If you need a real pick-me-up, or just simply want an escape from difficult times, then any one of these top 10 feel good movies will do just the trick. With themes ranging from overcoming extreme adversity to playful, fantastical adventures, our list finds the right mix for any moment that's got you down.
10. Yes Man
Carl Allen is at a standstill. No future... Until the day he enrolls into a personal development program based on a very simple idea: say yes to everything! Carl discovers with amazement the magical power of "Yes", and sees his professional and romantic life turned upside down overnight: an unexpected promotion and a new girlfriend. But he'll soon discover that better can be good's enemy, and that all opportunities shouldn't be taken.
9. The Pursuit of Happyness
Based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a "Bone Density scanner". He feels like he has made these devices. However, they do not sell as they are marginally better than the current technology at a much higher price. As Gardner tries to figure out how to sell them, his wife leaves him, he loses his house, his bank account, and credit cards. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner is now desperate to find a steady job; he takes on a job as a stockbroker, but before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training, and to sell his devices.
8. The Sound of Music
Maria had longed to be a nun since she was a young girl, yet when she became old enough discovered that it wasn't at all what she thought. Often in trouble and doing the wrong things, Maria is sent to the house of a retired naval captain, named Captain Von Trapp, to care for his children. Von Trapp was widowed several years before and was left to care for seven 'rowdy' children. The children have run off countless governesses. Maria soon learns that all these children need is a little love to change their attitudes. Maria teaches the children to sing, and through her, music is brought back into the hearts and home of the Von Trapp family. Unknowingly, Maria and Captain Von Trapp are falling helplessly in love, except there are two problems, the Captain is engaged, and Maria is a postulant!
7. Billy Elliot
County Durham, during the endless, violent 1984 strike against the Thatcher closure of British coal mines. Widower Jackie Elliot and his firstborn, fellow miner Tony, take a dim view of 11 year-old second son Billy's poor record in boxing class, which worsens when they discover he sneakily transferred to the neighboring, otherwise girls-only-attended ballet class. Only one schoolmate, closet-gay Michael Caffrey, encourages Billy's desire, aroused by the teacher, who judged him talented enough for private lesson, to train and try out for the world-renowned Royal Ballet audition. Only the prospect of a fancy career unimagined in the pauper quarter may twist pa and big brother's opposition to indispensable support.
6. Dead Poets Society
Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His room-mate, Neil, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each, in their own way, does this, and are changed for life.
5. Spirited Away
Chihiro and her parents are moving to a small Japanese town in the countryside and Chihiro is missing her old house. Chihiro's father makes a wrong turn and drives through a lonely land road with dead end in a tunnel. Her parents decide to stop the car and explore the area. They cross the tunnel and find an abandoned cultural theme park on the other side with a ghost town. When her parents sees a restaurant with smelling food but no staff, they decide to eat to pay later; however Chihiro refuses to eat and decides to visit the place. She meets the boy Haku that tells her that her parents and she are in danger and they must leave the place. She runs to the restaurant and finds that her parents have turned into pigs. Further, the place is a bathhouse of spirits, monsters, gods and ghosts owned by the witch Yubaba. Now Chihiro counts on Haku to save her parents and return to their world.
4. Princess Bride
A kindly grandfather sits down with his ill grandson and reads him a story. The story is one that has been passed down from father to son for generations. As the grandfather reads the story, the action comes alive. The story is a classic tale of love and adventure as the beautiful Buttercup, engaged to the odious Prince Humperdinck, is kidnapped and held against her will in order to start a war, It is up to Westley (her childhood beau, now returned as the Dread Pirate Roberts) to save her. On the way he meets a thief and his hired helpers, an accomplished swordsman and a huge, super strong giant, both of whom become Westley's companions in his quest.
3. Toy Story 3
Woody, Buzz and the whole gang are back. As their owner Andy prepares to depart for college, his loyal toys find themselves in daycare where untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice. So, it's all for one and one for all as they join Barbie's counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear to plan their great escape.
Amélie is a story about a girl named Amélie whose childhood was suppressed by her Father's mistaken concerns of a heart defect. With these concerns Amélie gets hardly any real life contact with other people. This leads Amélie to resort to her own fantastical world and dreams of love and beauty. She later on becomes a young woman and moves to the central part of Paris as a waitress. After finding a lost treasure belonging to the former occupant of her apartment, she decides to return it to him. After seeing his reaction and his new found perspective - she decides to devote her life to the people around her. Such as, her father who is obsessed with his garden-gnome, a failed writer, a hypochondriac, a man who stalks his ex girlfriends, the "ghost", a suppressed young soul, the love of her life and a man whose bones are as brittle as glass. But after consuming herself with these escapades - she finds out that she is disregarding her own life and damaging her quest for love. Amélie then discovers she must become more aggressive and take a hold of her life and capture the beauty of love she has always dreamed of.
Best Feel Good Movie:
It's a wonderful life
This movie is about a divine intervention by a guardian angel, to help a man in distress. It opens with a a fanciful depiction of angels in heaven discussing a problem that has come up. They are receiving prayers from mortals, like "Please, God, something's the matter with Daddy". George Bailey (James Stewart) is about to kill himself, and they need to send an angel down to Earth to stop him. They select Clarence (Henry Travers), a somewhat down-on-his-luck angel who hasn't earned his wings yet, but who they decide is right for the job. The senior angels promise that Clarence will get his wings if he succeeds. The bulk of the movie is a replaying, by the senior angels and for Clarence's benefit, of George's life, so that Clarence will understand George.
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Sources: imdb, YouTube