Life is not always kind. Sometimes it delivers blows that leave you feeling sad and low. Such are the moments when you are left looking for something to lift your spirits: an outing with friends, a nice meal, or perhaps an entertaining, ‘feel good’ movie. I often resort to this last choice, and on several occasions a movie has ended up lifting my spirits and transforming my mood. Hearty entertainment is the idea, and I believe each title in this list of movies to watch when you are really sad delivers without fail.
1 Little Miss Sunshine
It is a hilarious laugh riot and a heart warmer at the same time. A dysfunctional American middle class family is forced together in their VW bus, as they undertake a cross-country trip to get their 7 year old to the finals of a beauty pageant. Apart from the beauty-obsessed little girl, there is a hot-blooded grand dad, a never-say-die father, his diplomatic wife, her gay brother recovering from a suicide attempt and a 14 year old teenager heavily into Nietzsche all packed into one unusually rickety bus.
Each one tries desperately to make the journey bearable for himself, sparks fly, and by the end of it everyone finds someone to love in that bus. The humor is neither forced nor over-the-top, and none of the characters are actually trying to be funny. Each of them is dead serious in his own way. That is what makes this road comedy such an endearing and enjoyable movie to watch when you are sad.
2 Dunston Checks in
I first watched this as a teenager and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dunston, the misplaced Orangutan in a five-star hotel, steals the show and is the movie’s only star. Perhaps that’s the best part. You can’t help but laugh at his antics and the effect he has on the stereotypical characters all around him. Whenever I watch this, he ends up lifting my mood like no human being around me can. Perhaps he will have the same effect on you…
3 Top Gun
When you need a mood-lifter, it doesn’t necessarily have to be funny. How about going gung-ho with a gang of hot boys, all aiming to be America’s best fighter pilots? Top Gun is an adrenaline and testosterone rush right through, and a surprisingly good one at that. The plot is basic, like almost any sports movie, and the style quotient and cocky and dangerous attitudes are drool-worthy. Besides, it has Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, both hot, young and raging. The classic 80s’ fashion, with denim and leather jackets, and one of the greatest love songs from the movies (Take My Breath Away), are added bonuses.
4 The Indiana Jones Series
We’ve all seen the young and handsome Indy delve into ancient tales and chase treasures around the world at some stage or the other. With his appetite for danger, his penchant for riddles and his determination to unravel and top human and divine schemes, he takes you on a thrill-a-minute ride. It is sure to make you forget your sorrows for a while! My personal favorite is Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Do let me know what you think about this movie to watch when you are sad.
5 Independence Day
Wholesome entertainment are the words that come to mind. The alien invasion plot may appear clichéd now, but this film is one of the better ones in the genre. It has the ingredients such a film would thrive on: an untidy young physicist with a troubled personal life, a fighter pilot keen on taking the fight back to the invading aliens, an inspiring American President who comes into his own in his final speech, and the resilience of the human race. It does what entertaining, commercial blockbusters are meant to do: make you feel good.
6 Rush Hour
It is slapstick but it is funny and that's what makes it a great movie to watch when you are sad. Chris Tucker is a cocky LAPD specimen whose world consists of his gun, his badge, his cool Americana style, a one line philosophy and a dead sure attitude towards the bad guys who tolerate him as family. It has no place for real danger and a determined and somewhat dense Chinese martial arts phenomenon. Yet that is what he has to deal with, as he and Jackie Chan run riots on the streets of LA, solving crime largely by accident. Since I don’t mind ‘in your face’ humor if the plot is engaging enough, this one has crept into my list of movies to watch when you are really sad.
7 The Party
Another slapstick comedy, but this time delivered by Peter Sellers himself. The master comedy artist caricatured a sloppy French detective in the Pink Panther series, and here he is a bamboozled Indian film extra invited mistakenly to a high-society, chic Hollywood film party. He tries desperately to mingle and blend in, and drifting between conversations, he finds himself the catalyst of a series of hilarious misadventures. Let your multicultural conscience rest for a while and leave yourself free to enjoy the funny turns of this unforgettable party.
8 The Mask
I must admit that I’m not a big Jim Carrey fan, but this one still makes it to my list of movies to watch when you are really sad. Jim Carrey is repressed bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss, for whom a better life is just a distant dream. Then the Mask, with its magic powers, accidentally comes into his life. It brings out his fun loving, crime fighting, glamour seeking, morally gray hidden self that propels him into a series of crazy nighttime adventures. The plot features a series of entertaining twists and turns that will leave you feeling a hundred times better.
I assure you that any of the flicks in this list of movies to watch when you are really sad will give your mood a serious lift. It will be best if you watch them with friends. Go ahead and enjoy but before that tell me what feel-good movie is your favorite?
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