Best Intelligent Feel Good Movies?
October 8, 2009 9:52 AM   Subscribe

What's a really good, intelligent movie that's guaranteed to make you feel good? Anything goes except anything with talking animals, animation or anything holiday related.
posted by watercarrier to Media & Arts (115 answers total) 122 users marked this as a favorite
October Sky. One of the best movies no one ever saw.
posted by snowjoe at 9:57 AM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]

If I'm depressed I usually feel better after watching "Annie Hall". Two others that are similarly effective are "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "High Fidelity".
posted by wabbittwax at 9:59 AM on October 8, 2009

Groundhog Day.

It isn't really a holiday.
posted by 517 at 10:00 AM on October 8, 2009 [12 favorites]

Man, that's so subjective. Here are the ones I watch when I need a pick-me-up:

The American President
Educating Rita
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh edition)
Different for Girls

posted by xingcat at 10:00 AM on October 8, 2009

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow... i mean, I watch Love Actually.
posted by frwagon at 10:01 AM on October 8, 2009 [7 favorites]

(and yes, i know it's holiday-ish related, but ... it's more of a vehicle than a focus)
posted by frwagon at 10:02 AM on October 8, 2009

posted by fish tick at 10:03 AM on October 8, 2009 [13 favorites]

The Shop Round the Corner
posted by hamsterdam at 10:03 AM on October 8, 2009

seconding Amelie
posted by brainmouse at 10:05 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by fire&wings at 10:05 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Fifth Element is my no-fail feelgood movie.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:07 AM on October 8, 2009 [10 favorites]

Harold and Maude
posted by Herschel at 10:10 AM on October 8, 2009 [7 favorites]

Lost in Translation.
posted by hought20 at 10:11 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thirding Amelie, as well as How to Make an American Quilt (there are some sad parts but in the end you're happy and uplifted).
posted by muirne81 at 10:13 AM on October 8, 2009

"Julie & Julia" made both my boyfriend and I feel really good. Food and romance and Paris and Meryl Streep, what's not to love?
posted by np312 at 10:14 AM on October 8, 2009

It's A Wonderful Life
posted by Clambone at 10:14 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's a couple you probably have not see:
Check out the French movies by Jaques Tati. Great fun. My favorite is Mon Oncle. If you don't like subtitles don't worry - it's almost all sight gags. (The site's a little funky, but worth the time.)

Also, The Party, starring Peter Sellers, by Blake Edwards (Pink Panthers), similar in quiet fun feel. A few clips.
posted by ecorrocio at 10:17 AM on October 8, 2009

Seconding Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh edition) - really enjoyable
posted by ecorrocio at 10:19 AM on October 8, 2009

Amelie is fantastic, and one you should definitely see.
posted by markblasco at 10:20 AM on October 8, 2009

The Castle
posted by joaquim at 10:23 AM on October 8, 2009

Nthing Amelie and adding O Brother, Where Art Thou?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:24 AM on October 8, 2009

For this purpose I love The Philadelphia Story, and other Katharine Hepburn films like Bringing Up Baby, Pat & Mike, His Girl Friday (not KH but it might as well be).
posted by altolinguistic at 10:28 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding "October Sky" and "Groundhog Day".
I would add "Rudy" if you like sports.
posted by jockc at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2009

23 comments and no one has mentioned The Princess Bride yet?
posted by biffa at 10:32 AM on October 8, 2009 [11 favorites]

Pursuit of Happiness.
posted by Spurious at 10:41 AM on October 8, 2009

Seconding The Philadelphia Story, and adding The Lion in the Winter. Also, as a non-Hepburn add-on, Beautiful Girls.
posted by rtimmel at 10:41 AM on October 8, 2009

Seconding O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Fifth Element

Also, I always feel awesome after watching Shawshank Redemption.
posted by scrutiny at 10:41 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

2nding O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Fifth Element, Men In Black.
posted by torquemaniac at 10:44 AM on October 8, 2009

