Whenever I need to escape for a while or go to a happy place, I turn to my favorite movies and TV shows. I love the old classics like ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ ‘My Three Sons,’ and ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ and any romantic comedy starring Doris Day, Meg Ryan, or Andie MacDowell is a sure bet.
I recently wrote about some of my favorites at Healthy Women’s Midlife Matters blog, written by my friend and fellow blogger Sheryl Kraft. Check it out, and find out why laughter really IS good medicine.
I asked my Film Gecko readers and friends what cheers THEM up, and I love all the responses they sent back. To celebrate, I’m giving away the ‘Elf Ultimate Collector’s Edition’ on DVD — stuffed with ginormous fun and just in time for the holidays!
‘Elf’ is a smart, funny comedy starring Will Ferrell as a human who’s adopted by elves, but who returns to the human world to find his father (James Caan). Directed by Jon Favreau, the PG-rated movie also stars Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Peter Dinklage, and Ed Asner as Santa Claus.
Housed in a cool tin, the set includes a 2-disc DVD with loads of special features; 5 x 7 magnetic ‘Elf’ picture frame with 4 x 6 magnet; ‘Elf’ gift tags; 5-track ‘Elf’ soundtrack featuring holiday classics; and an awesome 14″ plush ‘Elf’ holiday stocking.
TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post by midnight on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010. Tell me which feel-good movies or TV shows YOU watch to cheer yourself up.
After the jump, check out what my friends and readers watch…
Sheryl Kraft, Healthy Women: “My three all-time favorite movies, which I love because they not only make me think – deeply – but also make me laugh and take me to another place altogether, are ‘Big,’ ‘Being There,’ and ‘Lars and the Real Girl.’
Casey Barber, Good.Food.Stories.: “When Harry Met Sally” has always been one of my absolute favorite films, and I’m taking my friends visiting from L.A. to Cafe Luxembourg tomorrow night — JUST BECAUSE that’s where Harry and Sally go on their double date with Jess and Marie. (Sally orders the grilled radicchio.) Yes, we will likely quote the entire movie throughout the dinner.” Other movies that take Casey to a happy place: ‘Almost Famous,’ ‘High Fidelity,’ and ‘Singles’ (“Yes, I like music movies.”)
Rachel Dickinson, The Haiku Diaries: “Frasier,’ early episodes of ‘The Waltons,’ ”Mr. and Mrs. Bridge’ and ‘The Quiet Man.’
Kristen Gough, My Kids Eat Squid: Her top three:
1. ‘Nacho Libre.’ “Quoted a line from that movie taking my daughter to school today; it’s just silly and fun. You can’t help but smile while watching. Anytime we have toast, we giggle…”
2. ‘I was a Male War Bride.’ “This is Cary Grant at his best, and I used to watch this with my mom while eating licorice. I don’t know if I like this more because of my memories or because of Grant’s crazy antics.”
3. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (the Keira Knightley version): “Why? Because I’m a sucker for a good romantic movie, and at 90 minutes, it’s a lot better quick fix than the BBC version. But if I have time, I’ll pop in the Lawrence Olivier version (nothing better!).”
Ruth Pennebaker, The Fabulous Geezersisters and author of the upcoming book, ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough‘: Favorites include ‘Postcards From the Edge,’ ‘Wag the Dog,’ ‘The Late Show,’ ‘Starting Over,’ ‘Annie Hall’ and ‘Manhattan’ (“even if I’ve since fallen out of love with Woody Allen”). She adds, “One hilarious movie that usually seems to be overlooked is ‘The Ref,’ with Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary. Highly recommended.”
Keith McDuffee, CliqueClack.com: “I’m a pretty happy guy, believe it or not. I can’t think of a time lately that I’ve needed to be cheered up. If I had to pick something off the top of my head that’s just feel good and brings back good memories, it’d be ‘Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.’
Gwen Moran, GwenMoran.com: “‘Glee’!!”
Melanie McMinn, The Frugal Kiwi: “When I get depressed about U.S. world policy and the state of the world, I watch HBO’s ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ — the whole miniseries. Billions of dollars, thousands of man years and something extraordinary happened. My faves are the episodes about the engineers who built the Lunar Module and how they were building something completely new and untested out of materials that had yet to be invented. Also the one where the astronauts are taught to love geology. I adore being reminded that without thousands and thousands of “little people” and their dedication over the years, we never would have gotten to the moon or learned what we did when we got there.”
