FILM | Top 10 Feel Good Movies That Will Make You Happy

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So far 2014 has not treated me well. It’s barely February and I’m already on my second course of antibiotics for two completely different illnesses. This means I’ve been spending a lot of time doing my Happy Things, like reading trashy YA fantasy novels and drowning myself in green tea. But my favourite pastime is watching feel good movies. I’ll be the first person to admit that I can be a bit of a film snob, but there’s times when I just want to watch cheesy boy meets girl love stories and pretend that I’m not rolling around in bed and coughing up my lungs. Sometimes you can have escapism without heading off to Middle Earth or Hogwarts!

10. The Hot Chick:

It’s a mystery to me why I like this film so much, since I’m often found drawling on about how much I hate certain Anchormanesque comedy films. But I just find it really cute, and I can somehow forget all the offensive stereotypes and just enjoy it. I’m not a grouchy feminist aaaaall the time. It’s also probably the only film on this list that isn’t heavily romance based, which makes a nice change for a brainmush movie. Boys are cheats and liars, they’re such a big disgrace!

9. Pretty Woman:

Everything about this movie makes me happy. I love the constantly shifting (but totally non-aggressive) power struggle between Vivian and Edward. Vivian may be looked down upon by other people in Edward’s social circle, but it doesn’t matter because she knows the directions and can drive the car that Edward fails to do so. And the shopping scene is like my life goal. Getting revenge on people who were mean to me and buying designer clothes in the process? Living the dream.

8. Legally Blonde:

Whoever said that orange is the new pink, is seriously disturbed. Elle Woods is my hero. She dresses amazingly and she gets what she wants– a double threat. Every time I watch this movie I always end up wishing I studied law at university. And she saves poor defenceless animals in the sequel, and we all know how I feel about poor defenceless animals. I have a very vivid memory of seeing it at the cinema with a toy Buster the chihuahua. Maybe one day I too will be as great as Woods comma Elle.

7. Raising Helen:

I know a film about little orphan children doesn’t exactly scream feel good movie, but it really is I swear. Much like Elle must prove herself to the people at Harvard Law, Helen must prove that she is capable of looking after her late sister’s children. I can’t promise you that you won’t have a little a cry when you watch this, but everything works out best for everybody in the end. Love and happiness and family!

6. The House Bunny:

The second Anna Faris film on my list, and for good reason. She is the Feel Good Queen. Even her voice makes me feel good. Some may protest that I only love this film as much as I do because of my obsession with Hugh Hefner, and that may be true. But why wouldn’t you love Hugh Hefner? It’s full of cute little cameos and it stars Emma Stone (Easy A almost made this list), so it should have something for everyone. Instead of the Mahi-Mahi, can I get just the one Mahi, because I’m not that hungry?

5. Coyote Ugly:

YOU CAN TRY TO RESIST! TRY TO HIDE FROM MY KISS! BUT YOU KNOW, BUT YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN’T FIGHT THE MOONLIIIIIIGHT! Continuing my theme of pretty blonde girls who must struggle to overcome something, but only this time it’s better because it has SONGS. And a hot Australian guy. It makes me want to run away to a big city and work in a bar like Coyote Ugly. I don’t care if up until this point I’ve identified as the introverted writer type, I’ll even dance on a bar like the girls in the film do. Although films where a foreign person lives in the US always drive me insane when they don’t mention how they got in. Where did you get your visa? Show me your secrets!

4. Clueless:

If you don’t like this film, then you’re a virgin who can’t drive. If Elle Woods is my career motivation, then Cher Horowitz surely is my style icon. It has Brittany Murphy and Cyrus from Gossip Girl and Paul Rudd and Turk from Scrubs! If that’s not feel good, then I don’t know what is. It just oozes with 90s goodness and it means you’ll never have to read Jane Austen’s Emma in your life.

3. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist:

Probably the least cheesy movie on the list, but still midnumbing enough to tune out for a few hours. I have a lot of love for Michael Cera (both Scott Pilgrim and George Michael Bluth would be sure to appear on a list of my favourite movies and TV shows) and Kat Dennings is one of my favourite women in Hollywood, so watching them fall in luuuuurve definitely appealed to me. I also have a fondness for movies that happen all in one night, I don’t know if it’s a character development thing or realism thing, but it works so I try not to question it. It’s the quirky Indie teenager’s answer to The Notebook.

2. Wild Child:

I’ve always loved a good English boarding school movie, and transatlantic confusion will always have a special place in my heart thanks to the two years of my teenage life I spent on Skype everyday to Americans. Wild Child has pranks, and friendship, and love, and redemption! It’s always my go-to movie whenever I’m feeling under the weather (since number one disappeared off of Netflix at least), because I know that if I take an accidental nap in the middle of it I won’t miss too much. And even if I do manage to stay awake, it’s still entertaining on it’s seventh rewatch.

1. 10 Things I Hate About You:

The second hot Australian love interest on my list. Do I have a type? Obviously. This movie has the best soundtrack on the list… in fact, maybe it has the best soundtrack of any movie ever. And Kat Stratford has been destroying the patriarchy since 1999, ’cause she doesn’t give a damn ’bout her reputation. It’s also got the added bonus of being an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, which makes me feel less bad about watching it so many times. It’s cultured, right? It’s Shakespeare!


I hope this list proves to you that even if the majority of my favourite films are mundane, bleak, and gritty (Fish Tank and Kidulthood, I’m looking at you), I can still watch trash with the rest of them. It makes a change from reading the wikipedia article on List of Unusual Deaths, which I am totally not doing right now.

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Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

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