I'm sure we've all developed a sense of cabin fever and are getting a bit restless as we sit at home and are left to ponder the state of the world ever since the outbreak of COVID-19. For everyone stuck at home, this period of isolation and minimal contact with the outside world can leave us a bit stir crazy, to say the least. Though I love staying in the comforts of my humble abode, it is difficult to not fall into a funk. It's in times like these where I turn to my comforting friend named cinema, to boost my spirits and help me escape my own head for a little while. When you're feeling blue and you need a pick me up, try watching these lovely and mostly underrated feel-good movies.
1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, this adventure comedy film is sure to leave you feeling hopeful and optimistic. Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) lives a simple life working as a negative assets manager at Life Magazine, and has many daydreams about adventures and exciting endeavors. When Life Magazine decides to go online and need a photo for their final print issue, Walter Mitty embarks on a mission to obtain the perfect cover photo taken by famous photojournalist Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn). As he finally goes on an adventure, Mitty experiences an emotional and fulfilling journey which allows him to grow and become the person he's always aspired to be. This movie has a lot of heart and very beautiful cinematography so it's definitely worth the watch.
2. Begin Again (2013)
It turns out Keira Knightley is more than just an amazing actress, she's an amazing singer too! This heartfelt comedy drama directed by John Carney revolves around talented singer-songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley) getting discovered by a downtrodden music producer (Mark Ruffalo) who decides to help her record an album live at various public locations around New York City. The two develop a hilarious and sweet bond as they work together throughout the movie and deal with the issues in their own personal lives. The musical moments and family scenes through a cute father-daughter bonding subplot tie together a truly superb movie that has enough laughs to cheer you up yet also enough sentiment to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Besides the wonderful chemistry between leads Knightley and Ruffalo, this movie has a killer soundtrack full of tunes that will definitely make you smile.
3. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
The Darjeeling Limited
This is definitely the most unexpected suggestion on this list, but this movie has a certain energy to it that makes me feel good. One of Wes Anderson's most underrated flicks, "The Darjeeling Limited" focuses on three brothers, Francis, Peter, and Jack (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite and go on a journey of spiritual self discovery aboard a train in India. Their typical sibling tension and inability to cope with the death of their father pushes them apart and gets in the way but they overcome their animosity and truly reconnect as a family. Along with the beautiful setting and subtle humor, it shows a case of brotherly love in a very unique situation that still manages to make you wistful for some family magic. The core of this movie is the family, and it pushes an uplifting message of letting go of the past with a final scene that's sure to make you feel good.
4. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Four Weddings and a Funeral
A rom-com featuring young Hugh Grant? Yes please. "Four Weddings and a Funeral" is about sweet bachelor Charles (Hugh Grant) and his friend group's encounters with love over the course of, you guessed it, four weddings and a funeral. Charles runs into Carrie (Andie MacDowell) each time at these occasions and falls in love with her, however their timing is always off, leaving it difficult for this pair to actually have a relationship. The humor and romance in this fuse together to create a really lighthearted and entertaining movie. Hugh Grant delivers several hilarious lines and has a charm to him that's so endearing, his performance can truly make you forget your troubles. Rom-coms are always bound to make you feel giddy and trust me, this one is a massive dose of serotonin.
5. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine
This movie is a frequent contender on most feel-good movie lists and for good reason! "Little Miss Sunshine" follows the dysfunctional Hoover family as they go on a road trip to support daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) accomplish her dream of winning the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant in California. Each family member faces their own personal dilemma and familial tensions make the road trip difficult, but ultimately brings the family closer together. Olive and her family realize how much they need each other and pass along a significant theme, the importance of staying true to yourself. This movie is hilarious and deep and will get you feeling so many emotions, it is a must watch.
6. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
What We Do in the Shadows
Directed by Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement, this strange yet amusing concept made for a horror-comedy mockumentary that you can never forget. "What We Do in the Shadows" is about a group of vampire flatmates living in Wellington, New Zealand, dealing with modern life and mundane issues of the 21st century. Shot in a mockumentary format, the interviews and interactions between the vampires are absolutely hilarious and can shift your mood quickly if you need some laughs. You don't realize how much you want to see old vampires learn how to use the internet until you actually see it. Every moment in this film is of high comedic quality and if you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out.
7. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
You can never go wrong with a Disney movie if you want to brighten your day. "Atlantis" is a criminally underrated gem and deserves way more hype! Taking place in 1914, cartographer Milo Thatch dreams of finding the lost empire of Atlantis, and when he finds a journal that is a key to it's location, he joins a group of specialists and leads the expedition to the lost city. The expedition leads to a startling and magical discovery but Milo faces troubles along the way. Disney movies always have a spark and innocence in them that makes us feel so nostalgic, and "Atlantis" is a prime example of that. This movie will leave you with a sense of adventure and bring back that Disney magic that we grew up with.
Sometimes we could all use a bit of positivity in our lives and feelng it through the medium of film can definitely leave an impact on you. Feel-good movies are here to comfort us like a warm blanket, or an old friend and so I hope this list injects a little bit of joy in your day.