Melanie adds, “For a completely light pick-me-up, I love ‘Sione’s Wedding’ (aka ‘Samoan Wedding’ in the U.S.). It’s about a group of 20-something guy screw-ups who have to bring proper girlfriends to their friend’s wedding due to their history of creating wedding disasters. A hilarious bit of Kiwiana that would give anyone a giggle.”
Barbara Benham, BarbaraBenham.blogspot.com: “Cooking shows, old and new. ‘Charlie Rose’ and ‘Tavis Smiley.’ Movies, old, missed, foreign.”
Mike Moody, TV Death Ray. “‘Gilmore Girls,’ and I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s one of the smartest, funniest, and warmest shows of the past ten years, and it always makes me feel like I’m living in a fantasy world where everyone is witty and charming and articulate and likes to rock out to the Shins. Plus the Lorelais are pretty easy on the eyes.”
Jennifer Margulis, Mothering: “My husband and I eat carrot cake and watch Jon Stewart when we need a pick-me-up. He’s so funny and smart and insightful. He makes us laugh, and we feel like we’re learning something at the same time so we’re not wasting our time with mindless TV. Plus, I think he’s adorable, so watching his show satisfies my boy-crush.”
Christine Gross-Loh, Origami Mommy: “I watched ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral,’ ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ and other such movies over and over when stuck in a bad relationship with someone in my twenties. They weren’t my usual fare (I tended to prefer dark, serious, foreign films!), but they were light and cheered me up when I really needed it.”
Kristin Ohlson, KristinOhlson.com: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (the TV series).
Brette Sember, Martha and Me: “Mine is ridiculous. I like to watch ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ – with the sound off! It’s a stupid movie, but it was filmed at Turtle Bay on Oahu where we stayed, so I like to sit and watch it so I can re-live being there.”
Kerry Dexter, MusicRoad.blogspot.com: ‘Touched by An Angel.’ Some stories work better for me than others. which, over a nine-year run on television,would naturally be the case. Still, I find ideas to to think about, things to learn, a message of hope, and new perspectives on how God’s grace could work in my life. A good many episodes hold up well in reruns even when I remember the story line. Fairly powerful stuff for a TV show which is also quite entertaining and well acted. In addition, lead actor Roma Downey is from Derry, in Northern Ireland, a place where I’ve spent a good bit of time and have family and friends. It’s good to hear her speak in the Derry accent (Ireland has regional accents just as the U.S. does). That cheers me up as much as the story lines.”
Alisa Bowman, Project Happily Ever After: and author of the upcoming book, ‘Project: Happily Ever After: Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters’: “Periodically as I’ve been chasing this book dream — working to get the deal, working to grow the blog, working to get publicity — I’ve gotten burned out and discouraged. Whenever that has happened, I’ve rented and watched the stereotypical flick that involves a protagonist who faces hardship and overcomes. ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ and ‘Cinderella Man,’ about the down and out boxer who lived during the Great Depression and makes a comeback. In fact, I loved that one more than any of the others. I made the mistake of thinking ‘Million Dollar Baby’ would be inspirational. It was a good catharsis, but didn’t leave me feeling as if I could take on the world.”
Kris Bordessa, Honolulu on the Cheap: “Call me a sap, but ‘Pretty Woman.’ Love to see the underdog come out on top, even if she is a hooker. Love to see her down-to-earth nature make him wake up to real life and what’s important. Love it.”
Claudine M. Jalajas, Belle Jewelry Designs: “You know what movie I watch when I need a lift? ‘Saving Grace.’ I tend to like Irish flicks for some reason. ‘Waking Ned Devine’ (omigod) and ‘Seducing Dr. Lewis,’ which is actually French Canadian. Set in the mountains of Quebec (my old stomping grounds), it’s about a small town that needs a factory to sustain their village. The only way the factory will come there is if they have a town doctor — therefore, ‘Seducing Dr. Lewis.’ It has subtitles. Trust me … it’s funny.”
