My feel good / slice of life movie list

by natalia-america | created - 28 May 2016 | updated - 09 Jan 2018 | Public

I like to watch these movies when I am feeling lost, depressed or anxious. They bring me a feeling of hope, wonder and happiness. Most of them just show people overcoming obstacles, chasing after their dreams or looking for true happiness. I've tried organizing them according to the feel good vibes I get after watching.

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1. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life.

Director: Audrey Wells | Stars: Diane Lane, Raoul Bova, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan

Votes: 43,970 | Gross: $43.61M

My absolute favorite when most down. Always cheers me up and reminds me life does go on, and to find pleasure in everything.

2. The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

PG | 122 min | Comedy, Drama

55 Metascore

The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon

Votes: 71,139 | Gross: $54.24M

Makes me feel great, I can't help but smile when I watch this. I hope you do too.

3. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 86,802 | Gross: $46.41M

It is lovely to see how there is more to life than what people expect. Just because you're old, doesn't mean you have to stop living and stop enjoying the wonders and experiences life has to offer.

4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

A young Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity.

Director: Joel Zwick | Stars: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Christina Eleusiniotis

Votes: 114,822 | Gross: $241.44M

This movie just says to me "be true to yourself and do what you want to do, good things will always follow"

5. Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 170,076 | Gross: $71.51M

A feeling of relaxation mixed with the delightful sight of chocolate making makes this movie worth anyone's time.

6. Eat Pray Love (2010)

PG-13 | 133 min | Drama, Romance

50 Metascore

A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to "find herself".

Director: Ryan Murphy | Stars: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis

Votes: 79,800 | Gross: $80.57M

I clearly love traveling, and this movie reflects perfectly how therapeutic traveling can be. Searching for yourself in a completely foreign country is something I relate to, and the wonders of traveling always put a smile on my face

7. A Good Year (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

47 Metascore

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Russell Crowe, Abbie Cornish, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard

Votes: 83,641 | Gross: $7.46M

It is never too late to turn your life around, and get in touch with what makes you happy

8. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)

PG | 122 min | Comedy, Drama

51 Metascore

As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals - Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel

Votes: 29,507 | Gross: $33.08M

A lovely experience like the first movie

9. The Intern (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 121 min | Comedy, Drama

51 Metascore

Seventy-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

Director: Nancy Meyers | Stars: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Anders Holm

Votes: 196,110 | Gross: $75.76M

This film has a lot of positivity. Again we go into the theme "it is never too late to turn your life around" and also "you're never too old to enjoy life", all of this, and of course "fight for your dreams and ambitions". A lot of good things in this film.

10. Begin Again (II) (2013)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

62 Metascore

A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter, new to Manhattan, turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.

Director: John Carney | Stars: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld

Votes: 132,269 | Gross: $16.17M

I think the title says everything about this movie, the two main characters overcome their difficult situations, and find themselves through their relationship and music. At the end, I couldn't stop smiling for them.

11. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

54 Metascore

When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Director: Ben Stiller | Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly, Kathryn Hahn

Votes: 279,222 | Gross: $58.24M

I fell in love with this movie, the deep boring reality of it at first and the sudden jump to adventure. The phrase of "Adventure is right around the corner" is the perfect way to describe this film.

12. The Way (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 123 min | Comedy, Drama

64 Metascore

A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El camino de Santiago," and decides to take the pilgrimage himself.

Director: Emilio Estevez | Stars: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen

Votes: 28,354 | Gross: $4.43M

Thanks to the comment section, I found this hidden gem (at least hidden for me), I absolutely loved it in an unexpected way, as many of these films do. It is all about embracing life and change, being open to experiences, facing yourself and past mistakes, and moving forward

13. Chef (2014)

R | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman

Votes: 178,850 | Gross: $30.64M

It is never to late to start over, and do something your passionate about

14. Mamma Mia! (2008)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

51 Metascore

The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd | Stars: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 198,492 | Gross: $144.13M

Cute and fun musical, it's an entertaining movie to watch, specially if you like ABBA

15. Sabrina (1995)

PG | 127 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

An ugly duckling having undergone a remarkable change, still harbors feelings for her crush: a carefree playboy, but not before his business-focused brother has something to say about it.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear, Nancy Marchand

Votes: 34,463 | Gross: $53.67M

Discovering yourself, and learning what you truly want. This is what this movie is about, that and love, of course.

