My Top Ten Feel Good Films

Tough day back in ‘normality’ or are you still stuck at home? Either way, we all need a good fallback of films we can call upon to cheer us up after a bad day, or just make a good day even better.

They aren’t ALL romantic but I will confess that love and happy endings tend to go together in movie land. Here are my favourites, in no particular order…

The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner 1987)

A young boy is in his sickbed, tempted to play video games (this is old) when his Grandfather comes to read him a story. This is not just any story, a tale of a farm boy who becomes a notorious pirate and rescues a fair maiden. There’s a giant, lots of swashbuckling and sword fights (left and right handed). With a cast of stars, Peter Falk as the narrator, a very young Fred Savage, Robin Wright and Cary Elwes, as well as Andre the Giant and a fantastic turn by Mandy Patinkin with his monologue, “My name is Inigo Monteya….” you know the rest, if you don’t then you must watch this tongue in cheek funny fantasy film.

Check out the trailer

When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner 1989)

“Men and women can’t be friends….” when Harry and Sally drive from college to their new lives in New York, they avoid the possibility of any friendship. Then five years later they meet again and actually become friends and the rest you’ll have to see for yourself. This is a sharp witty film due to Nora Ephron’s acerbic wit and talent as a screenwriter and Rob Reiner’s directing skill. It also helps to have Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal as lead actors, Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby in the supporting roles. It’s a real, “Will they? Wont they?” romp through love, sex and friendship.

Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder 1959)

On the run from the mob after witnessing the St Valentine’s Day massacre, two musicians don dresses and make up to hide in an all-girl band. Take the charm and sophistication of Tony Curtis and the slapstick physical humour of Jack Lemmon as his best buddy, then throw in Marilyn Monroe for an absolute gem of situational comedy that has some brilliantly witty moments.

Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet 2001)

This beautiful film follows the quest of Amelie. After she finds a childhood treasure, she decides to help others fix their lives. In her mischievous mission, can she also fix her own and find romance? This is whimsical, rich and colourful and so full of fun. It’s a beautiful homage to the city of Paris but it also has some real heart wrenching moments.

The Pursuit of Happyness (Gabriele Muccino 2006)

Based on a true story and starring real life father and son Will and Jaden Smith. That should be enough to entice anyone!

The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont 1995)

This was not a big hit at the cinema but it will end up in the top ten of almost any list of films. The combination of Morgan Freeman’s narration as Red and Tim Robbins’ sheer bravado as Andy Dufresne, is cinematic heaven. “Get busy living or get busy dying” this movie is enough to get you fired up, “I hope. I hope”.

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle/Lovelean Tandan 2008)

Ever thought how you’d answer those questions on “Who wants to be a millionaire”? This is the story of how one young man’s knowledge and memory is tested and pushed to the limit in this beautiful drama. Colourful, heartfelt and uplifting.

The Goonies (Richard Donner 1985)

A beautiful story of friendship and adventure, made in the 1980s (just a little bit dated) but still a lot of fun and full of hijinx and frolics. The legend of ‘One eyed Willie’ the pirate, a lost map and clues to find his treasure. This is a great film to cheer anyone up.

Castaway (Robert Zemeckis 2001)

“We live or we die by the clock” was the mantra of Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) before his plane crashed and he was castaway on a desert island. How he survives and his tenacity in a dire situation is amazing to watch. This is one of Hanks finest performances (I can’t think of a dud, even Joe versus the Volcano was amusing!) and Helen Hunt is amazing as his patient partner. If you’ve never seen this, now is the time.

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig 2017)

A new edition to my list and the inspiration behind it, as I’ve only just discovered this gem of a film. This is poignant and so perfectly directed by Gerwig. This directorial debut shows the complex relationship between mother and daughter, the rows and rebellious arguments and the absolute strength and love of that bond. Funny, witty and heartbreaking, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are outstanding.

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