I initially thought I’d have trouble coming up with this one but when I actually sat down to write my entry about Finding Nemo being my feel-good film I suddenly remembered there was another, a better example of that dreary-sunday-morning, on the sofa with my duvet, watching a film to cheer myself up film.
In case anyone didn’t know, I’m a trekkie. Proudly stated. Gene Roddenberry said we were trekkies, not trekkers or trek-fans but trekkies so that’s what I am. Star Trek has been a fundamental and important part of my life and especially my development. People ask where atheists get their morals, I say Star Trek. Not only do I have all the traditional religious morals and ethics (killing, stealing, lying, general dick behaviour) but I’ve also codified the ethics of first contact and non-interference with primitive species into my ethical code and no religious book I’ve seen yet can say the same.
So any Star Trek film could have been here (with the notable exception of the recent non-film). Why then does this place belong to Voyage Home? Simple. When Leonard Nimoy was given the helm the general consensus was that this would be the last outing of the original Enterprise’s crew. He made it a going-away party for the cast and crew. The fact that the film happened to include a time travel plot that set the crew in 1986 allowed the humour to be well and truly played up and make a film with a direct and present moral that was more than allegory for once. Let’s face it, the environment and endangered species are still a concern and the message of Star Trek IV isn’t going away in a hurry.
For me, the whole film comes down to Kirk’s poor attempt at swearing, Chekov’s farcical escape-attempt and subsequent debriefing aboard the USS Enterprise (the Aircraft carrier, not the Starship) and ultimately the crew gathered on the wing of a Bird of Prey in the Paramount pool whilst artificially produced waves wash over them, laughing and smiling in a touchingly real way as they enjoy the silliness of a franchise that had already been with them for decades and, they believed, was soon going to be over. There’s something incredibly touching about that scene.
So between hard sci-fi influences in the Ramaesque probe, tried and true Star Trek tropes, wonderful characters played by wonderful actors who are treating this film like their last chance to be all together and a genuinely uplifting story, albeit cheesy, this is my ultimate feel good film.