Let's face it: things are a little grim right now. We're off work, out of school, and many are quarantined to their homes. Every day seems to bring more bad news and, for many of us, outlooks are becoming steadily bleaker in the absence of any reprieve. Hearts are hurting, and the world is struggling. There is stress, uncertainty, fear, and doubt. It's so easy to get lost in the dark.
But, even in this time of worry, there is light to be found. Many of us are enjoying extra time with our loved ones (and pets!). We're getting outside and breathing in the beauty of nature. We're conquering our to-do lists and embracing new hobbies. We are reading more, baking more, and finding peace in the still. People are putting holiday decorations back up as beacons of hope. Communities are singing to one another from open windows. We are finding new ways to stay together from the sanctuaries of our homes, even--and perhaps especially--when we feel isolated and alone.
It's not easy--and it's not fun--but we are getting through this, one day a time. Now, perhaps more than ever, we need a reminder to stay positive, to uplift and be uplifted. And, in those moments we feel like we just need a little extra comfort, there are fewer simple pleasures than snuggling up on the sofa with a loved one, pet, or even just a blanket and a nice cup of tea, and watching a feel-good movie that takes our thoughts back to kinder days.
Here are a few feel-good films I've streamed recently. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
When everything in her life starts to go wrong, ambitious corporate exec Gabriela Diaz enters a Win-An-Inn contest, and soon finds herself the new owner of the Bird Bell Inn in New Zealand. The only problem? The inn is...well, a little bit (okay, a lot a bit) falling apart. With no job and now no boyfriend to return home to in San Francisco, Gabriela decides to stay in New Zealand and remodel the Bell Bird, planning to restore and flip the property with the help of a certain contractor she can't manage to stay away from.
As Gabriela and Jack work together to restore the rustic property, the Bell Bird isn't the only thing getting a little TLC, and Gabriela soon finds herself Falling Inn Love with the inn, her new friends in the small New Zealand town, and--of course--Jack Taylor.
Left at the altar, cynical workaholic Rachel finds herself healing a broken heart with the last person she ever expected: her estranged father, who she hasn't seen since she was five years old. After a drunken night together, the two find themselves aboard the honeymoon cruise that Rachel had intended to spend with her husband. Stuck at sea, the non-honeymooners are forced--with a little help from a few other cruising couples--to find their way to each other, discovering the restorative love of family along the way.
A little on the irreverent side, Like Father is nonetheless a journey of healing, of forgiveness, and of the incredible bond of family.
I know the holidays are over, but that doesn't mean that we can't still enjoy some magical holiday romance. A little bit of medieval magic (and a crone with good intentions) sends Sir Cole to modern day, where he falls for science teacher / good samaritan Brooke, who, after hitting the wayward knight with his car, worries that the poor bloke is suffering some sort of amnesia. I mean, he thinks he's a knight.
Medieval magic is no match for Christmas magic for this pair though, as Brooke and Sir Cole conquer the odds--and their mismatched timeline--to be together in the Knight Before Christmas.
When a mysterious "Good Sam" starts leaving behind mysterious bags of money to strangers, go-get-'em journalist Kate Bradley is on the job. She's determined to find this good samaritan, and--tired of working the "bummer beat" about tragedies in New York--is ready to break a brighter story on the city's secret benefactor.
Kate's journey to find Secret Sam pits her between a reticent FDNY hero and a wealthy investor with the cash to spare. One has the heart, but the other has the bank account. This inspirational film shows the good in people, and how one person's good deed can inspire the same in others.
It's not so much Sex in the City as it is a Holiday in the Wild when empty-nester--and soon-to-be divorcée--Kate leaves New York behind to take a solo safari in Africa. On the way she bumps into wild man/perpetual bachelor Derek, but he isn't the only guy to catch her eye. Kate discovers the horror of elephant poaching in Africa and decides to get back to her veterinary roots, electing to abandon her posh safari and join conservationist efforts to save Manu, a sweet baby elephant, and assist the wildlife workers--Derek included.
This story includes a brief trip through a holiday, but the spirit of the story is even more heart-warming as Kate finds herself again in Africa and discovers love along the way. There's also a deeper message about wildlife conservation and preserving the natural beauty of our world, opening our hearts as much as filling them.
Of course, there's more!
These five films are just the ones that come to mind, and there are so many others out there waiting to be seen. Have you watched something particularly uplifting lately? Share your recommendations and lets spread some love.