There's an invisible force imprisoning everyone, stirring panic and taking away our favorite sports stars.
But what if this alien force lives in a cartoon?
What if all the characters from your childhood are there to fight it?
And what if one unafraid leader, the greatest sports star of them all, dunks all over the aliens until they're no longer scary?
This is Space Jam, the 1996 classic starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. It's easy to interpret it as a reimagining of the problem we face today with coronavirus, only in a world where anything is possible and you know the good guys will win. And it might be the perfect movie to lift your spirits in a time when that's desperately needed.
I watched it last Thursday, a night when I'd usually be watching the Los Angeles Lakers on TV. But seeing as sports have been canceled, I was looking for a different sort of escapism. When Space Jam popped up on my Netflix, I instantly knew it was time to watch it again for the first time in at least 15 years.
It's not just the parallels to coronavirus that make this a worthy pick in your social distancing days. The nostalgia helps, too. It takes you back to a simpler time, when people my age were kids with the whole world in front of them, when Bill Murray was in his prime. [Editor's note: Bill Murray is always in his prime!]
It's a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. The plot is breezy. It doesn't run too long. And you can laugh at how bad NBA players like Jordan and Charles Barkley are at acting.
We're all probably going to be spending more time than we'd like to at home for the next few months, so add Space Jam to your list to watch. You don't have to be a hoops junkie like me to enjoy it. ♦