If you’re needing a movie pick-me-up Have I got the list for you! I’ve been thinking about movies that I gravitate toward when I want to feel better about the world or my life, those films I watch again & again and came up with this list. Something here is guaranteed to cheer your soul.
10. Meet the Robinsons (Animated)
This Disney film is vastly underrated. Upon first glance, it doesn’t look like something I’d personally be interested in, but hear me out, the storyline is beautiful and touching. This movie is the story of an orphan boy, who gets the opportunity to go into the future, back to the past, all to look for his mother who left him; only to find the family he never knew he’d have. A story of perseverance, learning to let others love you, the value of hard work, & “keep moving forward.” I happy-ugly cry at the ending, every single time I watch it.
9. Forrest Gump (Drama/Historical)
A classic. I feel like I understand more things about this film every time I watch it. Granted, it is a long film, but I always come away from it with a sense of peace. Like if Forrest can make it through life, I can, too. Also, although it’s a fiction I love the looks into history it provides my non-historical oriented mind. “My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.”
8. Hitch (Romantic Comedy)
Will Smith should get some awards. Honestly, I don’t know that he hasn’t, but he’s a wonderful actor to me. Hitch is hands-down my favorite comedy to watch when I’m feeling down. It’s so funny, so sweet, just a guy who wants to make life easier for other men that are out there trying to get the girl. Kevin James stars alongside Smith in this film as the most awkward man in history with his sights set on winning the heart of a Diaz-like actress. “So how does it happen, great love? Nobody knows… but what I can tell you is that it happens in the blink of an eye. One moment you’re enjoying your life, and the next you’re wondering how you ever lived without them.”
7. Miracle on 34th Street (Christmas)
Christmas movies always make me feel better about the world. I fall in the minority here, but I love the newer version of this movie. A very serious little girl grows up not believing in Santa with her single mom during the Christmas season. But she comes to believe she’s met the real Santa and has to work with a lawyer & her mother to prove to New York that he’s the real deal. “I’m not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanor. You know, I I I’m a symbol. I’m a symbol of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives. If you can’t believe, if you can’t accept anything on faith, then you’re doomed for a life dominated by doubt.”
6. Big Fish (Adventure/Drama)
This movie is strange, but I love it every time. You follow the life of Edward Bloom, from birth to death, as his jaded son looks back on the “tall tales” his father has always told. The stories of his life, weather real or not (you decide) are entrancing. It’s a star-studded cast for the adventurer who loves a good story. There’s a scene that has always stuck with me. “Sandra Templeton, I love you and I WILL marry you!”
5. Rise of the Guardians (Animated/Christmas)
I don’t know if I’m going to teach the twins to believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Santa, etc. but this movie (featuring them) makes me wonder. Meet Jack Frost, he just wants to be seen. In this movie, he fights with the other Guardians to defeat Pitch Black (voiced by Jude Law) who is trying to fill the world with his nightmares. There’s something beautiful that every childlike heart can relate to; how to overcome your fears, how chilling it is to wake up in a cold sweat from a nightmare, how encouraging it is to have something to believe in. I particularly enjoy the voice actors here, Chris Pine & Jude Law. “We go by many names, and take many forms. We bring wonder and hope, we bring joy and dreams.”
4. Spirited Away (Anime)
My friend, Laura, introduced me to Hayao Miyazaki with this film. He is an excellent film writer & director. This is a beautiful story and the animation is breathtaking. During her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. I can’t relate to the story as an American (but who can really relate to an anime story line?), but I can appreciate it. I can appreciate fighting for your parents. I can appreciate having to work hard as a child. I can appreciate fighting for what’s right and helping friends and being kind. Watch it. You won’t be disappointed. “What’s going on here? Something you wouldn’t recognize. It’s called love.”
3. Practical Magic (Comedy/Fantasy)
This is a very personal choice for me. I take you back to the 90’s, with a young Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. If you are a woman, you are either a Sally or a Gillian. As a younger person I was a Gillian, 28 year old me is a Sally. This was my best friend’s very favorite movie and we identified oppositely. Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love. No, I’m not a witch, but I watch this movie at least 3 times a year. The soundtrack is pretty amazing too, by the way. “Sometimes I feel like there’s a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean. The moon tonight, there’s a circle around it. Sign of trouble not far behind. I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing… I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for. I just want someone to love me. I want to be seen. I don’t know. Maybe I had my happiness. I don’t want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon. “
2. Matilda (Children/Comedy)
“Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same. Some will grow to be butchers, or bakers, or candlestick makers. Some will only be really good at making Jell-O salad. One way or another, though, every human being is unique, for better or for worse.” Confession: I wanted to be Miss Honey when I grew up. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I wanted to be the Miss Honey sort of teacher. The kind that really cared for her students. I’m doing okay at that. Matilda is a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.
1. You’ve Got Mail (Romantic Comedy)
A lot of people would file this away as a typical romcom, but for whatever reason, I love it. I love Meg Ryan, she may be my spirit animal (or actress, lol), and Tom Hanks is adorkable in this film. Kathleen owns a small book shop, Joe and his patriarchy own a “big brand” book store. Joe’s company buys out all the book shops in the area and Kathleen is distraught trying to live out her dreams while the big bad bookstore tries to crush her spirit. Meanwhile, Joe and Kathleen have met in a chat room (Remember THOSE days?) and have become fast anonymous friends. “The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”