Bob Sassone, TV Squad: “Oh, that’s easy: porn. (This is a family site, Bob!) Just kidding! Actually, I put on DVDs of my favorite shows: ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ ‘West Wing.’ It’s like comfort food.”
Your turn! Enter your favorite feel-good movies or TV shows in the comments below, and maybe the ‘Elf Ultimate Collector’s Edition’ DVD will be speeding your way soon.
Images: Amazon.com, IMDB
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Claudine M Jalajas, Alisa Bowman. Alisa Bowman said: What do you watch when you need a pick me up? Suggestions here and a giveaway, too: http://bit.ly/bkxtR0 #wsbr […]
If I’m really down, I watch the first Grease with Olivia Newton John and John Travolta. It makes me sing and dance, and you can’t be depressed when you’re singing and dancing. Life is Beautiful is my favorite movie, but while it’s ultimately uplifting, it’s still rather sad and not entirely helpful to cheer you up.
I don’t watch movies or TV shows when I feel depressed. I go outside for a walk in nature and that cheers me up. But, I do know what you are talking about. My second daughter watched the original Star Wars with R2D2 and CPO. Sometimes I watched with her. Those robots always made us both smile.
The classic show Little house on the prairie
What a fun post. And a chance to win an Elf DVD–that would be a pick-me-up.
Great list! Another good pick-me-up series- Northern Exposure. I was watching that one last week.
The Waltons show is always good for making me feel better.
When I saw your question on Twitter, I was going to post “When Harry Met Sally” but then I see it’s already listed, as are many of my faves. I’m not a big rewatcher of movies, but rom-coms like “About a Boy” and “Sweet Home Alabama” always cheer me up.
When I need a pick-me-up I turn to any Sandra Bullock movie but most especially “While You Were Sleeping.” Or anything Julia Roberts like “Pretty Woman.” Great stuff there!
I love to watch “What about Bob?,” the Bill Murray movie. Also, most Johnny Depp flicks will do the trick. Or any Cary Grant movie.
The Feel Good Movies I watch to cheer myself up are the Wizard of Oz and Holiday Inn!
I love to watch old musicals from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Anything with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby. White Christmas and Meet me in St. Louis are two favs.
Good one, TV Death Ray – I ADORE Gilmore Girls. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the writers of Parenthood are Lorelai fans too, because they keep throwing incredibly Gilmore-esque situations at Lauren Graham. Hooking up with your daughter’s teacher? Always on coffee runs?
This is a fabulous post. The best part is I haven’t seen (or even heard of) many of these movies. So I can’t wait to rent them!
On the movie front, my kids and I love watching “Shrek.” Such a feel good movie but so well done and not trite at all.
I like a lot of the movies from the 80’s to cheer me up. I love “The Blues Brothers”, “The Goonies”,”Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Dirty Dancing” and “Say Anything” to name a few. Thank you for a cool giveaway! 🙂
I love this post! I’ve picked up some great ideas. One of the movies I love for the uplift factor is Lean on Me. Also: Grease!
dirty dancing – works every time!
tvollowitz at aol dot com
I like two and a half men
I already own Elf, so this totally isn’t a contest entry, but I thought it would be fun to jump on in!
TV show that always makes me giddy: So You Think You Can Dance. I know. It’s embarrassing. But I really get into seeing other people dance… maybe because I can’t?
Movies that always make me smile: Fame (basically, I love musicals), The Neverending Story (also my favorite childhood book), The Whole Nine Yards, Sideways, The Goonies, Shaun of the Dead, Dead Poets Society, Empire Records
What a wonderful compilation. I’m so excited to see some of these – and I would not have known about them if I hadn’t read this post. Thanks, Jane!
The feel good movie I always go back to is Bird Cage.Thanks for the chance.
Amen to Gwen’s Glee! I also recently discovered the sitcom Accidentally On Purpose via Netflix last week. So good! I watched the entire first season within a week (the episodes are very short and there are only two discs).
the middle makes me laugh
I watch any of the Monty Python movies or Mel Brooks movies to make me laugh out loud.
I go with Monty Python movies or this film called Yellowbeard.Silly stuff makes me feel better.
If I’m down or just needing a dose of comfort I watch the Andy Griffith Show.
For a good laugh, I love to watch Modern Family, it is one of the best shows on TV. It gives you a sense of family, togetherness, with all of its quirks along the way.