16. Meet Joe Black (1998)

PG-13 | 178 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

43 Metascore

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth, and in the process, he falls in love with his guide's daughter.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber

Votes: 198,730 | Gross: $44.62M

The whole mystery behind the situation, and the beautiful and luxurious life of the main characters always captures me. Brings to mind the importance of being surrounded by the people you love, cause at the end of the day that is all that matters, not money.

17. Pride & Prejudice (2005)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

Director: Joe Wright | Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland

Votes: 234,753 | Gross: $38.41M

Frustrating throughout and truly captivating love story, it is so romantised in this film, that it makes my heart lighter every time I watch it.

18. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

98 Metascore

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú

Votes: 582,062 | Gross: $37.63M

My childhood fantasies of adventure come to life in this film. It brings out the youth in me, and the parallel story about Franco's dictatorship adds a lot of drama and action to it. Overall it makes me feel happy, since the end gives you this positive magical vibe

19. Spanglish (2004)

PG-13 | 131 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

48 Metascore

A woman and her daughter emigrate from Mexico for a better life in America, where they start working for a family where the patriarch is a newly celebrated chef with an insecure wife.

Director: James L. Brooks | Stars: Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega, Cloris Leachman

Votes: 74,679 | Gross: $42.04M

Life is complicated, I don't even know how to explain why it makes me happy, but I feel like the movie's message was to be proud of who you are and where you came from, among other things.

20. Julie & Julia (2009)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.

Director: Nora Ephron | Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 98,323 | Gross: $94.13M

It is very delicious to watch the food come to life. Very interesting and entertaining film

21. The Terminal (2004)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

An Eastern European tourist unexpectedly finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chi McBride, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 373,046 | Gross: $77.87M

Even in the most harshest situation, if you are positive and persevering, things will go your way

22. Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

When tradition prevents her from marrying the man she loves, a young woman discovers she has a unique talent for cooking.

Director: Alfonso Arau | Stars: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné, Mario Iván Martínez

Votes: 15,914 | Gross: $21.67M

For me a classic, full of wonder and cultural symbolisms. It is rich in culture references from the era. Says to me "never give up on true love"

23. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 394,591 | Gross: $66.26M

I'm always fascinated by the fantasy in this film, what is the truth and what is not? It doesn't matter, at the end, the message is life is all just a point of view, and he saw his life as a big adventure, and so it was.

24. The Holiday (2006)

PG-13 | 136 min | Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

Director: Nancy Meyers | Stars: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black

Votes: 223,633 | Gross: $63.22M

Putting yourself in places and situations you never imagined to be in helps you grow as a person

25. Working Girl (1988)

R | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss' job.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin

Votes: 48,545 | Gross: $64.00M

A woman fighting for her dreams. It makes me feel great and capable of anything.

26. My Life in Ruins (2009)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

34 Metascore

A travel guide rediscovers her romantic side on a trip around Greece.

Director: Donald Petrie | Stars: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Rachel Dratch, Alexis Georgoulis

Votes: 17,564 | Gross: $8.66M

You can't always plan your life, sometimes you have to let go, enjoy and let things flow... everything happens for a reason

27. Last Holiday (2006)

PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

52 Metascore

Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman decides to sell off all her possessions and live it up at a posh European hotel.

Director: Wayne Wang | Stars: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Giancarlo Esposito

Votes: 26,473 | Gross: $38.36M

Hilarious and super fun to watch. I love how everything just falls into place. I just think "Positive Karma" when I watch this.

28. Practical Magic (1998)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

46 Metascore

Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love.

Director: Griffin Dunne | Stars: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 67,337 | Gross: $46.68M

29. La La Land (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

93 Metascore

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons

Votes: 450,655 | Gross: $151.10M

This movie is super sweet and entertaining to watch, but it is more at the bottom of my list because of the bittersweet end. It isn't exactly a feel good movie, though there are several feel good scenes, however, it is a bit more melancholic at the end. I still liked it a lot though

30. The Last Word (2017)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

40 Metascore

Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.

Director: Mark Pellington | Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, AnnJewel Lee Dixon, Thomas Sadoski

Votes: 6,582 | Gross: $1.78M

Found this unexpectedly interesting slice of life movie, which I wouldn't say is 100% "feel good", but definitely has some moments of it. It says to me: never to late to change things, not for others, but for yourself. Also says to me: open yourself up to new experiences, it will unexpected opportunities.



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