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!

Fried Green Tomatoes (At the Whistlestop Cafe) gets my vote for the Number 1 feel good movie.
Fried Green Tomatoes (At the Whistlestop Cafe) gets my vote for the Number 1 feel good movie.

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).

Feel good every time you see it -The Wizard of Oz
Feel good every time you see it -The Wizard of Oz

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.

E.T. - guaranteed to make you feel good
E.T. - guaranteed to make you feel good

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.

Feel Good Hawaiian Style - Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler try to find love under tricky circumstances.
Feel Good Hawaiian Style - Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler try to find love under tricky circumstances.

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.


Big Fish - a feel good movie with a surreal twist
Big Fish - a feel good movie with a surreal twist

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.

Punxsatawney Phil with Phil - feel good, feel good again and again
Punxsatawney Phil with Phil - feel good, feel good again and again

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.


Shawshank Redemption - you will want Andy Dufresne to succeed.
Shawshank Redemption - you will want Andy Dufresne to succeed.

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!

Four Weddings And A Funeral - Hugh & Andie get it on at a posh, Engish wedding but then keep missing each other - feel good film the English way.
Four Weddings And A Funeral - Hugh & Andie get it on at a posh, Engish wedding but then keep missing each other - feel good film the English 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.

Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant

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.

It's A Wonderful Life - feel good this Christmas
It's A Wonderful Life - feel good this Christmas

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?

  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Fifty First Dates
  • E.T.
  • Big Fish
  • Groundhog Day
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Forrest Gump
  • It's A Wonderful Life
See results without voting

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Comments 37 comments

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK Author

Pick away! I can't believe I dropped such a clanger since I have seen the movie on a number of occasions - my mind must have been a wanderin'. Thanks anyway for reading, much appreciated.


RockinBobbin' 3 years ago

I hate to be a picky reader. But the young boys name in E.T is Elliott not Tyler. But the reviews are on a whole very. I haven't seen Fried Green Tomatoes but I shall have to now! :)


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

I love E. T. it is the first movie I watched with my sisters. I will try to watch the other movies too. Thanks Jools99.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

K9keystrokes, thanks for your comment. I have seen 50 First Dates quite a few times now and I never get sick of it.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

I am with roanna, 50 first dates is one of my favorites! But, your grouping of movies has me making a list for this summer!

Thanks for a great list!

HubHugs~


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Tina, thanks for commenting, glad you liked most of my choices.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

I am very happy to find some of the movies that I have seen on your list since I don't watch so much movies these days! I have several favorites here and also some that are new to me, (nr 4, 5, 6, 7) so now I know what to look for next time I decide to see a movie! Thanks for sharing these choices. Voted up, interesting and shared

Tina


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

SueLynn thanks for your comment! Yes, I know what you mean about Big Fish, it is perhaps more of an acquired taste to the others. In real life, Hugh Grant is quite a funny bloke with a dry sense of humour but you're right, morally - a bit jaded! 'I don't really like Adam Sandler either but 50 First Dates is worth watching because the story is very endearing and Drew Barrymore is great in it. It also has some laugh out loud parts starring Rob Schneider.


Suelynn profile image

Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

Hi Jools: I completely concur about “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Wizard of Oz,” “E.T.,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Forrest Gump,” and in particular, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which was one of my beloved Dad’s favorites too! I found “Big Fish” a little too weird and unsettling somehow – perhaps because it IS Tim Burton’s treatment, and I didn’t much care for “Groundhog Day.” Since Hugh Grant’s bad behavior a while back, I find that I no longer enjoy his bumbling ways – I’m afraid he’s lost his charm. The only movie I have not seen on the list is “50 First Dates.” I am not that much of an Adam Sandler fan so may just give it a miss. I did enjoy reading your hub, and voted Up, useful and interesting.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

NapeTV, not sure why you don't think 50 First Dates is funny for a man? My husband likes it so maybe not all men dislike it. Thanks anyway for your comment.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Rahul, many thanks for your comment.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

What a great read and a fantastic list ... I would request you to join our group " MUSIC AND WRITING GROUP" and share more of your views with us on facebook


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Sharilee, many thanks for your comment, my go back to movies from this list are Fried Green Tomatoes and Shawshank Redemption.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Jools, these are some nice choices. I love Forrest Gump the best out of all of these. It is such an inspirational movie! And E.T. -- well, I saw it three times when I was thirteen, and absolutely adored it. Great hub! Have a wonderful day.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

audra, thanks for the visit.

iefox5 - the two you name have been watched MANY times in this house, I never get tired of those two.


iefox5 profile image

iefox5 4 years ago

I love 50 first date, Shawshank Redemption is also on my favorite list.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Any movie list with "Four Weddings And A Funeral" is awesome! I love "The Shawshank Redemption" and " Fifty First Dates" too! This is awesome!!! Voted up and up and up and up...


