We all have our favourite go-to movies or TV programmes that we can rely on to evoke good feelings within. Whether it is a hilarious laugh-a-minute comedy or a cheesy 80’s rom-com, there is always something we choose to watch when we are feeling in need of a cheer-up.
Personally, when I’m feeling a little down, I will turn over to Comedy Central, where you are almost guaranteed to catch back-to-back Friends reruns. There is nothing quite like Chandler’s one-liners or Joey’s adorable idiocy to raise my spirits.
As for films, I also have my favourites. When I initially began writing this post, I was going to list 10 movies. But once I began jotting them down, I discovered I had more favourites than I first realised. So, I extended my post. See below for my Top 20 feel-good movies.
1. The Goonies – the tale of a group of kids who find a treasure map and embark on the hunt for pirate One-Eyed Willy’s loot, with bank robbers the Fratelli’s hot on their heels. Funny, heartwarming, and action-packed, this is fantastically entertaining and great for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
2. Harry and the Henderson’s – out on a car trip, the Henderson family accidentally knock down a Bigfoot, which they decide to take home to dispose of the body. But Harry is not dead.. I love this film. Harry becomes such a treasured member of the Henderson family, even as he causes commotion in their home town and is hunted down by opportunists.
3. Just Go With It – a womanising plastic surgeon (Adam Sandler) meets the girl of his dreams, but an elaborate story unwittingly involves his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) as his fake ex-wife. This is laugh-out-loud funny, and obviously the two protagonists fall in love along the way.
4. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days – advice columnist Andie (Kate Hudson) decides to mix her column up by researching her new article, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a little too thoroughly. Ben (Matthew McConaughey) is an executive who is so confident in his romantic prowess that he vows to make a girl fall for him – in 10 days. Hilarity and love ensues.
5. The Devil Wears Prada – dowdy Andy (Anne Hathaway) lands herself a job at prestigious Runway magazine working as assistant and general whipping girl to the infamous Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Determined to succeed and prove Miranda and everybody else wrong, Andy sets about transforming herself into the perfect assistant, even as her private life suffers. Funny and entertaining, and Miranda is amazingly diabolical. Emily Blunt is brilliant as head assistant, Emily.
6. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – Kevin Costner’s attempt at playing the outlaw Robin Hood, along with his sidekick Azeem (Morgan Freeman). With a runtime of a whopping 2 hours 23 minutes, this has a star-studded cast, with the outstanding performance going to Alan Rickman as the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. In my opinion, the best RH movie there is.
7. 21 Jump Street – loosely based on the 80’s TV series of the same name, useless cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) join the secret Jump Street unit and have to go undercover as high school students. Hilariously funny, and such a refreshing change to see Tatum in this kind of comedy role.
8. Monsters Inc. – Sulley (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) work for Monsters Incorporated, the biggest scare factory in the monster world. As one of the top scarers, Sulley accesses children’s bedrooms through their closets and harvests their screams. It is dangerous work as human children are thought to be toxic, but things are about to get scarier for them all as a young girl finds her way into the factory and Sulley and Mike are dragged into a race against time to get her home before the other monsters discover her.
9. Ice Age – a woolly mammoth, a sabre toothed tiger, and a sloth are an unlikely group of heroes when they join together to look after a human child whose mother has been swept away by the river. Heartwarming, emotional, and amusing.
10. 17 Again – Mike (Matthew Perry) was a high-school basketball star with a bright future ahead of him, until he threw it all away to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Years later, his life and marriage has gone to pot, but he gets a second chance to re-write history when he wakes up in his 17 year-old body (Zac Efron). Hilarious and sweet.
11. Mrs Doubtfire – the late, great Robin Williams stars as Daniel, a loser dad whose marriage to Miranda (Sally Field) has failed. Desperate to still see his kids despite the ongoing custody battle, he dresses as an older British woman and answers Miranda’s ad for a nanny. Hilarity ensues. A classic.
12. Ghostbusters – I’m talking about the original, of course. Who hasn’t seen this comedy classic? If you haven’t, you really need to. Three disgraced scientists-turned-ghost-hunters (Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis) wage a war against the paranormal activity in New York City. With guests stars Zuul, Slimer, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
13. The Hangover – amazingly hilarious stag party escapade as Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zak Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and the elusive Doug (Justin Bartha) head to Las Vegas to celebrate Doug’s upcoming nuptials.
14. Dirty Dancing – coming-of-age story set in the 1960’s when Daddy’s girl Baby (Jennifer Grey) and her family vacation at Kellerman’s, an upmarket holiday resort in the Catskills, and Baby meets the sexy and talented dancer, Johnny (Patrick Swayze). If you haven’t seen this, why? Fantastic film with a fantastic soundtrack. Makes you want to take up dancing lessons!
15. Bridget Jones’ Diary – based on the novel by the same name by Helen Fielding, this is a hilarious look into Bridget’s (Renée Zellweger) life as an adorably imperfect, sadly single 32 year-old. After an embarrassing incident at a family Christmas party, she decides to cut out on the fags, lose weight, and find her Mr. Right. Hilarity ensues, with a beautifully happy ending for Bridget.
16. Labyrinth – fantasy adventure starring the late, great David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King. 15 year-old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is tired of her normal, teenage life and dreams of faraway lands. When she is forced to babysit for her brother Toby, she unwittingly conjures up Jareth, who whisks Toby away to the Goblin City, which lies at the centre of a huge, otherworldly maze. Sarah vows to find her way through the labyrinth to rescue her brother, with the help of numerous puppet friends, created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. A must-see for all the family.
17. Finding Nemo – this is the animated story of clown fish Marlin, overprotective single parent to his physically impaired son, Nemo, after his mate was eaten by a shark. One day, disobeying his father’s strict orders, Nemo swims out onto the reef and is taken by humans. Marlin embarks on an epic journey across the Coral Sea, accompanied by new friend, Dory, an Angel fish with a six-second memory, to rescue his son from a dentist’s aquarium in Sydney, Australia. This is a heartwarming story of a father’s love for his son and the lengths he will go to to protect him, and even if you think you’re too old for cartoon films, you won’t be when it comes to this.
18. Shrek – if you haven’t seen Shrek, why?! Hilarious tale of the ogre, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers), who is forced to leave his happy home in the swamp to rescue Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower for the repulsive Lord Farquaad, who is desperate to marry into royalty and become king. In return, Lord Farquaad promises Shrek the eviction of all fairytale creatures from his once-quiet swamp. Along the way, Shrek is befriended by a talking donkey called Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and falls in the love with the beautiful and feisty Princess Fiona, who has a very special secret. Can Shrek and Fiona find their Happy Ever After?
19. The Fifth Element – Bruce Willis stars as Korben Dallas, a taxi driver in the 23rd century who is dragged into a battle to save the planet when a humanoid woman called Leelou (Mila Jovovich) falls into his cab. Leelou has been created from alien DNA and is the perfect being, and she enlists Korben’s help to find the four elemental stones that, along with the mystical Fifth Element, are the only things that can save Earth. This was former supermodel Mila’s first acting role, and she smashed it!
20. Monty Python and the Holy Grail – there was no way I could finish my blog post without including this film. Comedy act, Monty Python, put their spin on the legend of King Arthur and the Knight’s of the Round Table in this hilarious depiction of the quest for the Holy Grail. This version involves rude French soldiers, a holy hand grenade (3, not 5!), a killer rabbit, the persistent Black Knight, Sir Robin’s extremely honest minstrels, a group of knights whose weapon of choice is the word “Ni!”, and a lot of running away. Absolutely bonkers and hysterically funny.