The 10 best feel-good films currently on Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)
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The 10 best feel-good films currently on Netflix

Very often, we find ourselves to be in the search for an escape. With so much happening all around the world every single day, with news overflowing and clogging our devices; all these further stress out our already put-to-the-limit heads. This calls for an immediate need to look for an escape. Something to calm us down, bring out some smiles; something that allows us to relax and rewind, something to make us feel good.

Turns out that ‘escape’ isn’t very far beyond our reach. For on Netflix, the huge numbers of movies and television series there can significantly help us to cope with the absurdities of the situations outside and presents us with a way out of the emotional and physical rut we find ourselves to be in. From films that inspire us to dream of a better tomorrow, to movies that brings back that warm and so-comfortable fuzzy feeling we’ve been missing out on; there’s something for everyone to look for on its giant repository.

Here, we list the best ten feel-good films you can find on Netflix right now.

Ten best feel-good movies on Netflix:

10. And So It Goes (Rob Reiner – 2014)

Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes is pretty much everything you expect from a ‘feel-good’ film. This romantic-comedy starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton in lead roles, tells the story of Oren Little (Douglas), a realtor by trade, who develops self-absorption, turning his back on his neighbours and shunning the notion of kindness to others, after his wife dies; part of his self-absorption is having no patience for children, not even his own now-adult son, from whom he has been estranged.

He has a next-door neighbour, Leah (Keaton), whose own husband has likewise died, never having had any children of her own, which leads her to throw her soul and her tears into reviving a singing career that had stagnated.

9. Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore – 2012)

This delightful musical-comedy follows Barden University’s all-girl acapella group, The Barden Bellas, as they compete against another acapella group from their college to win Nationals. The film is loosely adapted from Mickey Rapkin’s non-fiction book, titled Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate a Cappella Glory.

Featuring the likes of Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Elizabeth Banks, Pitch Perfect is hilarious, wonderfully fun, and at its central core is about finding oneself, but as a group, which is refreshing. By the end of this pitch-perfect movie, you to will be surely wanting to join an acapella group.

8. Julie & Julia (Nora Ephron – 2009)

Written and directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Messina, Julie & Julia contrasts the life of chef Julia Child in the early years of her culinary career with the life of young New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes in Child’s cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her popular blog that made her a published author.

The first major motion picture based on a blog, it tells the story of Julie Powell, a young blogger, who is determined to emulate Julia Child’s cooking techniques. Though separated by time, the two women share a common passion for food that intertwines their lives.

7. Coming to America (John Landis – 1988)

Based on a story originally created by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the lead role, the film also co-starred Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, and John Amos and was the first instalment in the Coming to America film series,  

Eddie Murphy plays Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the fictional African nation of Zamunda, who travels to the United States in the hopes of finding a woman he can marry. The movie has been described as having a “cult following” years after its release, despite the negative press, with one of the highest-grossing box offices of the year it was released, as well as one of the highest-grossing films featuring African-Americans.

6. School of Rock (Richard Linklater – 2003)

Richard Linklater’s School of Rock stars Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White, Sarah Silverman, and Miranda Cosgrove, with Black playing the struggling rock guitarist Dewey Finn, who is kicked out of his band and subsequently disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After witnessing the musical talent of his students, Dewey forms a band of fifth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands and pay off his rent.

The film received largely positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for Black’s performance and humour. It was the highest grossing music-themed comedy of all time, until it was overtaken in 2015 by Pitch Perfect 2.

5. Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki – 1989)

Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated film written, produced, and directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, adapted from the 1985 novel by Eiko Kadono.

This delightful film tells the story of a young witch, Kiki, who moves to a new town and uses her flying ability to earn a living. According to Miyazaki, the movie portrays the gulf between independence and reliance in teenage Japanese girls.

4. The Terminal (Steven Spielberg – 2004)

Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Stanley Tucci is about an Eastern European man who becomes stuck in New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport terminal when he is denied entry into the United States and at the same time is unable to return to his native country because of a military coup.

The film is partially inspired by the true story of the 18-year stay of Mehran Karimi Nasseri in Terminal 1 of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, from 1988 to 2006. After finishing his previous film, Catch Me If You Can, Spielberg decided to direct The Terminal because he wanted to make another film “that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world.”

3. Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron – 1993)

An ultimate classic when it comes to films about love, Sleepless in Seattle was directed and co-written by Nora Ephron, based on a story by Jeff Arch. It stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, alongside a supporting cast featuring Bill Pullman, Ross Malinger, Rob Reiner, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffmann, Victor Garber, and Rita Wilson.

An ultimate throwback to the romantic comedies of the 1940s and ’50s, the plot follows Jonah, who realises that his dad, Sam has still not come to terms with his wife Maggie’s death. He forces him to call a national radio talk show, with the hopes of finding him a companion.

2. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis – 1994)

This epic romantic comedy-drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth is based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century United States.

An enormous success at the box office, Forrest Gump became the top-grossing film in America during its year and earned over $677 million worldwide during its theatrical run, making it the second highest-grossing film of 1994, behind The Lion King. The soundtrack sold over 12 million copies. Forrest Gump won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It received many award nominations, including Golden Globes, British Academy Film Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

1. Back To The Future (Robert Zemeckis – 1985)

Robert Zemeckis’ brilliant sci-fi/adventure Back To The Future is not just only one of the best entertaining films of all-time; it is also one of the greatest films to be ever made, spawning one of the most successful movie franchises to date.

Starring Michael J. Fox as Marty and Christopher Lloyd as Doc, never takes it science very seriously. Instead, it manages to combine bits of everything, resulting in one grand potpourri of sci-fi, nostalgia, coming of age, and of course comedy – making it an important milestone in cinema history which continues to define generations till date.

While the main theme of Back to the Future concerns taking control and personal responsibility for one’s own destiny; a situation can be changed even if it seems otherwise impossible to overcome, Lea Thompson said that the film represents how one moment can have a significant and lasting impact on a person’s life. Producer Bob Gale said that Doc Brown provided the perfect summary of the theme running throughout the film series, when in Back to the Future Part III he said: “Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one.”

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Arkadeep Mitra

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