If the alone time at home has got you in your feelings, you might want to check out some uplifting Netflix offerings. In this installment, we cover all the sweet stuff you should be watching to cheer yourself up.
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
There’s just something about writer and director Nora Ephron’s movies that hit right. You might have seen When Harry Met Sally or You’ve Got Mail, both quintessential rom-coms that Ephron wrote, and Sleepless in Seattle has also got the common denominator between these movies: Meg Ryan. She and Tom Hanks star at peak 90’s adorableness, and performances from Rosie O’Donnell and Rob Reiner (director of When Harry Met Sally and The Princess Bride, if that means anything to you) rounds it out perfectly. At its core, the movie is about finding what is right for you. Hanks’s son in the movie kicks it all off by calling in to an advice radio show, begging the host to find Hanks a new wife after the death of his previous. Ryan hears this plea, and then we spend a nice hour-and-a-half as they meander their way to one another. It’s sweet. It’s endearing. It’s just darn charming.
- Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Okay, hear us out on this one. It’s not quite a rom-com, but it’s almost like an origin story of the entire genre, set way back in the Regency period during the 1790’s. But it’s not a historical documentary so much as it is a very engaging romantic drama, with a lot of humor and a lot to say about relationships between family, friends, and lovers. We have Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), two people who start off hating each other but, of course, are destined to go back on their first impressions. Knightley, in one of the first of many, many starring turns in a corset, shines as the charismatic, bold Lizzie. If you’ve seen Macfadyen in HBO’s Succession, he’s positively unrecognizable as Darcy (and that’s a good thing). The sensitivity he brings to the character makes his, arguably, the best portrayal of the character and well worth the watch. With an exceptional supporting cast to fill out the rest of the story, don’t let the ballroom dances, pianofortes, and flowery dialogue put you off to this spectacular movie.
- About Time (2013)
With equal parts sensitivity and heavy-handedness, About Time is a fun little number with great charm from romcom royalty Rachel McAdams and former Star Wars baddie Domnhall Gleeson. At the start of the film, Gleeson learns from his father (Bill Nighy, the actor, not the science guy) that the men in the family are gifted with the ability to travel back in time. We won’t lie, this gimmick doesn’t pay much attention to temporal theory or the butterfly effect, but it does allow Gleeson to pursue McAdams in the cheesiest of ways. We follow their early relationship as life becomes increasingly complicated and Gleeson learns how to navigate his own timeline as he matures.
- Mr. Right (2015)
This may be the most ridiculous romance you’ve seen yet. Oscar winner Sam Rockwell plays a semi-reformed assassin, who now takes out the people that hire him; Anna Kendrick is a ditzy paleontologist who bumps into him at the convenience store. With chemistry so strong it jumps off the screen, they begin to fall in love as Rockwell dances around the subject of his “career”. The movie is entirely goofy in both plot and writing, but Rockwell and Kendrick are a truly enigmatic duo that make this action/romcom a real joy. Bonus points for Tim Roth (of Tarantino fame) playing a fun villain!
- Dumplin’ (2018)
This is the definition of a good teen movie. Dumplin’ is the story of Willowdean Dickson, daughter of former teen beauty queen Rosie (Jennifer Anniston), who has recently lost her aunt, Lucy. Lucy was the cornerstone of Will’s life, instilling in her a sense of confidence, a lot of kindness, and, most importantly, a passion for Dolly Parton. After Will discovers that Lucy had once wanted to participate in Miss Teen Bluebonnet, a beauty pageant, Will decides to enter in her honor. With a strong cast of characters to support her, and a cute love interest, Will learns how to navigate the beauty queen scene and, in her own way, come out on top. The message of this movie makes it essential viewing in this day and age. What’s especially great is that it’s never overdone, so you can simply sit back and soak up all the goodness Dumplin’ has to offer.