Mood Swings: The Winter Blues

Have you ever been stuck for a film or show to watch, or book to read? You know you want to desperately immerse into an alternate universe, but you just can’t find the “one”? Well, Bon Vivant has all the answers. Each week, we will publish an article in our Mood Swings series with a different emotional theme, providing you with the best on-screen and reading material to fit your every mood. Do you want the inspirational? The quirky? The depressing? Be sure to check here every Tuesday to find your fix.


Listen up: it is time to square up to your post-Christmas blues. The extra empty wallets, extra weight, and extra layers should no longer ruin the first months of the new year. We have the perfect remedy to beat those winter blues, and it is a full prescription of some hefty film and television binging, baby. You may need a cold night cheer-up, a family pleaser, or a reminder that life does get better – so let us help you out!


La La Land

La La Land (2016)

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are the perfect duo. You have the winter blues? Sit in front of a film starring this pair, throw in some jazz, L.A. drama, and romance, and you’ve got yourself a cure. La La Land follows the heartwarming love story between Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a jazz pianist. Through their relationship, we learn about what it takes to make it in the cut-throat industry, and what the sorry price often is. This aside, this is the romance we’ve been waiting for since The Notebook.


Sing (2016)

There could not be a better family feature to ring in the New Year than Sing. Made from the same producers of The Secret Life of Pets and the Despicable Me trilogy – and with voice-overs from the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, and Reese Witherspoon – one can predict the quality of this film. In a world inhabited by animals alone, we meet Buster Moon, a koala with a desire to preserve a theatre that is struggling financially. His solution is to host a singing competition. But not just any competition…the world’s best singing competition. This movie combines a wonderful optimist’s dream with comedy, friendship, and a sprinkle of self-belief – all the things you need in 2017.


Lion (2016)

What is more optimistic than a man searching the entirety of India for his family? Lion is a powerful film based on a gripping true story about endurance, love, and the strength of family. Saroo (played by Dev Patel) searches for the family he lost 25 years earlier in Calcutta after boarding on the wrong train. It will pull on your heart-strings and trigger all of your emotions, whilst ultimately reminding you of what is truly important in life. While this picture is nominated for six Academy Awards – including Best Picture – keep an eye out for the scene-stealing newcomer, Sunny Pawar, as young Saroo.


Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2016)

It has been almost a decade since audiences have last seen the Gilmore Girls on our screens, but Netflix has brought Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Emily (Kelly Bishop), and Rory (Alexis Bledel) back for a final revival. Enjoy all the feel-good qualities of this much-loved programme once more as we follow the girls through four seasons of change, the loss of a beloved family member, and the complications surrounding love and marriage.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)

Once again, Netflix comes together with a great show to binge! After the polarising reviews of the 2004 film starring Jim Carrey (which some either loved or despised), our favourite streaming service revived the books for a modern twist on the classic tale of the Baudelaire orphans. After they lose their parents in a tragic fire, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny embark on chilling and exciting adventures to escape the maniacal Count Olaf (played brilliantly by Neil Patrick Harris). With dialogue taken verbatim from the pages of Snicket’s books, this version is wittier, darker, and yet more playful with the source material. This will help you tap into your inner child – and leave you feeling pretty pleased with the life you lead.


Editor’s Pick: Community (2009-2015)

Although St Andrews is an incomparable place filled with gorgeous scenery, cheeky restaurants, scrumptious cafes, and all of our closest mates, there is sometimes an overwhelming feeling of dread having to return back to the Bubble after a relaxing winter break. Sometimes the winter blues are less about the dark afternoons and more about the anxiety of sitting in a lecture hall again. If this sounds like you, you must watch Community. A group of community college misfits gather together coincidentally to form a Spanish study group – and that is about as far as the show gets into academics. Watch as the study group takes on campus-wide paintball wars and blanket forts, conspiracy theories of hoax professors, a faux-Jesus documentary, multiple timelines, and a spectacular claymation Christmas adventure. There is never a dull day at this community college, and these characters will temporarily transport you to another dimension of university life – without all the responsibility.