? Sounds a lot more enjoyable to me!

When in doubt, go for Audrey!


Sabrina is my go-to movie when I am sick and can’t sleep, or just need something soothing to rock me gently to sleep. Maybe it’s the black and white, maybe it’s the beautifully simple story… I don’t know what it is, but watching Sabrina with a cup of tea and being bundled up in a blanket subdues me into a sleepy stupor like a baby. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, watch the 1995 version! It’s all about Audrey Hepburn, William Holden and Humphrey Bogart in 1954!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Like Sabrina, the romanticism of Breakfast at Tiffany’s rocks you to sleep. Diluted colors? AMAZING soundtrack? Soft speaking? It’s not that it’s boring, not at all! You can be swept off your feet without lifting a toe to get off the sofa. And when sick, being taken into a new world – a romantic world filled with old New York and fabulous parties – without having to leave your house, drink alcohol, change out or your sweats or see/talk to anyone is a plus.

Funny Face

I’m assuming everyone was as amazed as I was at that incredible Audrey Hepburn GAP commercial a few years back where she danced to ACDC while advertising black cigarette pants? Well, maybe I was the only one in awe. Maybe I continue to watch it on YouTube over and over again all these years later, just maybe. When I need my fix of Audrey doing a beatnik dance in a smoky Parisian bar with a comprehensive story (and not to ACDC), Funny Face is where I turn. Fashion? Check. Fred Astaire? Check. Audrey Hepburn? Check. Dancing and singing? Check. New York and Paris in their glamorous prime, 1957? Check.

Roman Holiday

Why not explore your childhood fantasy of being a princess? You’re sick after all! Why not humor yourself. Yes you put that secret dream aside to focus on more productive things, such as your actual life, not a fantasy one. So why not escape and live vicariously through Princess Ann (Hepburn), a bored princess who hides out from her guardians with American journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) in 1953 Rome.

Your head in too much of a fog to concentrate on a full movie? Hey, nothing is wrong with a Parks and Rec or How I Met Your Mother marathon!

Images courtesy of ShutterStock, Rotten Tomatoes, The Movie Blog, The Guardian, NY Times, EW, Classic Hollywood Central, Pretty Clever Films, The Finest Revenge, and Wikipedia

Filed Under