Need a pick-me-up? Here’s a great list of feel-good movies for seniors and people of all ages. Any online home-delivery site, like Netflix.com, can help you find these. Don’t have a Netflix account? Try a Blockbuster, or your local video store.
The Gold Rush (1924)
Stars: Charlie Chaplin
Director: Charlie Chaplin
In classic Charlie Chaplin style, the tramp heads to Alaska as a lone prospector in search of his fortune, finding love and falling into the wrong crown along the way. Bittersweet, very funny, and ultra-touching, it’s one of the original and best feel-good films.
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed
Director: Frank Capra
A suicidal man (Jimmy Stewart) has a chance encounter with a guardian angel. He’s given the opportunity to see his family, friends, and hometown as it would be without him. This sentimental tale is the epitome of what an uplifting movie should be- set during the Holidays, it’ll make you grateful to be alive.
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
Stars: Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Daggy Fran wants to be a ballroom star, and has plenty of time to dream about it as she mops up the floors of the dance studio. Then she meets rebellious Scott, who is looking for a partner to work on his controversial dance moves. Baz Luhrmann’s Aussie comedy shows us that anything is possible.
Singin’ In the Rain (1952)
Stars: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds
Director: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
A famous silent screen couple never expected their film to turn into a talkie, let alone a musical, and it’s apparent that the female lead can’t sing herself out of a paper bag. A chorus girl (Debbie Reynolds) is recruited to dub the songs secretly. This sprightly MGM musical will get you up and dancing. A true classic!
Stars: Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta
Director: Randal Kleiser
A goody-two-shoes girl falls for a bad boy in this musical about identity, transformation, and growing up. The music is unforgettable and the costumes are as fun as you get. You’ll be singing the songs for days after, and perhaps buy yourself a poodle skirt.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant
Director: Howard Hawks
In this screwball comedy, Katherine Hepburn is a crazy It-Girl set on snagging the geeky paleontologist (Cary Grant), and all the while taking care of her pet cheetah Baby. Hot chemistry, unforgettable slapstick comedy, and speedy banter will give you a shot of energy.
My Fair Lady (1964)
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison
Director: George Cukor
Eliza Doolitle is a foul-mouthed Cockney street-seller. She’s picked up by Professor Henry Higgins, a snooty phonetics professor, as part of a bet and experiment in voice work. Can he turn her into a high-society lady? Romantic, life-affirming and with a winning performance from Hepburn, this is pure delight.
The Odd Couple (1968)
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau
Director: Gene Saks
The classic comedy duo at their best! The guys move in together and discover that they don’t make so wonderful a pair after all. One’s an obsessive cleaner and the other’s a slob. Felix and Oscar’s exploits and arguments are so hysterically funny they will have you falling out of your seat with laughter.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
Director: Billy Wilder
When the Mob comes looking for a couple of musicians, they beat it for the French Riviera, disguised as broads and join an all-female band. They find trouble when they both fall head over heals for irresistible ukulele-player Sugar (Marilyn Monroe). Marilyn and the boys are unforgettable.
Billy Elliot (2000)
Stars: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters
Director: Stephen Daldry
Little Billy has big dreams of dancing Ballet. Unfortunately his dad says dancing is for sissies. Billy and his no-nonsense ballet teacher won’t let that stop him. Life-affirming, delightful, and poignant, Stephen Daldry’s movie is sure to be a feel-good classic for years to come.