Films That Make Me Feel Good

These Are A Few of My Favorites

By Jeff Salter

This week’s topic is feel-good movies… and, as usual, I cannot decide among many. As I pondered this subject, I realized there were a few categories of films that give me that “feel-good” sense while watching.

Though not all are featured in every title, the common elements are:

Overcoming obstacles / limitations

Fighting back against oppressors (of various types)

Asserting one’s unique personality

Navigating adventuresome / dangerous situations

Finding a romantic partner

Reaching a satisfying conclusion (of the plot threads and character developments).

My List:

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain (1995) — love the music, setting, story, and characters. Even though we were told (at the time of the film’s release) that the movie was based on a “true” story… it was later stated that the original story was not as true as we were led to believe. So, this is one of those flicks that we can say was “inspired by actual events” (or something like that). But it’s one of those stories that you WANT to have been true.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) — he’s so charmingly irreverent and irresponsible. Despite the fact that he’s USES people (even his friends) and deceives everyone (including his parents), we’re rooting for him to enjoy his day and escape unscathed. And we want his enemies to suffer… which they do.

Back to the Future (1985) — has everything: teen angst, time travel, adventure, danger, etc. And the outcome relies on the resourcefulness of a teen with low self-esteem.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) — my favorite of all the Christmas movies. For most of the movie, we’re doubting that the old man is really Santa Claus… but we WANT him to be. And we want the adults to believe in him… even as the little girl slowly becomes convinced.

Big (1988) — What kid has not wished he/she could suddenly leave all the limitations of childhood behind and become a “grown-up”? This is a terrific study of how that could play out… and what that individual may find along the way.

Home Alone (1990) — one minute you’re cringing, then you’re crying, then you’re cheering. I love seeing that resourceful kid conquer everything that comes his way… including those two inept burglars.

My Cousin Vinny (1992) — even though I cannot (for a minute) see why Marisa Tomei would find (much older) Joe Pesci romantic or attractive, I love their interaction. And it’s a treat to see how a yankee city boy adapts to the people and culture of the deep South.

Sixteen Candles (1984) — everybody was a teenager once… and every teen has felt left out, overlooked, marginalized, etc. The characters are great and the situations are hilarious.

Goonies (1985) — Lots of adventure… with treasure, pirates, and bad guys trying to capture them. Not to mention their village is being yanked out from under them. So it’s up to those misfits – the “goonies” – to get themselves to safety and save their community.

It Happened One Night (1934) — Despite being some 86 years old, this film still plays well. In the beginning, I have no sympathy for the spoiled, self-centered, rich girl… but I love the way she comes to her own while under the care of Gable. And, of course, Gable himself changes a lot!

I’ve only listed 10 titles here, but there are many more. I love movies and I can watch them over and over.


What are some of YOUR feel-good movies?

[JLS # 511]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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18 Responses to Films That Make Me Feel Good

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’ve actually seen three of these! Back when the kids were young, we watched Back to the Future, Home Alone, and Sixteen Candles on TV. I probably caught bits of each between loads of laundry, washing dishes, and grading papers, but I got the gist of each one. Hubby and the kids sure enjoyed them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Salter says:

      those three are great… as are the other seven. Hope you find a time when you’re able to sit still and watch some of the others.


  2. stevevanhorn says:

    Honestly Jeff, your list made me chuckle. So many of yours are on mine as well. For me, I love the movie, Second Hand Lions. It is probably in the top two on my list. Another favorite is, Sweet Home Alabama. I have watched these two more times than I can count.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m cheating for tomorrow’s post, too, Jeff. I figured that you, being as big a movie-buff as I, would also find it hard to choose.
    I have not seen “Sixteen Candles” or “Ferris Bueller”, (and no one believes that I have not seen “The Breakfast Club”either, but I have missed all of those.)
    Probably the one that few who have also seen ” The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain”. I am not a big Hugh Grant fan, but I truly enjoyed this movie.
    As you will see from my choices tomorrow, I am a sucker for movies where the characters improve.
    I have heard conflicting reports on just how much of that story was true, with poetic license thrown in, but I think a village somewhere at least pressed to have their ‘devalued’ mountain reassessed back from a short time being debased as a common ‘hill’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Most of the movies on your list above are those that I’ve seen as well. But Back to the Future and It Happened One Night are the ones I most enjoyed. The others…eeh. LOL

    I’m very critical about movies. Not in the sense that they have to follow the books they are based on, but regarding the subject and the acting. The movie has to flow well, etc. If it touched me in some way that made me get lost in the story and feel as if it were really happening or could happen, that’s a good movie.

    Yes, I view movies very much the same as I do books. LOL Occupational hazard, I guess. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. jbrayweber says:

    There are only 2 on your list I have not seen (the first and the last ones). All the rest are great movies and I agree with your assessments.

    My quick list in no particular order:

    The Princess Bride (it’s the whole package!)
    It’s a Wonderful Life (great message)
    Blazing Saddles (because it’s flipping hilarious and makes fun of everyone)
    Some Like it Hot (classic comedy with classic A-list actors)
    Pirates of the Caribbean (fun adventure)
    The Breakfast Club (iconic for my generation)
    Young Guns (more fun adventure)
    Rat Race (side-splitting and at times inappropriate comedy)
    Forrest Gump (the harsh world through Forrest’s innocent eyes)

    I’m sure there are tons more I could add.
    Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      of your list, Jenn, I really enjoy “Some Like It Hot” and “Forrest Gump”.
      I like the premise of the Breakfast club, but cringe during all the insults and harsh interrogations.
      Pirates is a fast-paced romp… and an enjoyable flick.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I liked Second Hand Lions too. I also liked Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone. You have a nice list.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have seen and enjoyed each one of these titles! Of these 10 my favorite is Miracle on 34th Street. Have you seen the newer version of this title? The one made in 1994? I didn’t enjoy it as much as the 1947 version.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      I’ve seen the newer version and it was okay. Probably, if I’d never seen the first one, the second one might have seemed pretty durn good.
      But the climactic scene with the mailbags in the first one was a whole lot more powerful than that silly business with the dollar bill in the second one.


  8. Pingback: My Favorite Film is a BIG One | Four Foxes, One Hound

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