Top 10 Best Feel Good Movies
Treat Yourself to a Night In with A Feel Good Movie
There is nothing quite as enjoyable as watching a feel good movie either alone or with friends.
Feel Good movies take you somewhere else while you are watching them and appeal to a place within you which wants to see the underdog win, the guy get the girl, the wrongly accused prisoner get free and the man whose losing everything get it all back.
As humans we need to feel good for other people from time to time, even fictional characters and these feel good movies satisfy those needs within a 2 hour time frame - oh, and you can drink soda, eat popcorn or cuddle up beside someone else while you're doing it!
1.Fried Green Tomatoes
And so to the first of my Top 10 Feel Good Movies. John Avnet's 1991 feel good film focuses on the contemporary life of Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) and her visits to an old people's home where she befriends Ninny Threadgoode, an old lady at the home. Ninny tells her lots of stories about her life as a young woman and of her close friendship with Ruth Jamieson with whom she worked at the Whistlestop Cafe.
It is not long before Evelyn cannot stop visiting Ninny, in order to hear the next episode of the story.
Ninny's own philosophy on life has a major impact on Evelyn's as we see her character develop throughout the film.
This movie has a feel good factor in spades and is one you will come back to time and time again (even my husband likes it).
2. Wizard of Oz
My second Top 10 Feel Good movie can't be too much of a surprise; it is perhaps one of the most watched movies in the USA and UK - a Christmas favourite in both countries. It should be the kind of film we get tired of seeing; here in the UK it is shown every Christmas and I admit it - I watch it again. Victor Fleming's masterpiece has certainly stood the test of time.
Dorothy runs away from Miss Gulch to protect her dog, Toto, who Gulch wants to destroy (got you hooked already?). Her adventures in the land of Oz with the tinman, lion and scarecrow remain some of the best in cinema history.
The classic 'good versus evil' film with great songs.
It also turns from black and white to full, glorious colour when she goes to Oz - in amazing Cinemascope.
3. E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial
At the time of its release, 1982, I thought I was too cool to watch it so I didn't but stuck in one night alone and down in the dumps, I watched it on video.
Stephen Spielberg is brilliant at directing children and this film totally relies on the viewer engaging with Elliot, the young boy who discovers E.T. and hides him in his room.
Drew Barrymore plays his young sister to perfection and once the Feds are involved, we are all on the edge of our seats rooting for E.T. and hoping he can 'phone home' and eventually get home. There is also an iconic scene where the bike is ridden in the sky across the moon which is just amazing.
The scene where E.T. is very ill is so moving - I forgot it was just a story - if you haven't seen it - DO - the feel good factor is very high with this movie and it is one you want your own children to see when they are old enough. It deserves its place among the top 10 feel good movies included in this article.
4. Fifty First Dates
Adam Sandler is usually associated with comedy movies and this film is a romantic comedy with a wonderful twist.
Drew Barrymore plays Lucy Whitmore, a local girl in Hawaii who takes breakfast at the local diner every morning.
Adam Sandler plays Henry Roth, a dolphin trainer who is also a local lothario, bedding many a winsome holiday-maker and doing this with a certain amount of charm.
He is attracted to Lucie and tries to hit on her in the diner but fails. Next day he tries again and fails, and so it goes on until he realises that she has no short-term memory and simply doesn't remember him.
The story is wonderful in the way it enfolds with Barrymore, as usual, excellent as Lucie and Sandler very engaging as Roth, especially when he realises he is falling in love with her but needs to find a way to make her remember him.
You will definitely feel good at the end of this movie and you will be rooting for Henry all the way through.
Laughs come thick and fast from Rob Schneider and Sean Astin in support rolls. You will want to watch this feel good movie again and again.
5. Big Fish
This film by Tim Burton is very much in the same vein as Fried Green Tomatoes as the main story is based on storytelling itself.
Big Fish is just as surreal as a lot of Tim Burton's other movies but it has such humanity that you will get to the end and feel good about yourself and also want to make sure you listen a bit more to your parents when they tell you about when they were young.
