Last month, Marielle shared a list of “10 inspiring movies that make you want to live life fully”. I loved the post, not just because I felt that sense of voyeurism I crave with her beautiful Dutch life, but because since I identify with her so much, I was sure to find at least a couple new movies to enjoy!
Sure enough, there were plenty of movies on her list that I already knew and loved, but the ones I saw, per her recommendation, were absolutely lovely. I wanted to do the same thing for my readers, and that way you have a list of twenty movies you can dive into whenever you’re feeling sad or uninspired. (I also realized how many of my movies involve child-like adventures or actual child characters. Interesting…)
1) Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Pee Wee is full of child-like wonder and appreciates every small thing. He wakes up in the morning, checks the mirror to make sure that his appearance is pristine, and then haphazardly wraps tape around his face so it’s suck in a funny expression. He’s proof that just because an item is practical doesn’t mean it has to be boring, and you can make any breakfast into a face before you eat it. Of course there’s other Pee Wee movies to check out as well as his TV series, but this one will always be my favorite, if for nothing else than the bar dancing scene.
2) Big Fish
Ed Bloom is a story teller, and it’s really up to you to decide what you believe. It may be hard to wrap your mind around the “facts”, but I promise you’re going to want to believe the more mystical version. This movie is all about how life is what you make it, and reality can be as weird and whimsical as you’ve ever wanted it to be.
3) Antics Roadshow
This documentary shows some subversive performance art and pranks that have been done in the public over the years. Some are for fun, some are for political activism, but all of them are amazing. You’re going to feel like you have the power to change the world after you watch this.
Yes, this is a “Christmas” movie, but I think it’s much bigger than that. The joy, enthusiasm, and optimism that Buddy exudes as he walks around New York City for the first time is palpable. He’s full of fun and happiness, and all he wants to do is share it with people. If you want to run around a moving door a hundred times or pour maple syrup in your spaghetti, you can. You have that right as an adult.
There’s never been a day I didn’t believe in Matilda’s powers. I always enjoy the feeling I get watching her discover her strength and overcoming so many obstacles. She also uses her powers to make good people happy and bad people realize what they’re doing, which reminds me a lot of Amelie.
6) Tiny Furniture
Lena Dunham is a personal hero of mine, and this is the first real movie she ever produced. If you enjoy Girls, you will really like this film. It’s an honest and specific mood that you don’t find replicated often in film, and I always feel empowered after it.
7) The New Adventure’s Of Pippi Longstocking
Simply put, Pippi is a bad ass. She makes the most out of chores, wears what she wants, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. She has powers that she uses to make other people’s lives better, and is inclusive in nature. Her sense of adventure is going to make you want to get off your couch, and you’re not going to have any trouble believing that this girl is capable of flight.
8) Harriet The Spy
To be fair, there’s a part of this movie that always makes me sad, but once I push through I’m happy again. I’ve identified with Harriet since I was eight-years-old, ever since I realized it wasn’t weird to be so excited about new composition notebooks and that we ate the same sandwich. (Seriously, by the time my tiny hands popped that bright orange VHS tape in the machine, I had taken to school at least two hundred tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches.) At a very young age she knows her calling, and there’s tons of fun adventures to watch her go through as she grows.
9) Garden State
Lots of this movie is sad, but if you can see through it you’ll find the beauty. Through the death and sorrow, you’ll peer into the free-spirit of Sam’s character which makes everything better. She’s one of the classic “Manic Pixie Dream Girls” I recently mentioned and stuck up for, but I hope that after watching this movie you’ll feel more like you want to bring joy to other people’s lives instead of being annoyed at the improbability of her state of mind.
10) Moonrise Kingdom
The love and commitment these two characters share for each other is infectious. I love the way they risk it all to be together, how free they are, and the fun they have. It’s also a Wes Anderson film, so it’s aesthetically gorgeous and you’ll definitely feel a little more uplifted once you watch this treasure.
Don’t forget to check out Marielle’s list. I can seriously vouch for “Amélie” (my favorite movie of all time), “We Cause Scenes” (the Improv Everywhere documentary), “Sweet November”, and “Yes Man”. These all would have been on my original list. But it’s cool because it makes way for four new movies to add to your “To View” list.
What did we miss? What other inspiring feel-good movies do you like to watch?