Who doesn’t need a boost of joy these days? Here are 6 movies that never fail to bring a smile to my face. Some are old (and popular) favorites, but others are a little off the beaten path. I hope I can recommend something you haven’t seen so that you get that extra first-time-watching bonus boost!
Emma – The latest (wonderful) take on Jane Austen’s classic tale is new to the Box and Redbox on Demand this week. It stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the title character — a wealthy and mischievous matchmaker in the early 1800s. If you want a double-hit of the lighthearted story, add on 1996’s Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor. And you DID know that Clueless is also a loose adaptation of the same Austen novel, right? Triple feature, perhaps?
The Sandlot – We have this one memorized line for line at my house, and even dressed up like the cast for Halloween last year. It’s a feel-good story set in the 1960s about a rag-tag group of boys who bond over their love of baseball … and their collective fear the neighborhood junkyard dog, “Beast.” While I can’t say I’d recommend the sequel (The Sandlot 2), last week we watched The Sandlot: Coming Home for the first time and I thought it was surprisingly decent — and my kids enjoyed it, which is all that matters. Thought I’d pass that along for any other families out there who didn’t know about this film or figured it’d be a terrible direct-to-video sequel. It’s got a great moral, as well as Luke Perry and a few members of the original Sandlot cast!
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Ferris Bueller, the coolest kid in high school (Matthew Broderick), skips class and makes Chicago his playground alongside his worrywart best friend (Alan Ruck) and sweet girlfriend (Mia Sara) in this beloved 1986 comedy from John Hughes. But while I love Ferris, my favorite parts actually involve his bitter sister (Jennifer Grey) and a bad boy she meets at the police station (Charlie Sheen, who steals the show).
Blinded by the Light – This musical about a Pakistani teenager from an economically devastated town in England who turns to The Boss to help him deal with his problems is extra fun because it actually happened. Get ready to belt out some of Springsteen’s most popular hits and go hoarse yelling, “BRUUUUUUUCCCCEEEEEE!!!”
Pirate Radio – This 2009 British comedy may be about a fictional group of DJs, but the overall story it tells about the UK’s pirate radio scene in the 1960s is based on real events. I didn’t know anything about this topic before I saw this one — “pirate radio” refers to radio stations that broadcasted from international waters in order to be able to play music (mostly rock) that wasn’t on the country’s BBC Radio at the time. It’s got a stellar cast … and obviously a great soundtrack.
The Princess Bride – This smart, sarcastic fairy tale is my #1 favorite movie of all time, and so I’m always trying to convince people to give it a whirl if they’ve never seen it. Because it’s got “Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…” Seriously, what more could you ask for?
What movies make you HAPPY?