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

recappers delight - many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


recappers delight profile image

recappers delight 4 years ago

Three of the movies on your list are on my personal list for favorite movies ever, and there's not a dud in the bunch. Great list. Thanks!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Kelley, many thanks for the visit, comment and share. I appreciate it :o)


kelleyward 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing these Jools99, Great list here. Bookmarking and sharing! Take care, Kelley


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Daisy, thanks for your kind comment - I never get tired of any of these movies and Netflix sounds like a great idea so have fun!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

gabriel-Shawshank can't be beaten, brilliant story, brilliant acting. I have lots of favourite parts but I love the boys enjoying a beer when they're tarring the roof.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Kelley, thanks for stopping by and thanks for your kind comment :O)


kelleyward 4 years ago

I love shawshank and wizard of oz! Great list thanks for sharing!


gabrielthomas72 profile image

gabrielthomas72 4 years ago from Shrewsbury, England

Shawshank is one of my all time favourites! The scene where Andy exits the sewer pipe in to the river and pouring rain is fantastic! Nice Hub. Voted Up!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Julie,

This is a great list! Thanks for publishing it.

I haven't seen all of the movies, but I'm going to put those on my "to rent" from Netflix list.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK Author

Vinaya, the great thing about Forrest Gump is that it's enjoyable over and over again, you forget about all of the clips where he's cut into film with famous people - I always laugh at those. Thanks for your comment.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I feel so delighted to see some of my favorite movies on the list. Forest Gump tops my list of feel good movies.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK Author

Flora, Mmmm Adam Sandler eh? His latest movie, Jack and Jill has come if for some awful criticism in the press this weekend. He's not one of my favourites, I find him very one-dimensional, basically he mainly just plays himself in most of his films but I do love 50 First Dates, mainly for Drew Barrymore, who I think is a very engaging actress. Thanks for commenting.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I've seen some of these, even some that aren't from the studio era. I've seen #1,2,6,7,8,9, and 10. My favourite is certainly The Wizard of Oz. Four Weddings and a Funeral was on PBS this weekend and that is my favourite of the films made since I was born. (Cogerson will tell you I talk a lot about before and after 1976 as well as during the studio system era and after the studio system era. He will also tell you I never watch Adam Sandler. Bu t then maybe you've already noticed this.)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK Author

Thanks Cogerson. Yes, my husband said Groundhog Day would be his number 1. We've seen it over and over again...sound familiar?


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Awesome Top 10 Feel Good Movies...I have seen every single one of these 10 movies. I would say my favorites of the group that you listed would be Groundhog Day, Big Fish and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Fried Green Tomatoes would probably being number 10 on my list but I know it has a huge following of supporters. Voted up and interesting....keep up the good work.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK Author

Roanna, Lavender3957 and Arunii, thanks for your comments. Arunii, I haven't seen a Bollywood film yet, just the fake version called Bride & Prejudice and I have seen 50 First Dates about 10 times now, I never get tired of watching it. Lavender - yes, Fried Green Tomatoes is a real mood changer for me too! Roanna - hope you get a chance to check out some of the others soon, or even rewatch 50 First Dates!


arunii profile image

arunii 5 years ago from Delhi

I am from india and here is bollywood industry just like hollywood. In this above list i have watched only one movie which is 50 first dates and i guess it will still remain my all time favorite !


lavender3957 5 years ago

I love all of these movies and my favorite one are It's a Wonderful Life and Fried Green Tomatoes, these movies help me to relax and quickly lightens my ability to regain my self confidence back after a crabby day. Thanks for sharing.


roanna profile image

roanna 5 years ago from Virginia

50 first date is a great movie. I guess I need to check some of the other ones in the top 10.

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