The first five Marx Brothers movies: The Coconuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup. I especially Monkey Business and Duck Soup. Some of the later movies are good too (A Night at the Opera springs to mind), but the five films they made for Paramount are the best.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:46 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Remember the Titans always makes me smile.
posted by timdicator at 11:00 AM on October 8, 2009

Seconding Groundhog Day, and Shawshank (my first two picks). So for third place...

posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whale Rider

Midnight Run

Don Juan DeMarco
posted by Clambone at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2009

Stand and Deliver, starring Edward James Olomos.
posted by Melismata at 11:03 AM on October 8, 2009

Seconding The Princess Bride and Rudy, and adding:
Waking Ned Devine
Secondhand Lions
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Big Fish

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:06 AM on October 8, 2009

Local Hero (the endings a little sad, but an utterly charming movie.)
posted by Bron at 11:10 AM on October 8, 2009

The Shawshank Redemption. And you're done.
posted by jnnla at 11:26 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Fucking Åmål (not remotely what you're thinking...)
The Milagro Beanfield War
posted by bricoleur at 11:27 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

August Rush

Pursuit of Happyness
posted by Sassyfras at 11:31 AM on October 8, 2009

Apollo 13
posted by blue_beetle at 11:34 AM on October 8, 2009

Auntie Mame
My Girl Friday (OK, I have a Rosalind Russell thing.)
Under the Tuscan Sun
posted by Duffington at 11:36 AM on October 8, 2009

The mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle always makes me feel better.

It Happened One Night is another go-to.

Touch of Pink is really intelligent.

And I agree with so many others on here, too.
posted by zizzle at 11:47 AM on October 8, 2009

If you like The Princess Bride (and you really should), then Stardust is another good intelligent classic-style adventure movie.
posted by echo target at 11:48 AM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]

Surely I can't be the first poster to suggest Big Night.
You people need to be smacked!
posted by BostonTerrier at 11:51 AM on October 8, 2009

Willy Wonka - the first one
posted by WeekendJen at 11:51 AM on October 8, 2009

posted by ryanshepard at 11:54 AM on October 8, 2009

Trailer Park Boys
posted by KokuRyu at 11:55 AM on October 8, 2009

Hoosiers. Feel good sports movie. And it's got Gene Hackman in it. Hard to go wrong with Gene Hackman.
posted by marxchivist at 11:59 AM on October 8, 2009

If you're saying guaranteed to make me feel good, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension and Big Trouble in Little China. Guaranteed to make anyone feel good, I'd roll with Harvey (with the exception of people who work in the psychiatric system, or have been institutionalized), Big Deal on Madonna Street and prrrrobably Down By Law if the person in question is open to quirk.
posted by Shepherd at 12:00 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Diving Bell and the Butterfly
posted by puckish at 12:02 PM on October 8, 2009

Persuasion -- the 1995 version with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. Lots of people are violently allergic to film adaptations of Jane Austen novels, I know, but this one is done with a light touch and sly humor, the acting is delightful and the ending melts even my cold, black heart. (I loathed Amelie and one of my other favorite films is Storytelling, so make of that what you will.
posted by stuck on an island at 12:02 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Requiem for a Dream. The first 30 minutes or so after watching is kind of a downer but after that wears off everything seems much better.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:10 PM on October 8, 2009

Your question is kind of broad, but I tend to gravitate towards either the actor(s), writer(s) or director(s) who consistently make me laugh when I want a feel-good movie.

Some of my faves are quite violent: From Dusk Til Dawn, Romeo Is Bleeding, True Romance, Goodfellas.

Others are campy: Pecker, Cry Baby, Galaxy Quest, Dracula, Serial Mom, Repo Man.

Relationship oriented: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Singles, Flirting With Disaster.

Unclassifiable: Box of Moonlight, I Heart Huckabess, Wild At Heart, Citizen Ruth, Four Rooms.

Basically, I try to think of the last person who made me laugh out loud and then rent everything they've ever made, one disk at a time.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:12 PM on October 8, 2009

Requiem for a Dream as a feel-good movie? It's a great movie and all, but seriously - are you kidding me?

