Feel Good Movies: Top 35 Happy Movies of All Time

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35. The Princess Diaries

Directed by Garry Marshall; Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews star in this coming-of-age comedy about a teenager who discovers that she’s royalty.

This sleeper hit netted 165.3 million at the box office and remains a cult classic to this day.

The most memorable moment was watching this nerdy girl transform into the embodiment of a princess. You can watch this classic on YouTube or Google Play.

34. The Pursuit Of Happiness

Directed by Gabriele Muccino; Will Smith and real-life son Jaden portray a father-and-son team in The Pursuit of Happiness, a movie where they endure homelessness and financial struggles together in San Francisco. While this movie is initially a bit sad, the overall message is quite uplifting.

The Pursuit Of Happiness netted 307.1 million at the box office and is remembered today by its accurate representation of homelessness.

The most memorable moment was seeing Will Smith’s character bang outside a friend’s window begging for spare change, really touching stuff. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

33. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Directed by Joel Zwick; starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, and Michael Constantine – My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a cross-cultural romcom about a Greek-American woman who falls in love with a non-Greek dude, and has to integrate him into her very, very Greek family.

It netted 368.7 million at the box office and still remains the favourite movie of Greek aunties worldwide.

The most hilarious memorable moment is seeing the love interest flail about trying to fit into this tight-knit family wedding. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Netflix.

2002 indie drama, my Big Fat Greek Wedding

Joel Zwick

32. School Of Rock (2003)

Directed by Richard Linklater; Jack Black is….Jack Black, in this comedy about a guitarist who pretends to be a substitute teacher and helps a class win the Battle of the Bands.

It netted 131.3 million at the box office and is still nostalgically adored by ‘00s kids.

The most memorable moment is Jack Black’s character giving an inspirational speech about self-love and body confidence to a shy young girl. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

Screenshot from the 1985 film The Breakfast Club

John Hughes

31. The Breakfast Club (1985)

Directed by John Hughes, and starring Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Molly Ringwald; Five very different students are stuck in detention on a Saturday and learn about each other’s lives along the way.

It netted 51.5 million at the box office and is fondly remembered as one of the best high school movies of all time!

The most memorable moment is seeing the bully teacher abuse his power over the students. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

30. The Proposal (2009)

Directed by Anne Fletcher, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds; Facing deportation, a Canadian publishing executive marries her assistant to get a visa.

It netted 317.4 million at the box office and even though it’s almost a decade old, it doesn’t feel dated at all – still hilarious!

The most memorable moment is when you finally see the marriage of the main characters slowly blossom into true love. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

29. A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Directed by Gail Mancuso; A dog reincarnates repeatedly over the decades, looking for the purpose of life as he goes through various owners.

It netted 205 million at the box office, though it’s still new, so its legacy is still unwritten.

The most memorable moments are when the dog accidentally misinterprets human behaviour; like how he thinks that kissing is humans “sharing food”. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

Screenshot of the 2019 film A Dog's Purpose

Gail Mancuso

28. Pitch Perfect (2012)

Directed by Jason Moore; a choir comedy with an ensemble cast led by Anna Kendrick, following an all-girl a cappella university singing group through their quest to win Nationals.

It netted 115.4 million at the box office and remains one of the best song and dance movies of all time, a modern twist on a classic genre.

The most memorable moments are the hilarious ‘college antics’ that go on alongside the main plot. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Netflix.

27. La La Land (2017)

Directed by Damien Chazelle; A gorgeous musical with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who play an actress and a musician who must choose between love and their personal dreams.

It netted 446.1 million at the box office and has already cemented itself as a modern classic!

The most memorable moments are the absolutely incredible musical numbers. You can watch this movie on Netflix.

26. Lady Bird (2017)

Directed by Greta Gerwig; Easily Saoirse Ronan’s greatest performance, she plays a teenager juggling boy trouble, a tough relationship with her mother, and deciding where to go for uni. Not always a happy movie, but very fulfilling by the time the end credits roll.

It netted 78.6 million at the box office and is already being hailed as one of the best teen movies ever!

The most memorable moment is the ultimate meltdown the main character has near the end of the film, it’s so vulnerable and real! You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

25. Magic Mike (2012)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh; Channing Tatum stars as a male stripper who guides a teenage newbie through the world of stripping. Comedy and drama ensue.

It netted 167.2 million at the box office and was praised for being extremely progressive around the time of its release!

The most memorable moments are without a doubt the stripping sequences, the choreography is fantastic! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

Screenshot of the 2012 film Magic Mike

Steven Soderbergh

24. Toy Story (1995)

Directed by John Lasseter; The Pixar animated film that started it all. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen lead a cast of toys who come alive when no-one’s looking.

It netted 373.6 million at the box office and is still remembered as being one of Pixar’s finest films.

