They say your inner demons are your own worst enemy, and in these troubling times, it’s easy to be stuck in your thoughts too much and find yourself feeling down. It is times like this that we should remind ourselves to stay positive, keep each other motivated and pray that tomorrow will be a better day.
So, in this week’s Must-Watch Movies, we’ll help you lighten up the mood with a list of ultimate feel-good movies guaranteed to cheer you up and lift your spirits. From classic musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain, the hilarious cult classic The Princess Bride, to modern coming-of-age love stories like Love, Simon.
Here is a list of our top 8 feel-good movies:
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
“I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again…”
Released in 1952, Singin’ in the Rain is a musical romantic comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, from a script written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Although the film was a moderate hit during its initial release, Singin’ in the Rain has since been regarded as one of the greatest musicals ever made. The film earned two nominations at the 25th Academy Awards, Best Original Music Score and Best Supporting Actress for Jean Hagen. Donald O’Connor won Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 10th Golden Globe Awards.
Set in 1927 Hollywood, during a time in which silent films were transitioning into “talkies”, we are introduced to Don Lockwood (Kelly), a former hoofer and stuntman whom, with his on-screen romantic partner, Lina Lamont (Hagen), have found success as the darlings of the silent silver screen. Lina, however, believes the pair are actually in love, despite Don’s objection. Aided by his best friend Cosmo Brown (O’Connor), Don evades Lina’s romantic advances, especially when he sets his eyes on and falls in love with chorus girl, Kathy Selden (Reynolds).
Featuring standout performances from its leads, Singin’ in the Rain is a classic Hollywood musical masterpiece that is entertainment at its best, complete with a marvellously executed story, music, singing, dancing and staging. The musical is a colourful spectacle that is clever, funny and brimming with good spirits all around.
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, Douglas Fowley & Rita Moreno.
Directed by: Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
Screenplay by: Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Story by: Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Running time: 103 minutes
Release date: March 27, 1952
The Breakfast Club (1985)
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.”
Released in 1985, The Breakfast Club is a teen coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by John Hughes. The film received critical acclaim upon release and is regarded as one of the best and most memorable works of John Hughes. It is considered as the quintessential film of the 1980s and deemed one of the best films of that decade.
Set in 1984, at the fictional Shermer High School, the film tells the story of five students who seemingly have nothing in common, except for the fact that they must go through a nine-hour Saturday detention together, under the supervision of Mr. Vernon (Gleason). These students are John Bender (Nelson), the criminal; Claire Standish (Ringwald), the princess; Brian Johnson (Hall), the brain; Andrew Clark (Estevez), the athlete; and Allison Reynolds (Sheedy), the basket case. Despite belonging to different high school cliques, these five teenagers will soon discover that they have much more in common than they thought.
Led by the vibrant performances of its young leads, The Breakfast Club presents an intriguing look inside the inner lives of teenagers through a warm, insightful and hilarious storyline as well as Hughes’ excellent knack for communicating teenage emotions and feelings.
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, John Kapelos & Ron Dean.
Directed by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Running time: 97 minutes
Release date: February 7, 1985
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Released in 1986, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a teen comedy film written and directed by John Hughes. The film was Hughes’ fourth work and was written in less than a week. It received an enthusiastically positive reaction upon release and was the tenth highest-grossing film of the year. Matthew Broderick was nominated for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 44th Golden Globe Awards.
Set in suburban Chicago, the film tells the story of street-wise high school senior, Ferris Bueller (Broderick), who has put together an incredibly sophisticated plan to take a day off from school by faking an illness. To pull this off, he enlists the help of his best friend Cameron (Ruck) and girlfriend Sloane (Sara) and persuades Cameron to borrow his father’s prized Ferrari for an adventure into the city. Dean of Students Edward R. Rooney (Jones) suspects Ferris’ truancy and is committed to catching him, as well as Ferris’ suspicious sister Jenny (Grey), who is frustrated that her brother always gets away with his tricks.
Guided by Hughes’ impeccable direction, Broderick’s charming performance, the light tone and warm-hearted humour, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a feel-good film that presents an honest portrayal of what it’s like to be young, live your life and having fun. It’s rare to find a film that is a timeless work of art with a lasting message, but this film is just that, one that you can just watch over and over again.
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Jeffrey Jones, Lyman, Cindy Pickett, Edie McClurg, Ben Stein, Del Close, Charlie Sheen, Virginia Capers, Richard Edson, Larry Jenkins, Kristy Swanson, Max Perlich, Scott Coffey, Eric Saiet, Jonathan Schmock, Louie Anderson, Stephanie Blake & Dee Dee Rescher.