Albert Finney's character Ed Bloom certainly led an interesting life. This is, like the other films I've chosen, a wonderful ensemble movie. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It is in fifth place of my run down of Top 10 feel good movies.
6. Groundhog Day
Bill Murray's finest hour! Everybody loved 'Lost In Translation' but it was lost on me, sorry!
It's groundhod day and local weatherman, Phil (Bill Murray) is send to Punxsatawney to do a report on the groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil. He is rude to his producer, Rita (Andie MAcDowell) and his cameraman, Larry (Chris Elliott) and just wants to leave as soon as he has completed the filming. Unfortunately, bad weather sets in and they are stuck in Punxsatawney overnight.
What happens next? Well, the same thing again and again as Phil is trapped in his own groundhog day trying to figure out how to get out of town and out of the never-ending cycle of the same day every day.
Funny, touching, clever - a feel good movie even you will watch again and again.
7. Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King's short story was brought to the screen in 1994 - the story of Andy Dufresne sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife.
Andy (Tim Robbins) is no ordinary man though. He suffers at the hands of the prison hard men but is resolute in his refusal to give in to them. Along the way he befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) and Brooks (James Whitmore) along with a few other guys.
Clancy Brown is fantastic as Captain Hadley, the toughest of prison screws but Andy even wins him over in the end.
Shawshank Redemption is a tale of a man's honour and inherent goodness over evil and of how this affects the others around him.
It is harrowing to watch at times but the ending makes watching it worthwhile. It has a feel good ending but will put you through the wringer on the way!
8. Four Weddings And A Funeral
I could have picked any of Richard Curtis' movies, they're all feel good movies in their own right. The reason I picked this one is that Hugh Grant is at his best in it and it is an ensemble film par excellence. Kristin Scott-Thomas shines as the bitchy but lovelorn Fiona and Simon Callow's turn as fry-up, booze-loving Gareth is a tour de force.
This movie is funny from the start, funny and frenetic - with Charlotte Coleman and Hugh Grant sleeping late and rushing around to make sure they get to the wedding on time.
It's about love, failed romance, finding true love but mostly its about friendship. You will laugh out loud at parts of it and you will cry at other parts - laughing and crying, a magical combination in films. Will you feel good at the end? You bet.
9. Forrest Gump
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get - we are all grateful that we got this film!
Tom Hanks is wonderful as Forrest in the story of a boy some might consider a little 'slow' and his triumphs through life.
His stories are brought to life through his association with events at the time so we get to see him meeting John F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson, Richard Nixon, playing almost bionic ping-pong, he even meets Elvis Presley when he rents a room at his mom's house. He also meets John Lennon on the Dick Cavett show.
He supposedly influences events - he jogs across America and is followed by thousands of others, leading to bumper sticker comments along the way 'S**t Happens!'
The supporting cast includes Robin Wright-Penn, Sally Field and Gary Sinese. The latter in a role where he loses both legs in the Vietnam War.
Forrest Gump is a feel good trip through American history through the eyes of a simple man. Another movie you will want to watch again and again.
10. It's A Wonderful Life
And so to my final pick for my list of Top 10 feel good movies, a classic in anyone's book. The story of George Bailey (James Stewart) trying to do right by the people who live in Bedford Falls. An evil banker (Lionel Barrymore) is pulling the plug on everything George has worked for and at the start of the film he is ready to jump over a bridge into the swirling, icy river below.
But then he is taken on an incredible journey by his guardian angel - a trip into his past - a way to show him how everything he has done has helped those around him.
A seasonal choice this one, so put it on to feel good this Christmas.
I hope you have enjoyed my choices. Thanks so much for reading my own selections for the Top 10 Feel Good movies.
Which is your favourite?See results without voting
More by this Author
50 First Dates is one of the best chick flicks with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore doing their best to fall in love in beautiful Hawaii. Barrymore's memory loss makes Sandler a stranger to her every time they meet but...
It was the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth on 7th February 2012. This article is a look at my top 10 of his novels on film, either in the cinema or on TV.
Thomas More's Utopia was humanism in renaissance literature. How much was More influenced by the Renaissance? Like other humanists in the Renaissance, he looked to the future influenced by the past.