We know: It’s the dead of winter, and every day seems more miserable than the last — but we got you.
We’ve found 10 movies guaranteed to put a spring in your step and lift the most miserable of moods. We’ve even included where and how you can watch each of them too. Whether you like joyful musicals, 80s comedies, or inspirational underdog stories, they all have the same effect. They’re the celluloid equivalent of comfort food.
So don’t bother going outside. Shut out the world, order in, and snuggle up with one of the movies we’ve chosen instead. You’ll be feeing better about the state of the world in no time.
10. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Let’s start as we mean to go on, with a film about a cheerful character who refuses to let life get her down. It may come as a surprise that it was made by Mike Leigh, a director associated with hard-hitting films such as Secrets and Lies and Vera Drake, but he proved with this film he could deliver warmth and optimism just as well. Its star Sally Hawkins put in such a great performance, she beat Emma Thompson, Frances McDormand, and the irrepressible Meryl Streep to win the Golden Globe.
9. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
“Soaring,” “crowd-pleasing,” “buoyant” said the reviews, and they weren’t half wrong. Danny Boyle‘s Oscar-winning film tells the story of a kid from the slums in Mumbai, India, who competes for the big prize on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. From performances by Guerrilla‘s Freida Pinto and this year’s winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor Dev Patel, to the soul-stirring soundtrack by Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman, it’ll have you transfixed for two whole hours.
8. Big (1988)
Let’s face it, Tom Hanks in any film is a huge shot of human serotonin, but he excels himself playing a 13-year-old boy in the body of a grown man in this classic 1988 comedy. C’mon. Indulge your inner child for a couple of hours. Who hasn’t wanted to play “Chopsticks” on a huge piano?
7. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
The Golden Age of the rose-tinted British romcom brought us Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill, and Love Actually, but this is where it all began. Four Weddings launched the career of Hugh Grant, and arguably that of floppy-haired, stuttering English men everywhere — a trend that reached a crescendo with Colin Firth in The King’s Speech. A big, warm-hearted hug of a film, despite being set in a cold and rainy London, its sharp wit and typically British reserve means it always stays the right side of slushy.
6. Top Hat (1935)
It’s official: If you haven’t got a big silly grin playing across your face as you watch Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dance “Cheek to Cheek,” then we regret to inform you that you are dead. The musical from which it comes was Astaire and Rogers’ best-performing picture in the box office, and is widely recognized as the finest piece of work they put out together. Glide into a good mood with this one.
5. Jerry Maguire (1996)
“Show me the money!,” “You complete me,” and, “You had me at hello.” Oh! This movie covers off all the feels. Tom Cruise Tom Cruises more than anyone has ever Tom Cruised before, and a pre-Bridget Jones Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr are great too, with the latter winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Go on. Stick it on now. In two and a half hours you’ll be able to take on the world.
4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
An indie film about an unhappy family, headed by Sheryl (Toni Collette) and Richard (Greg Kinnear) and Sheryl’s brother Frank (Steve Carrell), might not seem at first like a surefire crowd-pleaser, but that’s until they go on a road trip so their youngest member, seven-year-old Olive, can enter a beauty contest. Obstacles get in the way, some home truths come out of the woodwork, and lessons are learnt, but no matter what, and thanks in no small part to Abigail Breslin as little Olive, you’ll be smiling from start to finish.
3. Billy Elliot (2000)
It’s no coincidence that many feel-good movies feature dance, so we couldn’t miss out this one about a young boy who dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer. Things don’t run smoothly for Billy (Jamie Bell), of course — this is a classic story of going for your dreams against all odds, after all — but his love of dance persists, and the film is full of the joy of a good old boogie.
2. Hook (1991)
We couldn’t put together a list of feel-good movies and not include the late, great Robin Williams. With films like Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting, and Dead Poets’ Society, Robin made a career out of warming our hearts. This one, however, features Dame Maggie Smith, so it’s got the edge. It’s also directed by Steven Spielberg, who knows a thing or two when it comes to heart strings and how to tug on them.
1. Singing in the Rain (1952)
Top of the list is the musical that provided the biggest inspiration for this year’s feel-good hit, La La Land. The title track is surely the most famous ode to feeling cheerful in the face of adversity ever recorded, and then there’s “Good Mornin’,” that unbelievably catchy song adored by smug early birds everywhere. It stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and the late Debbie Reynolds, who is so relentlessly adorable she makes Mary Poppins look like Oscar the Grouch. Just try and feel low watching this.
What’s your go-to feel-good movie?Read More