Directed by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Running time: 103 minutes
Release date: June 11, 1986
The Princess Bride (1987)
“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
Released in 1987, The Princess Bride is a fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Rob Reiner, from a screenplay by William Goldman. An adaptation of Goldman’s 1973 novel of the same name, the film was a moderate box-office success during its initial release but was a critical hit with critics and audiences alike, and is now regarded a cult classic film.
An elderly man reads a story to his bedridden adolescent grandson, an old story passed down from father to son for generations. The story, enacted in the film, is a classic tale of love and adventure. When the beautiful Buttercup (Wright), a former farm girl who is engaged to the despicable Prince Humperdinck (Sarandon), is kidnapped by a group of bandits and held against her will in a devious plan to start a war, her childhood beau Westley (Elwes), must embark on a quest to save her. Along his journey, Westley comes across Vizzini (Shawn), a thief, and his two associates, a giant named Fezzik (André) and a Spaniard named Indigo Montoya (Patinkin), both of whom become Westley’s companion on his quest.
Featuring a superb cast and a fresh spin on the age-old damsel-in-distress concept, The Princess Bride is a sweet and delightful avant-garde fairy tale with the perfect combination of style, romance and comedy. It is deemed a culturally, historically and aesthetically significant film that is still, to this day, one of the greatest, most quotable comedies of all time.
Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, Robin Wright, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Billy Crystal, Betsy Brantley, Carol Kane, Peter Cook, Mel Smith, Margery Mason, Malcolm Storry, Anne Dyson & Willoughby Gray.
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Screenplay by: William Goldman
Based on: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Running time: 98 minutes
Release date: September 25, 1987
“A woman without love wilts like a flower without sun”
Released in 2001, Amélie is a French romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, from a screenplay by Guillaume Laurant. The film was a major box office success, becoming the highest-grossing French-language film released in the US to this date. It received critical acclaim and earned five nominations for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing at the 74th Academy Awards.
Set in Paris, the film follows the story of Amélie Poulain (Tautou), a shy and naïve waitress who works at the Café des 2 Moulins in Montmartre. Amélie was brought up by eccentric parents and was incorrectly misdiagnosed as having a heart defect by her father when she was a little girl, which leads her to develop a fantastical imagination and mischievous personality to cope with her loneliness. After returning long-lost childhood memorabilia belonging to a former occupant in her apartment and witnessing the effects it has on him, Amélie decides to make it her life mission to make others happy, and along the way pursuing a quirky young man, Nino Quincampoix (Kassovitz), who collects discarded photographs from passport photo booths.
Driven by the captivating performance from Audrey Tautou as the naïve and innocent heroine, Amélie is a visually distinctive feel-good film with whimsical charm, brilliant screenplay, outstanding music and sound design. This moonstruck romance will entrance you with its charm from the first minute until the last.
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Serge Merlin, Lorella Cravotta, Clotilde Mollet, Claire Maurier, Isabelle Nanty, Dominique Pinon, Artus de Penguern, Yolande Moreau, Urbain Cancelier, Jamel Debbouze, Maurice Bénichou, Michel Robin, Andrée Damant, Claude Perron, Armelle, Ticky Holgado & Fabbiene Chaudat.
Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Screenplay by: Guillaume Laurant
Story by: Guillaume Laurant & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Running time: 123 minutes
Release date: April 25, 2001
Love, Simon (2018)
“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?”
Released in 2018, Love, Simon is a romantic comedy film directed by Greg Berlanti from a screenplay written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon marks the first film by a big Hollywood studio to focus on gay teenage romance and received universal acclaim upon release.
The film tells the story of Simon Spier (Robinson), a high school senior who leads a seemingly perfect, normal life with a loving family – his parents, Emily (Garner) and Jack Spier (Duhamel), and little sister Nora Spier (Bateman). Simon has three best friends: Leah (Langford) and Nick (Lendeborg Jr.), whom he has known most of his life, and Abby (Shipp), a newly transferred student. But Simon has one big secret he’s been keeping from everyone in his life: he is a closeted gay. When another student blackmails and threatens to out Simon, he is forced to juggle between his friends and family, all the while attempting to uncover the mysterious identity of an anonymous classmate under the pseudonym “Blue”, with whom he has fallen in love with online.
Driven by the moving performances of its talented and diverse cast, Love, Simon is a heart-warming, tender and deeply affecting film that takes the coming-of-age film tropes and hits every beat with more dexterity than any other past films in the genre. It is one of the most charming, crowd-pleasing and feel-good films of the 2010s.
Starring: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, Logan Miller, Tony Hale, Talitha Bateman, Natasha Rothwell, Drew Starkey, Clark Moore, Joey Pollari & Mackenzie Lintz.
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Screenplay by: Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger
Based on: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Running time: 110 minutes
Release date: February 27, 2018