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Many make the mistake of reserving this film for Christmas and New Year but we think it’s a timeless classic, perfect for all occasions. Watch as George Bailey learns how different his town would’ve been if he wasn’t there – it’s a story to warm the coldest of hearts and encourages us all to appreciate life that bit more.
18) Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994
Richard Curtis perfectly straddles the reality of humor and tragedy in life, depicting a group of friends who appear to be unlucky in love until their luck changes. Rowan Atkinson’s part as Father Gerald alone will have you chuckling along with the cast. Genius.
19) Little Miss Sunshine, 2006
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant to take a cross-country trip in their VW bus. Starring Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano, Toni Collette and Steve Carell, this film is about dreams and illusions and the beauty of a dysfunctional family. Pure joy. Abigail Breslin literally brings sun in to the rainiest cold days in this heart walking family drama.
20) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 2001
One line of that iconic music and you’ll be in your pajamas, sat down on the sofa gorging on a Terry’s Chocolate orange and wondering what life would’ve been like if you’d attended Hogwarts.
Take a journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione and relive your childhood once more. And no, we don’t care if you prefer the books. It’s essential viewing for improved happiness.
21) Matilda, 1996
Danny DeVito, Roald Dahl, Mara Wilson – can you really get a better combination? This fantasy comedy is sure to cheer you up, with genius girl Matilda beating the odds (her horrid parents and Miss Trunchball) to find happiness with Miss Honey. The chocolate cake scene alone will make you feel inspired. Everyone together now: ‘Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…’
22) One Fine Day, 1996
After viewing this film you’ll immediately be in search of a partner willing to pick you up and carry you through a puddle so not to damage your heels. It’s inevitable.
Single Melanie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and (Jack) George Clooney are forced to take care of their children on the most important days of their careers and juggle looking after each other’s sprogs amid deadlines and pressures from their bosses. Proof that work is not your top priority.
23) Mary Poppins, 1964
A spoonful of sugar really does help the hangover, a temperature or the grumps go down, and is perfect if you’re feeling a bit under the weather. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are an essential pairing for a mood lifter.
24) Mary Poppins Returns, 2018
Decades after her first visit to the Banks family, Mary Poppins (this time played by Emily Blunt), returns to help young Michael’s (Ben Whishaw) children through a pretty scary point in their lives. With tunes and acting courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda (who plays chimney-sweeper Jack) and appearances from Julie Walters, you know this is a good’un.
25) Forrest Gump, 1994
Overly sentimental? Perhaps. Heart-warming to the level it will make you want to hug a puppy? Definitely. This award-winning film sees the astonishing life of Forrest Gump, a man who lives a charmed life of success and love. A stunning film about overcoming adversity and the cards you were dealt with. ‘Stupid is as stupid does,’ says Forrest. Don’t be stupid, watch the film.
26) Legally Blonde, 2001
‘Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands,’ says Elle Woods. Well, happy people also watch Legally Blonde, the story of an innocent Beverly Hills sorority girl who defies judgment and heartbreak to become Harvard’s top lawyer. She’s a one girl revolution, after all.
27) Pride, 2014
Based on a true story, this LGBT-related comedy-drama depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised funds to help those affected by the British miners’ strike in 1984. Tackling subjects of prejudice, homophobia and community spirit, this is essential viewing to restore your faith in humanity.
28) Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001
This wanton sex goddess is a woman’s life-long friend and confident who makes sense of life, love and London with a group of mismatched friends in the Big Smoke. Big knickers aside, this film will have you cheering for the underdog and debating who is hotter, Daniele Cleaver or Mark Darcy.
29) Sister Act (1 and 2), 1992 and 1993
Guaranteed to put a smile on your face is Whoopi Goldberg, we believe. And if that won’t do it, then surely the angelic tones of Lauryn Hill’s voice will. So both the original and sequel of the Sister Act franchise makes this list. Deloris (Goldberg) ends up in witness protection and is reluctantly placed as a nun in a convent in a deprived area of San Francisco. But Deloris, with her singing credentials, soon invigorates the convent’s choir and in the second film takes this same energy to a struggling school. The final performance of the school kids is a rendition of ‘Joyful, Joyful’ – need we explain again why this film makes the list?
30) Sing Street, 2016
The film that will make you wish you’d formed a music band as a teenager, Sing Street is about a boy called Conor growing up in Dublin during the 1980s and starts a band to distract himself from his troubled schooling and strained family life, in order to get the girl. The fashion and music references to Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet are enough to get you dancing. Available now on Netflix.
31) Rush Hour, 1998
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Mismatched cops are on a mission to rescue the Chinese consul’s kidnapped daughter. The perfect police pairing. There’s no better classic comedy duo than Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Broke up with the boyfriend? Bad grade at school? Crippling anxiety? Disconnect yourself from the world and switch this on.
32) The Blues Brothers, 1980
In the mood for a pick me up? Look no further than The Blues Brothers.
Aretha Franklin, Carrie Fisher, Twiggy, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi star in this hilarious musical crime comedy. Jake and his brother Elwood are on a ‘mission from God’ to reunite their old band to play at a fundraiser to save their childhood orphanage.
33) Despicable Me, 2010
Nothing defines happiness like a minion – fact. With the help of Gru, the world’s most evil/adorable super villain/father and a group of yellow, denim dungaree-clad friends, you’ll find it hard not to smile at this heartwarming animated comedy.