Requiem for a Dream is a feel-good movie the way that renal failure is a feel good diagnosis.
posted by jasper411 at 12:21 PM on October 8, 2009 [14 favorites]

Some/many of these have already been mentioned, adding another nthing--

Office Space
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Before Sunset
The Fifth Element
The Princess Bride
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:24 PM on October 8, 2009

Requiem for a Dream. The first 30 minutes or so after watching is kind of a downer but after that wears off everything seems much better.

Holy fucking shit! Are you sure you're thinking of the right movie??

This might sound bizarre, but I'm going to say Die Hard.
posted by peep at 12:32 PM on October 8, 2009

Ooh ooh:

I Heart Huckabees
Juno (the haters can suck it)
~Shawshank Redemption (definitely feel good, less certain about intelligent)
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 12:33 PM on October 8, 2009

"Run Lola Run" and "The Princess and the Warrior" are both modern faerytales of a sort. They're a bit bigger on action than intellect, but they use (what were at the time) innovative filmmaking ideas, and are clever. They're German with subs, but fun in different ways. Also nthing Amelie, Princess Bride, Eternal Sunshine. Don't understand how anyone could call Requiem uplifting, though, and I've never made it through "I (heart) Huckabees."
posted by Alterscape at 12:52 PM on October 8, 2009

A Room With a View
Paris Je t'aime
Auntie Mame
Dead Poets Society
posted by dnash at 12:57 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

State and Main. The dialogue is deliciously crisp, and while it still had the typical Mamet con, but it's a romantic comedy with a bunch of satire about the film industry.
posted by politikitty at 12:57 PM on October 8, 2009

2nding Hoosiers. Great, great movie.
posted by rhartong at 12:58 PM on October 8, 2009

Away We Go

Both are light and easy to watch, with awesome music to boot.
posted by rocket88 at 1:01 PM on October 8, 2009

Waking Ned Devine and The Dish were both quite nice.
posted by otters walk among us at 1:05 PM on October 8, 2009

Groundhog Day is one of those movies I could probably watch twice in a row and not mind.
posted by toekneebullard at 1:09 PM on October 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

Happy Accidents. Is it a romance or a sci-fi flick?

One of my favorite films.
posted by zerobyproxy at 1:15 PM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: These are all great responses. Thanks so much. Keep em coming if you've got more.
posted by watercarrier at 1:15 PM on October 8, 2009

If you've got the time, the Kill Bill movies end on a wonderful high note.
posted by chowflap at 1:19 PM on October 8, 2009

posted by lemuria at 1:20 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

When Harry Met Sally
Bridget Jones's Diary
Adventures in Babysitting
Back to the Future trilogy
posted by peanut butter milkshake at 1:22 PM on October 8, 2009

Don't understand how anyone could call Requiem uplifting, though

I think the point (I assume somewhat tongue-in-cheek) is that once the initial shock wears off, you'll inevitably feel much better about your own life.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:25 PM on October 8, 2009

Singing in the Rain
Big Night
Cinema Paradiso
posted by hhc5 at 1:29 PM on October 8, 2009

Duck Soup,
Arsenic and old lace or
Harvey (the rabbit doesnt talk)
posted by kanemano at 1:34 PM on October 8, 2009

Seconding Fucking Amal.
posted by fire&wings at 1:35 PM on October 8, 2009

Amelie is the correct answer.

Runners up: Big Night, Babette's Feast (food makes me happy), any of the good Coen Brothers flicks.
posted by booth at 1:36 PM on October 8, 2009

I just saw Zombieland in the theater and loved it. It's a zombie movie with heart. It's pretty darn funny and has a great feel-good ending. Of course there's also plenty of gore so that might disqualify it.

Lots of good suggestions up thread. Two not mentioned that always make me smile: Blast from the Past and Rudy.
posted by dchrssyr at 1:44 PM on October 8, 2009

Nthing O Brother, Where Art Thou? (actually, any Coen brothers film), Big Fish, Whale Rider, Auntie Mame, Princess Bride, Shawshank Redemption, the original Willy Wonka, and just about any underdog sports film ever

Ma Vie en Rose
Real Women Have Curves
Million Dollar Baby
Tortilla Soup
posted by notashroom at 1:47 PM on October 8, 2009

Two Hoosiers but no Breaking Away? Okay, I'll do it:

Breaking Away

3rding Groundhog Day. Just saw that again and thought it was just great.

