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12 feel-good movies for when you’re in a slump

Cue the Friends theme song: “So, no one told you life was gonna be this way?” To be blunt, sometimes, days just suck. You got a parking ticket or failed an exam. Whatever the case may be, sometimes your day just isn’t going as well as you had hoped. 

However, there are things you can do to turn the day around or at least make things a little better. The solution? Comfort movies! Grab a blanket, your favorite ice cream and a friend. 

Here is a list of 12 comfort movies for when you’re having a bad day: 

The Parent Trap (1998)

The Parent Trap is a nostalgic staple for any ‘90s or ‘00s kid. Starring Lindsay Lohan as both Annie James and Hallie Parker, this movie is guaranteed to boost your mood during a slump. Not only are the twins hilarious in this movie, but the acting of Dennis Quaid as Nick Parker and the late Natasha Richardson as Elizabeth James is absolutely brilliant also. Between the scheme to get their parents back together and the challenges faced when switching places with someone, The Parent Trap is a great solution for a bad day. 

E.T. (1982)

Possibly one of the most iconic movies on this list, E.T. is a possible contender for what makes your day better. Made in 1982, E.T. is one of the most hyped family movies of all time — and rightfully so. E.T. gets accidentally left behind on Earth but taken in by Elliott. Watching Elliott, Michael and Gerdie grow together as siblings while taking care of E.T. truly brings joy to your heart (not to mention the iconic duo of Elliott and E.T. throughout the entire film). The ending will most likely have you in tears — but the good kind of tears. 

Step Brothers (2008)

“Did we just become best friends?” Do yourself a favor, and watch Step Brothers the next time you are feeling down. The comedic duo of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly will have you laughing nonstop for the entire film. Seeing the pair play unlikely step brothers still living with their parents at 40 years old will never get old. Not to mention, this is one of the most quotable movies of all time. 

The Princess Diaries (2001)

The Princess Diaries is one of the best coming-of-age films made for the current college student generation. The film follows clumsy and quirky Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) as she is revealed to be the sole heir to the country of Genovia. The film offers so many touching moments between Mia’s relationships with her best friend, mother, grandmother and even her grandmother’s head of security. In arguably one of her best movies, Anne Hathaway plays the character of Mia perfectly while also adding her own charm. 

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

If you haven’t seen Mrs. Doubtfire yet, you’re missing out. The late Robin Williams plays main character Daniel Hillard, recently divorced from Miranda (Sally Fields). The movie follows the family as Daniel doubles as the children’s nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire, not to his ex-wife’s knowledge. Mrs. Doubtfire is heart-warming with hilarious dialogue. Robin Williams did not miss a beat playing this character. Knowing that Williams improvised many of his lines during filming makes this movie even better. 

Holes (2003)

Holes would be a fantastic choice to help get you out of a slump. Holes, based on the book of the same name by Louis Sachar, follows Stanley Yelnats IV, played by a teenage Shia LeBeouf. Stanley was falsely convicted for stealing a pair of sneakers and was sent to a juvenile detention center, Camp Green Lake. The movie is comical yet serious with a western style. The cast of teenagers in this film were casted perfectly, each acting so well off each other. 

The Hangover (2009) 

Who would have thought a film about a bunch of hungover men and a baby would be so good? The Hangover follows Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifinakis) as they try to piece together what happened the previous night at their friend Doug’s (Justin Bartha) Las Vegas bachelor party. Ken Jeong’s supporting role as Leslie will have you rolling on the floor laughing. Just as quotable as Step Brothers, this movie could be the pick-me-up you needed for a day in the dumps. 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Bueller? Bueller? There is no way this list would be complete without a John Hughes film on it. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the best comfort movies there is. Even made in 1986, this film is hilarious and relatable to this day. It follows Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), who is a charming high school senior faking sick for the day in hopes of having a day of adventure. Bueller drags along his timid best friend, Cameron Frye, and his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson, on his day of mischief. This is hysterical on its own, but when Ferris breaks the fourth wall by talking to the audience throughout the film, it’s just brilliant. 

Grease (1978)

It may be a little dated, but it’s still very worthy of being one of your comfort movies to get you through a slump. Grease is about a group of friends, centering around the main love interests, Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) as they navigate their last year at Rydell High. The musical numbers will have you dancing and singing while the one-liners will have you cracking up. While the ending message of the film about changing yourself to cater to your loved one doesn’t really stand the test of time, the rest of it has held up over the years. 

The Greatest Showman (2017)

Being the newest movie on the list, The Greatest Showman doesn’t really have that sense of nostalgia most comfort movies have, but it is not lacking in any other aspect. The musical film, based on the life of P.T. Barnum, follows Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, as he navigates his business while also trying to balance his marriage and family life. The film also stars Zac Efron and Zendaya as the movie’s main love interests. The dancing, musical numbers and amazing costumes will no doubt put you in a better mood.

Shrek (2001)

Shrek is probably Dreamworks’ most popular animated film. It follows Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers, as he goes on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) for Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) in exchange for his swamp undisturbed by fairy tale creatures. The film provides jokes throughout the film, some that probably even went over viewers’ heads the first time they saw it. The comedic relief from Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is top-notch, making this an essential to watch on a bad day. 

Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

Last but certainly not least to make the list is Cheaper by the Dozen. This movie follows Tom and Kate Baker (Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt) and their 12 kids as they move three hours away from their hometown while Tom follows his dream job: coaching football at his alma mater. The film is full of heartwarming moments and hilarious pranks while still showing the struggles and rewards of being part of a big family.

Also, if you are feeling ambitious, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is just as funny and also includes a young Taylor Lautner and comedy king Eugene Levy as the family takes one last vacation before everyone heads back to school. 

Overall, it is normal and OK to have bad days. It is even better if you know how to make yourself feel better during these times — and one way is by watching feel-good movies. 


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