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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Comfort and Joy
Directed by Bill Forsyth
Universal Studios Home Video 10/84 DVD/VHS Feature Film

According to psychologist Rollo May, "Most people shrink when in despair or depression, but it can also be used constructively, as an opportunity. The despair can then act upon the person like the flood in Genesis: it can clear away the vast debris — the false answers, false buoys, superficial principles — and leave the way open for new possibilities." This is just what happens to Alan Bird. He's a successful early morning DJ on a Glasgow radio station who has dropped into a deep depression after his grilfriend walked out on him. He decides to do something with more depth and starts work on a radio documentary. By chance he gets involved mediating a feud between members of a Scottish-Italian family engaged in a battle to corner the ice cream market.

In this spunky Scottish drama, filmmaker Bill Forsyth has fashioned an intimate, whimsical and engaging story that makes many deft observations about human nature. The director describes the film as "a serious comedy about a man who has one of those weeks when everything goes wrong." Alan finds a new lease on life by sheer luck and a few crucial moral decisions. Comfort and Joy is perfect viewing for a New Year's celebration, and will put an indelible smile on your face.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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