Oh, also: A Little Romance.
posted by kristi at 1:51 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

My Left Eye Sees Ghosts. Seriously spoiler-y synopsis here.

Depending on how much you like to know about movies before you see them, this is a non-spoilery review. Nonspoilery excerpt:
May has just become a newlywed and a widower in the same week. Her rich husband drowns during their honeymoon . . . . Now with his passing she is now the heir to his millions and millions of dollars. As she is out partying and enjoying her rich new-found lifestyle, May has a slight brush with death and is given the so called “sixth sense.” She can now see ghosts with her left eye open.

This movie starts out making you laugh and giggle and you’d be sure you are watching a comedy. It changes, however, in an instance without you even knowing it. . . . None of the manipulation; it’s all storyline, character chemistry, and pacing. While the screenplay slacks too often, it’s quite forgivable, really. My Left Eye may be corny, it may be over-the-top, but it’s also oh-so-pleasant. Deeply profound and moving, this could just be brushed off as being a “chick flick” if it weren’t for the moments of outright hilarity in it as well. It asks of the viewer to believe in love, and if you’re capable of doing that, I promise that this will not disappoint.
It is an Asian movie with ghosts, so there's some slapstick horror stuff in the beginning, but very little, and it's much more a romantic character study than a ghost story. A little like the novel Kitchen, I think in tone.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:53 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

After Life
It's A Gift (warning: W. C. Fields)
posted by DarkForest at 2:25 PM on October 8, 2009

Several of the films of Japanese director Juzo Itami (and starring his wife, Nobuko Miyamoto) are absolutely delightful; I've watched them over and over: Tampopo, A Taxing Woman (and its sequel), Minbo, and Supermarket Woman.
posted by neuron at 3:13 PM on October 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

To start with an old movie series from the 30's and 40's the Thin Man Series which is six movies total. It is murder mysteries but the fun of the movies is the two stars William Powell and Myrna Loy and their banter. Then add in Murphy's Romance, Benny & Joon, and How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.
The crime though is that at 80 posts NO ONE has put out anything Monty Python so I say see it all (but the Meaning of Life).
posted by CollegeNelson at 3:38 PM on October 8, 2009

Not mentioned yet: Millions. Absolutely fantastic movie.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:46 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Lars and the Real Girl fits your criteria perfectly. Good, intellegent, and I can't imagine not feeling better at the end than you did before you watched it.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 4:26 PM on October 8, 2009 [4 favorites]

wabbittwax: "If I'm depressed I usually feel better after watching "Annie Hall". Two others that are similarly effective are "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "High Fidelity"."

I really really disagree about Eternal made me feel depressed after watching.

High Fidelity is just sorta...meh. Another "the book was way better."
posted by radioamy at 4:54 PM on October 8, 2009

Seconding A Little Romance. That's such a sweet movie.
posted by bricoleur at 5:00 PM on October 8, 2009

Contact. It's intellectual, it deals with the big stuff: why are we here? It's slightly sappy in a good way. Oh and it has aliens.

Actually just about anything with, by or from Carl Sagan is very calming and life-affirming to me. Dude was refreshingly rational, but on the other hand he had a sense of wonder about how everything works. Check out an episode of Cosmos on Hulu.
posted by malapropist at 6:49 PM on October 8, 2009

The Philadelphia Story
A Room with a View
School of Rock
posted by mynameisluka at 7:28 PM on October 8, 2009

In support of Huckabees: it's philosophical, sure; it has tension, sure; but in the end it's all good, isn't it?

What good is a feel-good story without the tension that leads to the feel-good?

More importantly, how am I not myself?