The most memorable moment is seeing the wrath of the scary kid, Sid. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

23. Zootopia (2017)

Three-way directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush; Zootopia crafts a modern-like world populated with intelligent animals, a rabbit tries to become the first of her species to become a law enforcement officer.

Netting a whopping 1.024 billion at the box office it will always be remembered for its wonderful themes of diversity and tolerance.

The most memorable moments include seeing the main character fight to achieve her dreams despite the odds. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

Screenshot of the 2016 movie, Zootophia

Byron Howard, Rich Moore

22. The Holiday (2006)

Directed by Nancy Meyers; Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz exchange homes over Christmas break as they leave behind failed romances. Heartwarming encounters and meet-cutes ensue.

Netting 205.1 million at the box office, this is one of Winslet’s best movies since Titanic.

The most memorable moments are when Jack Black’s character turns the charm on the protagonist. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, Netflix.

21. 13 Going On 30 (2004)

Directed by Gary Winick; Jennifer Garner stars in this wholesome comedy as the adult version of a teenager, Jenna, who wakes up one morning 17 years older after wishing she was an adult.

Netting 96.5 million at the box office, this movie is one of the sweetest body-switch movies out there.

The most memorable moments are when Jenna has to try to explain her predicament to her friends, it’s hilarious! You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

20. Clueless (1995)

Directed by Amy Heckerling; Inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma, Alicia Silverstone’s most famous role puts her in the shoes of a rich, popular girl who gives a makeover to a new student and falls in love with a stepbrother she once butted heads with.

It netted 56.6 million at the box office and has remained a ‘90s cult classic ever since.

The most memorable moments are definitely the classic high-school hijinks, so nostalgic! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Netflix.

19. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

Starring, and directed by Ben Stiller; Walter Mitty is bored at his photo developing job, and daydreams of excitement. That excitement comes when he’s needed for a special job.

It netted 188.3 million at the box office and has inspired millions of desk jockeys around the world since its release.

The most memorable moments are seeing Walter bust out of his comfort zone! You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

2013 film, Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller

18. Friends With Benefits (2011)

Directed by Will Gluck; Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis play two New York professionals who start as great friends but start sleeping together without expectations.

It netted 150.4 million at the box office and has been praised for approaching a love story in a uniquely modern way.

The most memorable moments are the banter between the two leads, it’s very natural! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Netflix.

17. Waitress (2007)

Directed by Adrienne Shelly; Keri Russell plays a pregnant waitress in an abusive marriage, whose life is changed by a new doctor in her small town. This highly-rated comedy was turned into a stage musical by Sara Bareilles, which you definitely should check out too.

It netted 150.4 million at the box office and was critically acclaimed worldwide.

The most memorable moments include the gorgeous cinematography revolving around the amazing food! You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

16. Love, Actually (2003)

Directed by Richard Curtis; A star-studded ensemble cast and ten interweaving romantic storylines give this gorgeous Christmas romantic comedy plenty of room for good feelings.

It netted 246.9 million at the box office and has been praised for its beautifully fleshed out female characters (a rarity in Hollywood) making this movie a must watch for women!

The most memorable moment is Hugh Grant’s hilarious dancing! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, Netflix, or Stan.

Still from the 2012 comedy, Love Actually

Richard Curtis

15. Legally Blonde (2001)

Directed by Robert Luketic; Reese Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a fashion student who goes to Harvard Law to impress her ex-boyfriend but finds her personal motivations along the way.

It netted 141.8 million at the box office and has been a ‘girl’s night’ staple since day one!

The most memorable moment is without a doubt the “bend and snap”, but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out what that means! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

14. Serendipity (2001)

Directed by Peter Chelsom; John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale star in a destiny-driven romcom about strangers who meet entirely by chance for just one night, and years later rediscover and search for each other.

It netted 77.5 million at the box office and was acclaimed as a true by the book romance movie.

The most memorable moments revolved around the adorable banter between the love interests! You can watch this movie on Stan.

13. Set It Up (2018)

Directed by Claire Scanlon; this amazingly feel-good Netflix Original romcom features two assistants trying to set their bosses up together.

The most memorable moments incorporated the slow build up of funny and romantic chemistry between leads Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell. You can only watch this movie on Netflix.

12. The Incredibles (2004)

Directed by Brad Bird; The Incredibles are a superhero family who retire to boring, normal lives after superhero work is banned. But the promise of a return to that epic old lifestyle throws a wrench into the equation.

It netted 633 million at the box office and is one of Pixar’s most beloved creations.

The most memorable moments are the stunning action sequences and the classic one-liners. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

2014 Pixar film, The Incredibles

Pixar

11. Groundhog Day (1993)

Directed by Harold Ramis; generally speaking, nobody likes repetitive movies, but this movie is an exception. In this classic, Bill Murray relives the same day over and over again.

