10 Feel-Good Movies To Watch On Netflix
Additional reporting by Andrea Saadan
We all know that Netflix is a gold-mine when it comes to binge-watching—from true crime, to inspiring documentaries, all-time favourite TV shows and more, there's plenty on offer. But the streaming site is sometimes overlooked for its wide range of movies.
With such an array on offer, we're helping you whittle down your watch list by rounding up 10 feel-good movies. Expect rom-com classics, cult comedies and plenty of nostalgia.
1/10 Always Be My Maybe
Always Be My Maybe is a 2019 American romantic comedy film, written by Ali Wong, Randall Park and Michael Golamco. It stars Park and Wong as childhood friends Marcus and Sasha, who have not been in touch since a brief teenage fling that ended badly.
Winning over fans, rating site Rotten Tomatoes praises Wong and Park for their "infectious charms", with the film taking "familiar rom-com beats and cleverly layering in smart social commentary to find its own sweet groove."
Couple that with a sweet happy ending and you've got yourself a feel-good rom-com to lighten your mood.
(Related: The Best Classic Romance Movies To Watch On Netflix)
This 2014 comedy-drama was written, co-produced and directed by Jon Favreau, who also stars in the movie. Favreau plays a chef who, after a public altercation with a food critic, quits his job at a popular Los Angeles restaurant to operate a food truck with his young son.
Promising to be a lighthearted comedy, if the movie doesn't leave you wanting to quit your day job and do want you really love, it will at the very least have you craving a Cubano sandwich.
And if you're really hungry for more, in 2019, Netflix released a documentary television spin-off, The Chef Show, that sees two friends, Jon Favreau and Roy Choi, "experiment with their favourite recipes and techniques, baking, cooking, exploring and collaborating with some bold-face names in the entertainment and culinary world".
Before Mean Girls and Legally Blonde, there was the iconic teen flick Clueless. "Ugh, as if!", you say? The 1995 teen comedy was a phenomenal hit and is widely considered to be one of the best teen movies of all time. The movie's leading lady is Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), a wealthy Beverly Hills high school student who befriends a new student named Tai and decides to give her a makeover. Throughout the movie, Cher delivers some of the most unforgettable lines in movie history, including this: “May I please remind you that it does not say ‘RSVP’ on the Statue of Liberty.” If that wasn't a sign that she would one day run for president of the United States, we don't know what is.
The film has since developed a cult following amongst girls of all ages since then and we understand why—Clueless is about friendship, finding your own identity, and girl power. Besides, what's not to love about a strong go-getter who knows exactly what she wants in life?
(Related: All-Time Favourite TV Shows To Binge-Watch on Netflix and Amazon As You Stay Home)
4/10 Crazy Stupid Love
Featuring an all-star cast of Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and Kevin Bacon, Crazy Stupid Love is a rom-com that follows middle-aged Cal Weaver (Carell) as he tries to cope after his wife of nearly 25 years (Moore) decides to leave him.
Reluctantly facing life as a single man, Cal meets Jacob Palmer (Gosling) a ladies man who agrees to coach him on how to impress women. The results are a mixed bag, with the obvious ups and downs of any classic rom-com, but Carell's comedy manages to make it worth a watch, and leave you in a good mood.
5/10 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
New to Netflix – only released at the end of June – Eurovision stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as singers from small town Iceland as they embark on their dream of winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
As an ode to the real-life and much-loved contest that was sadly cancelled this year due to Covid-19, the film promises just as much in the way of kitch, ballads and costumes.
Some have already lauded it as Farrell's best comedy in years, while others haven't been quite so flattering, but it's still worth a watch if you're looking for a light-hearted comedy with a smattering of laugh out loud moments.
6/10 Pitch Perfect 3
The third instalment of the Pitch Perfect series is no less funny than its predecessors—and once again, Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy is the star of the show. Her comedic timing makes the movie so much more enjoyable than it already is. As college graduates, acapella group the Bellas reunite for one last singing competition in Pitch Perfect 3 at an overseas gig, capping the trilogy.
This kids classic from 1996 has stood the test of time and will always be a much-loved favourite.
Sure, you may watch it now and wonder why on earth all those parents let their children go to that school (the chokey, really?), but then you remember that the film is centred around a young girl with telekinetic powers and all concepts of a realistic plot are left firmly at the door. Don't forget that the film is based on the children's book by Roald Dahl, known for other stories such as The Witches, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox, among many others.
If you haven't watched Matilda in a while, it's the perfect light option for a rainy afternoon that will leave you feeling good.
8/10 Sex and the City The Movie
Superfans of the cult TV series will have no doubt watched this movie countless times since its release in 2008.
Continuing to follow the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda as they navigate New York City, Sex and the City The Movie picks up where the series left off, with all of the girls seemed happy in their relationships—including Carrie finally being with Big. Though as we all know, the show is really less about sex and relationships, and more about the power of female friendships.
Even if you find the character of Carrie Bradshaw unbearably annoying (just me?), you can still appreciate the standout fashion that the show became known for.
9/10 The Notebook
Some may not think of the classic rom-com as a feel-good movie—and though it's certainly also a major tearjerker—The Notebook's heartwarming tale is sure to melt even the most cynical of hearts and leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy.
Released in 2004, the romantic drama stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s but are faced with the challenges of young love, class differences and the outbreak of the second world war.
10/10 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Looking for a feel-good rom-com that you can watch over and over again? That’s what we did with this hit Netflix movie that stormed its way to the top of the charts and became one of the streaming giant’s most re-watched original movies of 2018. Based on Jenny Han’s novel of the same name, To All The Boys follows Lara Jean Song Covey as she deals with the aftermath caused by her little sister who sent out several love letters that were written in secret. It may seem like a film made for teens, but there’s a certain warmth and sweetness about the show that makes it so comfortable to watch. So add this to your watch list and revisit your past crushes.
If you love this, don't miss the sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.