10 Best Feel-Good Films on Netflix to Soothe the Soul
Make your heart happy with these Hollywood hits.
In times of trouble, Netflix comes to us — maybe not with words of wisdom, but we’ll take a soothing balm of nostalgia when the going gets tough. The streaming giant takes pride in its hefty stock of feel-good films, featuring eras long gone by, actors from around the world, and stories that remind us not all is lost.
01. About Time
After starring as the world’s most innocent-looking Curse-Breaker in the Harry Potter films as Bill Weasley, actor Domhall Gleeson turned toward the romance alongside Rachel McAdams in this touching, funny tale of true love and time travel.
02. Bathtubs Over Broadway
In this eccentric, big-hearted documentary, a comedy writer for David Letterman discovers a cache of forgotten record albums, all of them Broadway-style cast recordings about massive corporations, including McDonald’s, General Electric, and Ford. This zany treasure trove leads him on a mission to track down the missing records and the minds behind the music.
03. Always be my Maybe
We already knew Ali Wong was hilarious, but this Netflix original rom-com shows her range as both a comedienne and an actress. Randall Park co-stars in this goofy love story about two childhood friends who set out on wildly different career paths, but reconnect (and rekindle the flame) 15 years later.
04. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The ultimate in skipping-school, fancy-free fun, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off remains one of the best feel-good films ever made—and not just because it’s about one last hurrah before graduation. Matthew Broderick’s cocky charm as the fourth-wall-breaking narrator Ferris remains one of his most iconic performances to date.
05. Pursuit of Happyness
Will Smith stars alongside his (adorable) pint-sized son, Jaden, in this happy-tear-jerker. Chris Gardener (Smith) might be a genius, but no one seems to recognize it yet. He’s struggling to sell medical supplies when he and his son are evicted from their San Francisco apartment. He lands an internship at a stock brokerage firm but discovers it’s unpaid, and he must decide how to care for his child while getting his foot in the door.
If you like your love stories served up with a side of criminal activity, look no further than this playful caper rom-com. Danny (Callum Turner) meets Ellie (Grace Van Patten) when she comes to Queens in pursuit of a hustle, but after a pair of mistakenly swapped briefcases and an unlikely team-up, the duo discovers they have more in common than a talent for theft.
07. Julie & Julia
Arguably one of Meryl Streep’s most delightful but underrated performances, Julie & Julia is the dual-narrative tale of food blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams) and famous cookbook author Julia Child (Streep). Led by the inimitable Nora Ephron, this comedy pairs culinary adventure — 524 Child recipes in 365 days! — with two darling love stories.
08.Saving Mr. Banks
Here comes our feel-good Tom Hanks, and what could possibly be more magical than a supporting role as Walt Disney himself? Hanks teams up with Emma Thompson to tell the story of the cynical P.L. Travers, creator of Mary Poppins, as Disney tries to convince her to let him make her fiction into a film.
Hook, a movie about about a grown-up Peter Pan who returns to Neverland, is one of Robin Williams' most endearing roles.
10. Kate & Leopold
Another joyful tale of love and time travel, this round starring rom-com maestro Meg Ryan, Kate & Leopold chronicles Kate McKay (Ryan)'s adventure after her ex-boyfriend accidentally opens a portal in time and draws 1867-era Leopold into 2001. He’s played by Hugh Jackman, so of course—of course—she falls madly in love with him