Seven feel-good movies to stream from home
Just when we may need it most, these seven movies can brighten any day.
Check them out to stream today on Netflix, Amazon and other platforms.
Now and then, a comedy so touches my heart that I wish I could push “pause” and chit chat with the leading characters. As Dorothy, a fictional soap opera star, Dustin Hoffman creates a lady so engaging that no one seems to notice that she doesn’t actually exist. Except she does. Sydney Pollack directs a film that is so precise about the behavior it observes as it makes us smile because of the humanity it celebrates. Available on Netflix and Amazon.
The First Wives Club (1996)
This comedy - about women who seek revenge when divorced by their husbands - holds a special place on my favorite movie list. While it’s not a perfect film, by any means, it is so entertaining that it can be enjoyed over and over. And that makes it one of the most rewatchable movies in my collection. Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler make the most of every moment in a film that celebrates the potential to grow. Available on Netflix and Amazon.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Some people see this Oscar winner as a study of race relations; frankly, that Hoke, the driver, is black and Miss Daisy is white, is only relevant to those outside their relationship; this is not a study of overcoming prejudice based on color. Instead it’s a wonderful examination of how we limit our lives when we let our routines define our lives. And only when we take a leap, and give someone a chance, can we truly see what life can offer. Available on Netflix and Amazon.
As Good as it Gets (1997)
Looking back, this oddball comedy about a lonely man who reluctantly befriends others may not seem a logical contender for Best Picture. But Jack Nicholson is so magical as a man too content to live within himself - for which he won another Oscar - that we can overcome some of the film’s flaws including Helen Hunt’s uneven portrayal that was also honored by Oscar. A real find here is Greg Kinnear in one of his first film roles as Jack’s endearing neighbor. Available on Netflix and Amazon.
The King’s Speech (2010)
The special Oscar winner explores a leader’s daring to confront the stammer that makes it challenging for him to communicate. As King George V, Colin Firth makes us feel every step he takes to become the leader his people need. We grow to care for the man and his country as we desperately hope he will succeed. No matter if you generally know how the story ends, you will be drawn into a suspenseful historical journey that becomes, at the same time, deeply personal. Available on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
What a surprising delight at the movies! John Patrick Shanley wrote a script about lonely people finding each other for Sally Field. But the actress turned down the role that brought an Oscar to Cher. The actress captures the soul of an Italian-American woman who dares to fall in love with her fiancé’s brother. Olympia Dukakis also won an Oscar as the wisest of mothers in a film that captures every dynamic that can define the magic of family. Available on Amazon and Hulu.
I cherish all the years I lived in Texas. Of the many films that celebrate the Lone Star State, this comedy set in a small town in East Texas captures much of the essence of this special place. Jack Black portrays a local folk hero who forms an unconventional friendship with a notorious character in town, perfectly captured by Shirley MacLaine. How the people in town react to their relationship makes this comedy from Richard Linklater an absolute joy. Available on Amazon.
The ease of streaming can make the Hollywood archive accessible.
What better way to pass the time?