‘Feel-Good’ movies are mushy, we all know that, but they always put you in a good mood. They’re the perfect pick-me-up, driven only by optimism. They can be watched anytime and in any place, and the best ones take you by surprise. Feel-good movies let you switch off and forget about things for a while. The feel-good movie is all about escapism and having fun. So, here’s my round-up of five movies guaranteed to uplift your spirits.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is a coming-of-age classic set in the 1970s. It’s a feel-good, last-day of the school year romp, following a group of rowdy teenagers. All these kids want to do is get drunk and welcome the summer ahead. This is a ‘hangout’ movie with no plot. You get to know all the characters, as they get into all kinds of mischief. It’s funny, laid-back and features Matthew McConaughey saying his famous line: “Alright, alright, alright!” Dazed and Confused is about as low-stress as a trip to the beach. It’s cinema without a care in the world.
With a cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds, it seems odd Adventureland wasn’t picked up by a major studio. This film was never a big hit, but it should have been. Set in the summer of 1987, James (Eisenberg) is a recent college graduate and takes a job at an amusement park. He goes on to form a close bond with a girl he meets there, named Emily (Kristen Stewart). Funny in places and full of bittersweet moments, Adventureland is an infectious, hugely enjoyable comedy-drama.
Begin Again (2013)
Begin Again is an all-around fun film about the best things in life: friends, family and relationships. It’s a soul-stirring dramedy about a chance meeting between a former music-business executive (Mark Ruffalo), and a young singer-songwriter (Keira Knightly). Their random encounter leads to a life-changing musical collaboration, as they work together to release an album. Begin Again has catchy songs, funny moments and waves of positive energy.
Eddie the Eagle (2016)
Eddie the Eagle has pretty much the same premise as every other sports movie. It’s a tale of the underdog who rises up out of nowhere to defy the odds. Based on a true story, it focuses on Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton), who decides to become a Ski Jumper. With his never-say-die attitude, he manages to make it all the way to the Olympics. Admirable performances by Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman, make the film thoroughly enjoyable.
Sing Street (2016)
Sing Street, one of my favourite films of 2016 is a real charmer. For some strange reason, it slipped under the radar last year – more fool to everyone. Look past the corny title, because Sing Street is a brilliant coming-of-age story about a boy growing up in 1980s Dublin. It’s a film with reckless energy that gives you jolts of sheer zest. Sing Street is the definition of feel-good!
Fully immersed in the sounds of the 1980s, the film is a nostalgic, musical joy. The story is simple: Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), the main character starts a band to impress a girl. It ensures for a note-perfect tale, that switches between kitchen-sink drama and musical fantasy. The film was made by John Carney, who also directed Begin Again. It has the same irresistible optimism, with ridiculously catchy songs played throughout. Sing Street is a note-perfect tale.
These five aren’t the greatest films you’ll ever see, but one thing is for certain: they will make you feel really good! To bring more attention to lesser-known titles, I have selected mostly independent films for this list. With the exception of Begin Again, you can watch them all right now on Netflix.
What do you think of this list? What’s your favourite ‘feel-good’ movie? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!
You can read more film lists HERE.