I’m a guy. and a fan of Wil Ferrel, so it’s pretty obvious- OLD SCHOOL! “You’re my boy Blue!”
I love The Golden Girls or I love Lucy, especially if i had a bad day at work or something, these shows always put me in a better mood.
any good comedy works
I always watch Fools Rush In to give myself a pick me up!
My favorite movie of all time is either “Stranger than Fiction” or “Finding Forrester.” Such great films, they always make me feel better when I’m sad.
I would have to say E.T. I love that movie so very much
Food Network never fails to cheer me up! I also love anything with Kate Hudson….like How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days or Bride Wars!
I love “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
My feel good movie is An Affair to Remember.
“Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” make me smile.
I love So I Married An Axe Murderer and my fave shows like 30 Rock. For Christmas I totally love Elf and The Grinch
What a wonderful idea for a post — and a great community service. I like many of the suggestions here & will add others to my list. Something silly that makes me laugh — like Flight of the Conchords or Arrested Development — often does the job, though I’m not immune to getting absorbed by a period drama (hello Pride & Prejudice) or a romcom. I absolutely adored 500 Days of Summer, for instance.
A double dose of “Adams Family” and “The Munsters” works every time
If I need a lift I like to watch America’s Funniest Videos or the JackA$$ movies. thank you!!
I love to watch the show “Reba” on dvd,& I love the Legally Blonde movies.
i always like to watch cold case
For feel good watching, I go back to my childhood and watch Golden Girls, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Star Wars Trilogy.
I love 80s comedies-Sixteen Candles, Twins, Three Men and a Baby. They take me back to when my life was simpler:)
smchester at gmail dot com
Gilmore Girls, Friends, Finding Nemo, Everybody Loves Raymond!
Cheers, someone in bar has always had a worse day than you and they make you laugh the entire time.
Happy Gilmore is my go to movie when I need a laugh
To cheer up, I like to watch Disney movies and goofy comedies like Zoolander, Mars Attacks!, and Young Frankenstein. I also like to watch my SNL “Best Of” DVDs!
gotta love will farrell…
Still watch Tool Time on DVD
Will’s best movie ever
I love The Notebook
Toy Story always works for me! Thanks!
Serial Mom always cracks me up.
Sanford and son always cheers me up.
To cheer me up, I enjoy watching I love Lucy and Jerry Springer! Then my favorite movies to watch are Elf- he’s hillllarious!!!, Willow, and The Great Outdoors!!
Hands down…The Office. That show makes me laugh every single time! Thanks for the opportunity to win!
When I want to cheer myself up I watch a pretty old movie; National Lampoon’s Animal House. It’s still extremely funny.
mycosyco2007 (at) yahoo *dot* com
I like watching old sitcoms like I Love Lucy!
One show that can always make me laugh is “Mike & Molly”.
To me it’s the best new show of the year.
I love Elf. My favorite shows to watch right now that usually always cheer me up are Big Bang Theory and How I met Your Mother 🙂
LA Story. Very funny and one of my favorite Steve Martin films. Thank you for the chance to win.
I always get a laugh out of The Office.. but a movie a I love is.. Where the Heart is..
I love to pull out old DVDs of Lost in Space. Remember that old one? Talk about a guilty pleasure!
I love The Hangover and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, tv shows; old Simpson episodes and South Park, thanks!
My favorite feel good movie is The Matchmaker. It’s always great when the girl gets the good guy.
I love Lucy always makes me laugh
I like the films “Saturday Night Fever” and “Tootsie”!
Movies like lion king and alladin! Makes me feel like a kid again
The movie “Big” always cheers me up.
Its a super cheezy movie, but I love Simply Irresistable with Sarah Michelle Gellar as a witch chef. Its wierd, but I always end up crying for some reason (happy cry, not sad cry).
My favorite Feel Good Movie is Sixteen Candles. Thank you for the lovely giveaway.
sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com
Blazing Saddles a classic.
16 Candles, Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vactaction, and Grease are my favorites to watch.
I catch The Big Bang Theory, it always makes me laugh!
I like to watch episodes of “My Name Is Earl” and also “It’s Always Sunnier In Philadelphia “
I like watching old Star Trek reruns–they give me hope for the future!
to cheer myself up I watch “Love Actually” when I’m blue and I need a good cry I watch “Simon Birch”–I love that movie but I cry my eyes out!!
