With stay-at-home orders in effect all over the United States, many people are plumbing the absolute depths of their streaming queues and watchlists. However, for many people, the coronavirus pandemic is hardly the time to catch up on gritty dramas or dystopian fantasies. Instead, many are looking for light-hearted feel good stories to give them a break from reality.
There has never been more to watch, nor more ways to watch it than right now. However, some fans may be understandably scrambled between multiple streaming platforms, or stuck in a viewing rut that they want to break. For them, there are plenty of optimistic movies with happy endings out there, as long as they know where to look.
By now, most streaming customers are familiar with the problem of being paralyzed by too many options. Companies like Netflix have taken steps to mitigate this issue, trying out features like advanced recommendation algorithms and country-wide top-10 lists to steer viewers in the right direction.
Still, if you've logged on Netflix in recent weeks and been unnerved to see movies like Outbreak in the top-10 list, you're not alone. Many people are looking for an escape through feel-good movies. With the coronavirus pandemic expected to go on for months to come, that trend is not likely to stop anytime soon. Here are the top feel-good movies available now sorted by streaming service.
Netflix has a little something for everyone, of course, but in particular it has crowd-pleasers for the entire family. For example, people of all generations will appreciate Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — 2019's break-out animated superhero movie that introduced a whole new generation to Miles Morales. Along the same lines, parents can take this opportunity to share classics like Ferris Beuller's Day Off with their kids for the first time. If all else fails, Netflix has a huge selection of rom-coms, such as About Time.
Of course, Netflix is in the movie business itself now, and some of its originals are the best feel-good fare out there right now. Last year's Always Be My Maybe is a big one, having shaken up the rom-com game last year. Another is Someone Great starring Gina Rodriguez — a quotable gem that will leave you feeling vicariously empowered.
If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, now may be the time — at least to check out the selection with an extended free trial. The service now has Pixar's latest movie Onward, which had a stunted theatrical release because of the pandemic. It also has Inside Out, Pete's Dragon and plenty of other childhood favorites. Adults will find something for them as well however, with movies like Miracle on 34th Street and 10 Things I Hate About You to lift your spirits.
For cable subscribers and cord-cutters alike, HBO is a great option right now, especially when searching for a movie. The service has some of the first things you might think of when looking for a feel-good movie, such as Love Actually or Crazy, Stupid, Love. It also has recent blockbusters like Shazam! right beside undeniable classics like Mrs. Doubtfire.
Hulu is a great place to look for big hits of the last few years that you might have missed in theaters. Now that you have the time, be sure to check out titles like Booksmart, Hearts Beat Loud or Hunt for the Wilderpeople. However, if you're looking for something a little more classic, there's always When Harry Met Sally, Hitch or Say Anything.
Amazon Prime Video
In many ways, Amazon's Prime Video is the great equalizer among streaming services. For anyone who does not have an Amazon Prime membership already, the digital content can simply be purchased or rented. On the other hand, now is a great time to splurge for Prime to cut down on potentially dangerous shopping trips.
The upside is that you can then watch Prime original movies like Brittany Runs a Marathon, Late Night and Troop Zero free of charge. Other feel-good recommendations on Prime include Bridget Jones's Diary, First Wives Club, The Birdcage, Home Again, Lady Bird and Moonstruck.
Finally, CBS All-Access has a huge selection of movies to choose from, including recent hits and old classics. If you're looking for something on the empowering side, there is Eat Pray Love and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. If you want to go lighter, there is Something's Gotta Give or Win a Date With Tad Hamilton. Check out the full selection on CBS All-Access, and visit the CDC's website for the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.