Unfortunately (because it doesn't answer your question), I'd guess it's better to find "practical solutions to everyday suffering" that don't contradict Buddhism.
When my father died, there's a couple of things people did for my mum which she appreciated (i.e. these are stories which she retold, of examples of how to help people who are grieving because she found them helpful).
People made and gave her cakes. This is useful because, she said, "you don't feel like cooking, people are coming to visit you every day, and it's nice to have some cake to offer your visitors."
Isn't this is a practical and a Buddhist gift: because it helps the recipient to be generous?
My parents moved to a new place when they retired. One of the people in the new village, who she hadn't met before (word of her loss had travelled), stopped to talk to her in the street of offer condolences. He said, "Neighbours are more important than family." Oh: really? "Yes because we're here (and your family is in another country)."
Isn't that sort of Buddhist too? It's not Dhamma exactly (not talking about dukkha for example) but it's bringing attention to what is (instead of attention to what has gone), to human contact.
Several people told her to keep on making contact with other people. One told her "you mustn't just go home and close the curtains" (and told me not to let her do that). Another phoned a neighbour and told the neighbour to visit every day.
I'm not sure why "going to a movie" might help a person to "forget their pain". Perhaps it's just the passing of time (impermanence of pain), or distraction (to stop clinging), or human contact (your company at the theatre, or compassion felt for the characters in the movie).
Without saying that a movie is unwise, perhaps using conversation to touch on these topics or evoke them is a skillful alternative.
By the way a friend once told me there are different axes along which a topic of conversation between two people is more or less intimate:
- What's distant in time (past or future) is less intimate (less immediate) than the present (now)
- What's distant in space (other places) is less intimate than the present (here)
- Talking about other people is less intimate than talking about ourselves.
If you're trying to have a conversation with someone who is grieving, maybe that's good to remember. A person might get bored if the topic of conversation is too distant ("why is Buddho trying to tell me a story that happened to someone else a long time ago and far away?"), but uncomfortable if the topic is too intimate ("what do you mean, 'how do I feel?' I feel terrible, what do you expect?"), so adjusting that to find some topic in the middle might be skillful.
I guess my mum enjoyed a couple of things I did for her, over the next months, she said: one was practical help, like helping her use her computer, helping her count her money (her budget); and the other was my acting silly sometimes which made her laugh.
That said, I'm reading "Good Question Good Answer" by Bhante Dhammika at the moment. In the chapter about the five precepts, one of the question is whether you should lie to a killer to prevent them from killing. His answer was that,
"If you were sitting in a park and a terrified man ran past you and then a few minutes later another man carrying a knife ran up to you and asked you if you had seen which way the first man had gone, would you tell him the truth or would you lie to him?"
"If I had good reason to suspect that the second man was going to do serious harm to the first I would, as an intelligent caring Buddhist, have no hesitation in lying. We said before that one of the factors determining whether a deed is good or bad is intention. The intention to save a life is many times more positive than telling a lie is negative in circumstances such as these. If lying, drinking, or even stealing meant that I saved a life I should do it. I can always make amends for breaking these, but I can never bring a life back once it is gone. However, as I said before, please do not take this as a license to break the Precepts whenever it is convenient. The Precepts should be practiced with great care and only infringed in extreme cases."