The Breakfast Club and Ferris Buellers Day Off (uh, i can quote it, my nickname is ferris… i may be obsessed if you cant tell from my email address…) are my total feel good movies!
The Office always cheers me up and makes me laugh when I’m down. 🙂
Toy Story and Shrek.
I watch Rudy or Forrest Gump to cheer myself.
This is Spinal Tap always lifts my spirits
The Notebook is a great movie! suelee1998 @ gmail.com
I like to watch sleepless in seattle.
The Karate Kid (new one) is a current favorite at our house!
At Christmas, there’s nothing better than A Christmas Story
Lovefool827 (at) yahoo (dotcom)
I love watching Nancy Drew to cheer myself up! Its one of my favorites! Thanks for the giveaway, Elf is a great movie!
My favorite feel good movies: Old School and The Hangover! I love me some ELF though 🙂
Mine would have to be We are Giants!
I love watching The Proposal for a few laughs!
When I want to watch a movie to cheer me up, I pop in “The Wedding Singer.” It is one of my all time favorite movies.
Movies that I love to watch to cheer me up include: Pride & Prejudice (2005 version), Napoleon Dynamite, and A Christmas Story (during Christmas).
My favorite television shows to watch that cheer me up include: The Office (US Version), Arrested Development (Buster & Tobias make me life every time they speak), and Extras.
The Golden Girls!
I love watching comedies to pick me up. Scrubs is my all-time favorite
Good Will Hunting is a great feel good movie. Thanks
The WEDDING SINGER, I love this movie.
I like Groundhog Day to cheer me up!!
Thanks for the giveaway!
When I need a break from life I love to watch You’ve Got Mail! I love the story and I love the scenery, too. I cry when she sees herself when growing up dancing with her Mom. It reminds me of my daughter who I lost.
Elf is my husband’s favorite, though. He loves to watch when he is hit by the car! I don’t know why, but it cracks him up. Crazy!
We also enjoy watching A Christmas Story over and over when they play it for 24 hours straight. Brings back old memories of how simple life used to be.
I have been watching Pushing Daisies lately for a pickup. It is whimsical and quirky.
I love Two and Half Men~That show cracks me up 🙂
It’s a Wonderful Life always cheers me up, as do so many other classic holiday films. (of course, Elf never fails in the laughs department!)
I love Field of Dreams. I can watch it over and over.
Balto would be my favorite. Haha, Thanks!
Reruns of the Mary Tyler Moore show
For some reason I really like watching Men In Black. I could watch it over and over. It makes me laugh every time.
I watch the Grinch Who Stole Christmas
I watch Napoleon Dynamite or Cops, seriously that show is the best comedy ever!!!
When I’m down, Mystery Men always gets me laughing again. Such an under-appreciated movie!
threefishblue at gmail dot com
Modern Family always makes me laugh.
I love Elf. Anything funny will cheer me up. I love Harold and Kumar. 🙂
One of my favorite feel good shows is american idol
ardy22 at earthlink dot net
i love theres something about mary 🙂
Good Will Hunting is a feel good movie that I love.
The Notebook is an outstanding love story movie that I love.
The Titanic still rates high with me for being a moving story.
It’s a wonderful life.
I think Pushing Daisies is one of the most magical, fun shows ever. It always puts me in a good mood.
I love Facing The Giants it always lifts my spirits. Great movie
Thanks for the giveaway…SNL, The Daily Show, Letterman, And The Colbert Report all contribute to my tenuous grasp of sanity.
senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com
I like kate plus eight on tlc
Tommy boy always cracks me up and puts me in a good mood!
xbeautifulcoma at yahoo dot com
I always watch Uncle Buck when I need uplifting, it’s my favorite comedy movie of all time
Grease 2, Fast Forward or Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
The Sound Of Music and It’s A Wonderful Life are my favorite feel good movies.
Elf cracks me up every time! For tv shows, Parenthood is my new favorite feel good show.
Caddy Shack always cheers me up.
50 First Dates.
Congratulations to Kellie Conklin, winner of the Elf Collector’s Set!
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Stay tuned for more great giveaways from Film Gecko.