From 10 Things I Hate About You to Singin’ In The Rain, our writers shared their favourite feel-good movies to help take your mind off Coronavirus.
With all the craziness going on in the world, now more than ever we need to turn to movies to take our minds off the Covid-19 panic and cheer us up. We asked our writers to recommend their favourite feel-good movies to help you take your mind off Coronavirus: here’s what they picked.
10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
ELISA’S FEEL-GOOD MOVIE
Director: Gill Junger
Cast: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, Laris Oleynik
If you were to google “best ways to spend your COVID-19 time at home”, it’s highly unlikely that William Shakespeare’s name would pop out. Our days of troubles call for upbeat, energetic pastimes to relieve us of the burden of community responsibility. And a first glance at Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You seems to confirm our hypothesis: this almost-2000 cult looks anything but a Shakespearian play. It’s a movie with a pretty silly title; its actors are extremely good-looking (r.i.p. Heath Ledger); it’s set in the US. Still, if we pay attention, we’ll notice that characters sometimes address each other with fancy names; and that all the best lines could have easily featured into a (stage) director’s cut of Romeo and Juliet. 10 Things I Hate About You is indeed an adaption of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. And this is why it’s the perfect film to reconnect to your sanity.
A rhapsodic presentation of adolescent love, dilemmas and existential crisis, Junger’s comedy drama will leave you with a feeling of elatedness as you tag along a bunch of kids’ emotional rollercoaster and witness them confront each other, the future and what it means to “be yourself”. An all-time, all-ages classic, this Bildungsroman will swing your mood up to a dangerously high degree – and will give the nerdiest of you the chance to revise your English Lit. skills. The movie’s sparkling young cast (Julia Styles, Heath Legder, Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, Laris Oleynik to name a few members) is just the cherry on top of an exquisitely smooth story that manages to make us believe that things will turn out well against all odds. We all need to blindfoldedly believe in the power of love, friendship and dreams from time to time. And today seems the perfect day to brush up your suspension of disbelief.
THADDEUS’S FEEL-GOOD MOVIE
Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker & Jerry Zucker
Cast: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen
My go-to feel-good movie for years has been Airplane! (1980). A comedy classic, it follows the story of a veteran air force pilot who follows his wife onto a plane where most of the passengers and crew get inexplicably sick. Airplane! serves as a parody of melodrama, disaster, and war movie tropes, fully committing to its absurdity with clever yet ridiculous visual gags coupled with quotable lines that are still funny years later. It truly speaks to the timelessness of a film when its humor still connects with audiences forty years after its initial release. The film also gave Leslie Neilsen not only his first comedic role, but arguably his most recognizable role, introducing his unique brand of humor to the world. To anyone searching for a wacky experience that will leaves their faces sore from smiling, I cannot recommend Airplane! enough.
SERENA’S FEEL-GOOD MOVIE
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Maggie Smith, Julia Roberts
It’s (metaphorically) rainy days like these that make me want to turn to feel-good movies that can bring a little magic back in my life. And if it’s magic you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of that in Hook. Spielberg’s take on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale revolves around a grown-up Peter Pan (Robin Williams) who has, in Wendy (Maggie Smith)’s words, “become a pirate” and forgotten who he is, and a Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) who is so wonderfully sarcastic and human that you can’t help but sympathise with him as he attempts to stop time over and over again. Both entertaining and meaningful, Hook is one of those films you watch with a smile and a tear in your eye. As you follow a superb Robin Williams embark on a journey to Neverland, an unexpected wave of nostalgia will suddenly hit you, bringing your inner child back to life, to remind you of what being human is all about.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
ADELE’S FEEL-GOOD MOVIE
Director: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
Almost twenty years ago (hello, 2003!), Sofia Coppola made a movie that translated poetry onto the screen to speak right to your soul. Based on her own personal life crisis and her time spent in Tokyo in her 20s, Lost in Translation revolves around a famous actor, Bob Harris (Bill Murray), who is in Tokyo to shoot a Whiskey commercial and happens to meet Charlotte (back then, a not-so-famous Scarlett Johansson) at his hotel, a young woman who’s travelled there with her photographer husband. They both can’t sleep, and they bump into each other a few times before deciding to explore the city together.
As we visit the quirky, magical Tokyo with them (and be still my heart, what a great place to make memories!), it becomes clear that Bob is in a sort of midlife crisis, emotionally distant from his wife and family, while Charlotte (played in a very emo/sweet/sad way by Johansson) is in her personal quarter life crisis. Since neither is feeling connected to the world or their loved ones, to whom they cannot explain how they feel, finding each other makes them “click” beyond their differences, such as their lifestyle, background and the huge age gap between them.
Watching this movie will make you wish to embark on an adventure with your own Bill Murray, to have a Karaoke night with Scarlett Johansson and explore the beauty of Tokyo’s life. More importantly, it will make you feel a little less lonely, and it will make you giggle more times than you expect it to. Lost In Translation is indeed a sweet movie about feeling lost, uncertain and disconnected that shows us that, at end of the day, what we often really want is a meaningful connection, and to feel known and understood by a partner in crime.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
SERENA’S FEEL-GOOD MOVIE
Director: Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
If I mentioned Singin’ In The Rain, you’d probably be reminded of that famous scene of Gene Kelly doing precisely that – cheerfully whistling and singing along to the musical’s title song. After all, it’s one of the most referenced scenes in film history, and one whose memory of it alone is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Yet, there’s so much more to discover in Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly’s ageless classic, starting from the scene pictured above (which a kind soul has also made available on youtube), depicting a diction class that quickly turns into chaos – of the most entertaining kind. Because Singin’ In The Rain is not just a feel-good movie: it’s a clever, meaningful, highly enjoyable musical that, quite simply has it all. Charismatic leads, flawless dancing routines, incredibly catchy tunes, groundbreaking cinematic techniques and a piece of Hollywood history in the making, enfolding on the screen. It will make you laugh histerically, it will make you want to sing along and it will remind you why you love movies.