It netted 70.9 million at the box office and is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time.

The most memorable moments are when Bill Murray’s character eventually thaws his cynical heart like the Grinch on Christmas. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

10. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Directed by Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are always running into each other over the years, but they’re “just friends” in this iconic romantic comedy.

Netting 92.8 million at the box office, it has been critically acclaimed ever since for its raunchy realism.

The most memorable moment is the three-way phone call scene. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

9. Up (2009)

Directed by Pete Docter; Up is the heartwarming story of a grumpy old man who flies away from the city by tying balloons to a house.

Netting 175 million at the box office, it is often hailed as one of the best films of the ‘00s.

The most memorable moments all happen in the montage in the first 15-minutes, it’s a really heartbreaking start. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

2012 Pixar Disney film, Up

Pixar

8. WALL-E (2008)

Directed by Andrew Stanton; Centuries in the future, WALL-E is a little trash-compactor of a robot cleaning up on an abandoned Earth, who meets a futuristic robot sent by humans to look for life.

Netting 533.3 million at the box office, upon release it was acclaimed for its greater themes of environmentalism and consumerism. a little love story breaks through.

The most memorable moments of this film is the heartwarming love stories that breakthrough aside the main plot. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

7. The Princess Bride (1987)

Directed by Rob Reiner; The Princess Bride is one of the sweetest and funniest movies ever made, this fantasy comedy stars Cary Elwes as he works with an unlikely band of companions to rescue his childhood sweetheart from an evil Prince.

Netting 30.9 million at the box office, it’s still one of the most beloved movies of all time.

The most memorable moments of this film all revolve around the fast-talking swordsman, Inigo Montoya, he steals every scene he appears in. You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

6. Frozen (2013)

Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris BuckIdina; Frozen features one of the greatest feel-good songs in cinematic history. Menzel and Kristen Bell star as sisters Elsa and Anna in this tale of sisterly love inspired by the fairy tale The Snow Queen.

Netting a massive 1.276 billion at the box office, this modern take on a classic fairy tale is one of the most universally appealing movies ever made – kids love it, adults love it, even angsty teens will suffer a smile or two!

The most memorable moments of this film are definitely the musical numbers, you’ll be singing along in no time. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

5. Back To The Future (1985)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis; Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, as he accidentally travels back in time and meets his parents as high schoolers. While finding a way to get back home, he has to correct the timeline he’s messed with.

Netting 389.1 million at the box office, (which was massive back in its day), Back To The Future might be the most iconic ‘80s movie of all time, and it totally holds up as a masterpiece even to this day!

The most memorable moment of this film is the infamous car makeout scene, you’ll want to gag when you see it! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Netflix.

4. Your Name (2017)

Directed by Makoto Shinkai; Your Name tells the story of a young boy and girl who regularly swap bodies and resolve to meet each other.

Netting USD$190 million at the box office (in Japan), this anime movie is the 12th biggest non-English film of all time for good reason!

The most memorable moment of this film is the beautiful opening sequence, the art is simply incredible. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Netflix.

2016 Anime film, Your Name

Makoto Shinkai

3. Toy Story 3 (2010)

The Toy Story series has significant representation on our list, but the third movie takes the cake as the best of the bunch. Directed by Lee Unkrich; Toy Story 3 depicts the gang being donated to a local daycare after Andy moves to college.

Netting an enormous 1.067 billion at the box office, this movie was a long-awaited, and so utterly worth it!

The most memorable moment of this film is seeing the dark side of the daycare after the shroud is pulled away. You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

2. Forrest Gump (1994)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis; Tom Hanks is sometimes called the nicest guy in Hollywood, so in Forrest Gump, he essentially plays a nice, simple-minded version of himself as he witnesses and even participates in pivotal moments in American history.

Netting 677.9 million at the box office, this movie was practically an instant classic upon release, it’s a beautiful celebration of America’s recent history and pop culture.

The most memorable moment of this film is seeing young Forrest break out of his leg braces. So inspiring! You can watch this movie on YouTube or Google Play.

1. Inside Out (2015)

It’s only appropriate that the ultimate feel-good film is the one that anthropomorphises actual feelings. Amy Poehler stars as the voice of Joy (the emotion), inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl who is going through tough changes in life. Directed by Pete Docter; Inside Out is one of the best family movies to hit the silver screen.

Netting 857.6 million at the box office, this movie is simply incredible in the sense that its message is so utterly universal that nearly everyone can relate to it!

The most memorable moment of this film is seeing Riley crying in front of the class, such a vulnerable scene! So inspiring! You can watch this movie on YouTube, Google Play, or Stan.

2015 kid's film, Inside Out

Pete Docter



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