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:55 PM on October 8, 2009

To Have and Have Not. Written by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner. Screen debut of 19 year old Lauren Bacall, who vamps the socks off Humphrey Bogart so hard, all he can do is grin at her, helplessly. She sings (a Hoagy Carmichael tune, with Hoagy playing piano), he grins. She walks, he grins. She asks him for a match, he grins, and tosses her one. She asks him if he knows how to whistle, and he just about laughs. Walter Brennan (aka Grandpa McCoy from The Real McCoys) plays a rummy sidekick, and tells a dead bee joke to anyone who'll listen. A Carribbean Casablanca with more sexual innuendo, and less schmaltz.

My Dinner With Andre.
Mo' Better Blues.
Paint Your Wagon.
Forget Paris.
Everyone Says I Love You.
Newly Rich.
The Hudsucker Proxy.
Too Hot To Handle.
All That Jazz.
The Apartment.
I'm Not Rappaport.
Roman Holiday.
Zorba the Greek.
The Reivers.
Breakfast at Tiffany's.
My Little Chickadee.
The Court Jester.
The Band Wagon.
The Trouble With Harry.
Top Hat.
The Blues Brothers.
About Schmidt.
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
posted by paulsc at 10:26 PM on October 8, 2009 [3 favorites]

Great suggestions here (actually so many movies I love that this genre you describe seems to be my favourite movie genre). I'll add Billy Elliott as no-one seems to have mentioned it.
posted by Skyanth at 12:58 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

This would be a great topic, but for your stipulation of "no animation."

Being animated precludes a movie from being feel-good AND intelligent?

To keep this from being an entirely unproductive snarky comment, my suggestion to you is Big Fish. And I agree with a lot of the above suggestions. People will probably disagree with mine, though.
posted by po at 3:19 AM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: Wow - so many great suggestions. I won't fav any because I'll give most of them a go. Haven't seen most of any of these and am keeping an open mind. Hopefully the gloom will turn into a smile. Thanks so much everyone.
posted by watercarrier at 4:21 AM on October 9, 2009

Two more:
The Gods Must Be Crazy
posted by bricoleur at 10:09 AM on October 9, 2009

Sorry, they keep popping into my head but not all at once: Strictly Ballroom
posted by bricoleur at 10:15 AM on October 9, 2009

I can't believe no one's mentioned Little Miss Sunshine.
posted by kitcat at 3:48 PM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Saving Grace.

So well done.
posted by sickinthehead at 6:27 PM on October 9, 2009

Shoot--screwed up the link to My Life as a Dog


Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears

posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 9:20 PM on October 9, 2009

All of Me
Love and Death
The Graduate (though only don't pay too close attention to how long the camera lingers at the end)
History of the World Part I (maybe not strictly intelligent, but there's something fun about seeing the jokes coming from a mile away and still laughing)

Nthing the Marx Brothers, and 2nding The Party, if for no other reason than Claudine Longet singing "Nothing to Lose."
posted by condour75 at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2009

I just saw Whip It tonight and am floating on a happy cloud of snappy dialogue, interesting characters, great music and Girl Power.

Nthing Groundhog Day, Love Actually, School of Rock and The Princess Bride. I'd add The Royal Tennenbaums and the Big Liebowski.
posted by lunasol at 8:59 PM on October 10, 2009

Arguable for intelligent but definitely feel good:

The Wedding Singer
Galaxy Quest
Legally Blonde (avoid the sequel like the plague)
posted by like_neon at 6:13 AM on October 12, 2009

Lars and the Real Girl is not what you expect and definitely feel-good.
posted by raisinbran at 10:52 AM on October 13, 2009

Ah, All of me reminded me of L.A. Story
posted by bricoleur at 7:42 PM on October 13, 2009

These two Norwegian movies fit the bill for me:
Kitchen Stories
posted by meijusa at 4:06 AM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

You Can Count On Me. Cheesy title, but this movie just feels like love to me.
posted by palliser at 11:13 AM on October 14, 2009

Wimbledon, Bend it like Beckham, Black Cat White Cat.
posted by dhruva at 3:16 PM on October 14, 2009

The Straight Story
posted by brundlefly at 5:10 PM on October 14, 2009

Best answer: Your mileage (and tastes) may vary, but on nights when my girlfriend isn't over, I can't really get to sleep without putting on something like what you're describing (though, per your parameters, I won't mention Chicken Run or anything by Pixar. But it's taking a lot of effort.)


