Times are tough. Either you hate who is in power in your respective area, or you have to deal with everyone that hates your representative. Political and social turmoil has reached some sort of a high in this new millennium so far. Getting your own place is harder than it has been for decades. Jobs are being replaced by robots that can do it for cheaper. The point is, things aren’t easy right now. We could use some escapes. Like Cecilia in The Purple Rose of Cairo, we could use that one film to whisk us away and make us feel pure joy.
Well, we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of great films that will leave your heart feeling a little bit lighter than it did beforehand. Sure, some of these films touch upon tricky topics occasionally, and there is the odd drama to boot (we don’t want boring, single-noted films, right?).
However, the majority (or whole) of these films will take you to a place of pure glee and wonder, whether it be through comedy, romance, or euphoria. Here are ten films to put you in a good mood (and essentially your next ten Monday film picks selected for you).
10. Sing Street
Who hasn’t wanted to be in a band? In Sing Street, we jump back to the ‘80s in a strictly run Dublin. We meet some troubled youths that want to start a band (mainly because of Conor’s infatuation with a girl in school). We visit band members houses (including a room that happens to be a bunny paradise, full of the little critters hopping around) and take part in the silly songwriting process.
The majority of the film rides on the music spawned by these faux-rebels (the soundtrack is quite good, too). You hop around from a music video shooting location, to a local performance. This is the dream, and you can enjoy the imperfect joy that being in one’s first band can bring.
9. Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen tries to either make the most of New York, or to transport you to a new kind of New York in any of his films. Here, he abandons the idea to some degree when an American writer takes a trip to Paris. The screenwriter has writers block, but is effectively inspired by some surreal blasts-from-the-past. He finds himself somehow communicating with other artistic greats: Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso and more.
You have the best of American literature and the great creative minds of the world shoved into this unusual time capsule of a film. New York may not be present at all on a literal level here, but Allen’s fascination with sightseeing in New York helps Midnight in Paris become a flurry of spectacles that all compete for your gaze at once.
8. Little Miss Sunshine
Nothing is more welcoming than a misfit family whose members blaringly contrast with one another. A go-getter father, and a son stuck in an existential crisis. A suicidal uncle, and an all-or-nothing grandfather. A mother and daughter who are torn between it all.
Little Miss Sunshine is a darkly comedic laugh about it all in the form of a road film. The VW bus breaks down in almost every conceivable way, yet it barely works enough to get the family to the Little Miss Sunshine competition.
The film, like life, tosses many curve balls your way, and it’s all about making it to the end despite the outcome. You come out with an edgy routine to Rick James that starts off very embarrassingly? Sometimes, life’s lemons come in the form of your family backing you up.
7. A Fish Called Wanda
While not quite a screwball film, A Fish Called Wanda is the kind of heist flick that revels in its hijinks. John Cleese’s experience with Monty Python are very slightly present here; they are present enough to make this picture a series of silly events. A robbery goes slightly wrong when a witness is introduced, and the majority of the thieves are wanting to take the entirety of the loot for themselves.
Throw in a lawyer going for gold as the bait within this treacherous sea, and things go from wacky to even loonier. A Fish Called Wanda can get pretty dark and even outrageously gross, but the entirety is such a riot, that you will even find these moments great.
6. Happy Go Lucky
This 2008 dramedy is all about the ways people deal with adversity. Poppy treats every scenario with a hop and a skip. She surrounds herself with similar people that exude pure joy. Once she decides to learn how to drive, she meets her first real foil: her driving instructor. He is frigid, hateful, anxious and stubborn.
Poppy leaps into many different opportunities in life, and people either love her or, at most, just dismiss her. She rarely faces adversity outside of her learning vehicle. The anguish she faces can get a bit real at times, and she is mostly resilient to this turmoil. Towards the end, we finally see a vulnerable side of Poppy: a complexity that makes her human. Either way, we can learn a lot from Poppy and her escapades.