We are asked about our favorite ‘feel good’ movie.
“MOVIE?” As in ‘singular’?
I am a real movie hound. I have been pondering the topic and how to choose just one?
Then I lit an idea: I would choose one favorite feel-good movie in several genres.
Yeah, right; that proved to be very difficult as well.
There are too many that I like to choose my favorite in each category, so I struck on the idea that since I have mentioned many of my absolute favorites before in posts, I would try to avoid those. Most of the movies listed below are not my ‘all-time favorites’ in each category, but mostly less famous ones which you may not know or have not seen, yet make me happy each time that I watch them. (All, until the last, are at ‘worst ‘ rated PG-14 for themes, most of them are probably PG.)
Feel-good drama: “All About Eve” The classic movie of theater people and how very human people can keep (or return to) values, after temptation and doubt. (And the connivers reap what they sow.) Whenever ‘best movies’ movies were rated, this movie was usually #1 for decades, (or #2, if they decided to be artsy and go with Citizen Kane), but you never even see this on a list anymore. I hope that is never totally forgotten.
Feel-good musical: “Gigi” I am not a huge fan of musicals, but the dialogue and a few songs are truly cleverly written, (and admittedly, a few of the songs are truly annoying), but the story of a young girl who is from a long line of courtesans makes me cry happily. Her grandmother gave up the life long ago; her negligent mother became a (bad) opera singer instead of following in the family trade. If nothing else, the scenery and the comedy are worth your time, and the ending is sweet beyond words.
Feel-good adult family movie: “Donavan’s Reef”. An anti-racism, pro-family comedy/drama movie about doctor who left his motherless daughter with his wealthy family in New England while he stayed to administer to the South Sea island people where he served with his WWII buddies. The doctor’s now-grown daughter arrives and does not know that he remarried and that she has half-Polynesian siblings. (Again, I cry happy tears near the end every time.)
Feel-good rom-com: “Arranged”. Two young women teachers, one an Orthodox Jew and the other a devout Muslin, form a deep friendship as both try to maintain their lifestyles in spite of social, (and their principal’s), pressure. Both of their families are trying to arrange marriages for them, and for one, it isn’t working well. This has become one of my absolute favorites.
Feel-good foreign film: “After the Wedding”. This is a Danish film stars Mads Mikkelsen, who is a fairly unknown and unappreciated actor here in America. In this movie, he’s an ex-hippy who had gone to India for all the wrong reasons, but when he straightened up, found meaning in life by running a home for orphaned boys. When a rich industrialist from his native Denmark offers him a chance at a desperately-needed grant for his boys, he travels with the man to his mansion for his daughter’s wedding and finds that the man seems to have been misleading him. The ending will have you smiling, happy… and in tears.
Feel-good Christmas movie: “Christmas in the Clouds”. A lovely resort built by reservation Indians struggles for recognition and is besieged by a number of comedies of errors. Graham Green as their vegetarian chef is a true gem, along with many other incredible performances, (and a running joke about a western bodice-ripper making its way around the staff is very funny).
Feel-good animated movie: “Meet the Robinsons”. This is a lesser-known Disney film about an orphan who uses a time machine to find out about his mother. It had a number of good messages about all aspects of the meaning of family and has a great, heart-warming ending.
Feel-good movie set in war: “Vacation From Marriage”. In WWII England, a frumpy wife and milquetoast husband separately enter into service and both grow as individuals. Ably played by Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr, the ending is better than you would ever expect.
Feel-Good supernatural: Here’s perhaps the hardest to choose, but I pulled out “Stranger Than Fiction”. A nice man with a quiet life starts hearing his life being narrated at the same time that we see an author with writer’s block trying to write the story of the man, whom she has no clue is real. Sometimes Will Ferrell is over-the-edge, but he plays the hapless man here with great restraint and the ending is incredible.
Feel-good horror film: Yes, it’s possible. Maybe I chose to list a horror film because next week is Halloween. Some would question my choice, but it’s “John Carpenter’s Vampires”. It’s raw, it’s not for kids, but it has its elements and a few surprises. Nice to believe that if there would be vampires, that there would be strong, brave people to do the work of getting rid of them. And, unlike most horror films, the ending leaves me hopeful.
I could have chosen more, like those of faith, mystery, fantasy, costume epics, and more, but I will stop at 10, (which is cheating terribly anyway!)
Do you like my choices? Are there any that you do not know? Have I sparked interest in any of them for you?