True Romance has to go at the top of the list. A very early Tarantino script directed by Tony Scott should have been an awesome fiasco, but instead is simply one of my favorite movies of all time. Also one of the only instances I know of test-audience reactions changing an ending in a way which saved the film. Definitely violent and with a main plot that goes against a lot of people's morals (comic-store clerk shoots his new bride's former pimp, accidentally steals a suitcase full of cocaine, and the two go from Detroit to L.A. with the mob on their tail to try to sell it and live happily ever after) but... dammit, even just thinking about the kettle-drum score by Hans Zimmer makes my grin like a monkey.

Kill Bill - more Tarantino, but Tarantino really just having as much fun making an epic movie as probably anyone ever has. The joy shines through.

V for Vendetta - I know at least half the people who see this movie hate it, but I'm the exact opposite. If it hits you on your wavelength, it's relentlessly compelling throughout, and ends with just about the most balls-out scene of triumph imaginable.

Snatch - Guy Ritchie movies go like this: there are so far only two of them which are recognized by International Law, namely Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, and you will love one of them and at most tolerate the other one depending on which one you see first. See this one first, as it's the only one with Brad Pitt as an incomprehensible bareknuckle boxer.


Groundhog Day - Yes, it's as good as everyone is saying. Maybe even Bill Murray's finest work, though there's a lot to choose from there.

City Slickers - From the same era. The big-ass hit somehow lost to our collective memory. It's a movie about not much more than three middle-aged New York men talking about their lives while riding horseback. It shouldn't work, but it does, spectacularly, and it's held up extremely well. Wait! What the hell is a Billy Crystal movie doing on my list?

When Harry Met Sally... - Now I'm remembering when Crystal made movies that didn't immediately activate my bile duct. watercarrier, if you know this movie then you probably remember everything about why I'm putting it on this list. If you don't, wtch it now.

My Cousin Vinny - Wow, I really am a freak for nineties movies, aren't I? Sweet, funny as hell, a little moving at times, and actually "dead-on-balls accurate," to use an industry term. This movie was actually used in my Criminal Justice clinic to teach us proper trial procedure and strategies (though Vinny does ask a lot of open-ended questions on cross, which you're not supposed to do.) Okay, one more nineties movie:

L.A. Story - Fights with True Romance for the top spot in my heart. whimsical (in the good way), very smart, breezy and stunningly romantic. Once the fog rolls in, you'll know what I'm talking about here.


Big Fish - almost guaranteed to make a grown man cry. While smiling. I might watch this one again tonight.

Amelie - Just because I'm not sure anyone's mentioned this one yet. (kidding)

Dazed and Confused - proving that you don't need a real story to create a beautiful narrative film, that setting your movie in a time and place you know down to it's bones can make it feel like it happens anywhere and any ear, and that movies with six tons of grass in them don't need to rely on dumb humor.

The Princess Bride - because seriously

Chicago fun with judicial corruption, all set to some of the best music of American theater.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I can see how it left a lot of people downbeat. Not me. As I said, YMMV, but this is probably the best American (French?) film of the decade.
I could keep doing this all night, but I'll finish off with Run, Lola, Run, a movie I could watch three times in quick succession (thankfully it's short) and still catch more details. Te important thing, however, is that if this doesn't get your heart racing, you've got a broken adrenal gland or something. The climactic scene still gives me chills just thinking about it.

Have Fun!
posted by Navelgazer at 6:26 PM on October 14, 2009

Billy Elliot
Life of Brian
Young Frankenstein
Paper Moon
Bedazzled (the original 1967 version with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook—don't bother with the 90's one)
Dr. Strangelove
posted by Sys Rq at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2009

Last Night. It's about the end of the world, but still manages to have an uplifting ending.
posted by benzenedream at 10:26 PM on October 14, 2009

Wilby Wonderful, a wonderful movie from Canada that you have never heard of of. Available from our pals at Netflix.
posted by seamallowance at 9:54 AM on October 16, 2009

Searching for Bobby Fischer
posted by yeoja at 9:36 PM on October 20, 2009

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