10 pick-me-up movies

Do you have any go-to movies for those rough days when you just want to smile? Like when your brain is fried from too much work, and you just want to sink into the sofa with a great feel-good comedy? Well, I certainly do, and I thought I’d share my list of favorites! I’d love to hear from you if you have any of your own–spread the joy! 🙂

(I used to have go-to pick-me-up books too, but the sad fact is that it takes longer to read a book than to watch a movie, so I mostly go the movie route these days.)

But, I digress. Without further ado, my favorite funny pick-me-up movies, in no particular order:

Galaxy Quest

A group of has-been actors who once starred in a science-fiction show get mistaken for the real thing by aliens, and end up trying to save their race from an evil conqueror.

This is a laugh-out-loud parody of science fiction that still manages to have depth and respect for the genre. The characterizations are wonderful, especially the Spock-like role played by Alan Rickman, with so many of the greatest lines, though let’s not forget Sam Rockwell’s unforgettable “Redshirt” character, who’s afraid to get killed off at any moment.



The Hangover

Three friends wake up in Las Vegas after a bachelor party only to realize the would-be groom is missing, and they have no memories of the night before…

When I first saw the poster for this movie I thought it’d be a silly, forgettable film, but boy, was I wrong! This is a hilarious movie, as we follow the three friends trying to unravel what the heck they did the night before, following a trail of an abandoned baby, a missing tooth, and a tiger in the bathroom…




Mystery-comedy based on the game with the same name, where several anonymous people get invited to dinner by the mysterious Mr. Boddy, who turns out to have blackmailed them all. Of course, he ends up murdered… but who’s the culprit? The sexy Miss Scarlet? The cold Mrs White? The wacky Professor Plum?

There are so many great lines in this one, I should make a post just about it! A funny detail is that the movie has three different endings with different murderers, so when it was shown in theaters, you didn’t know which one you’d get! (The DVD contains all three though.)



School of Rock

Musical comedy where Jack Black, disguised as a temp at a fancy school, tries to turn the class into a rock band to get back at his former band-mates (who kicked him out for being a diva).

This might have been a gooey movie, but instead takes itself just seriously enough to be really funny—and quirky. Also rife with rock-references of course. 🙂




The Emperor’s New Groove

Self-centered emperor gets turned into a lama in a botched assassination attempt, and his only assistant in winning back his throne is the peasant whose village he’d planned to destroy…

No list can be complete without some traditional animation! This one isn’t one of the most fantastically animated out there, but the script is great, with wonderful characters, from the self-centered emperor to his ancient, ambitious female adviser who tries to assassinate him. And let’s not forget her muscular and not too bright male companion, Kronk, possibly my favorite character. So many great quotes in this movie too!



Monster’s Inc

Let’s include some 3D animation as well—this one’s one of the best in the purely fun category in my opinion, though I was tempted to pick Toy Story!

In a parallel-dimension populated by monsters, electricity is created by “scarers” visiting human kids in the night, collecting their screams. This is by no means a safe business, because human kids are believed to be really dangerous, and if they even so much as touch you, you’re toast!



Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

I included a parody above with Galaxy Quest, but couldn’t help also including one of its sources, an original Star Trek movie. This one’s the most comic of the series, involving the Enterprise traveling back in time to the 90ies to locate some humpback wales, whose extinction in the future has put the Earth in jeopardy. Much hilarity ensues from the intrepid crew dealing with the “barbaric” and strange past San Francisco.



Back to the Future

On the subject of time-travel, this one’s a classic of course. Marty McFly accidentally travels back in time from the 80ies to the 50ies, and ends up screwing up the time-line so his parents never met, and now he’s got to get the two of them back together and return to the future, a feat made more difficult by his mother developing a crush on him…

Once you’ve seen the movie, go forth and play the great adventure game by Telltale games while you’re at it!



The Mask

Another classic modern comedy where a shy bank clerk gets hold of an ancient Viking mask that gives him an alternate persona—heavily influenced by the MGM cartoons he loves–a funny, elegant, bizarre trickster with super powers…

Jim Carrey makes a fantastic job in this movie, and there are just so many scenes to love, like the dance scene where he escapes the cops. And of course, let’s not forget his adorable dog Milo…



Groundhog day

An egocentric weatherman gets stuck in a time loop, living the same day over and over—Groundhog day. When he realizes he’s become virtually immortal, he sets out to enjoy himself to the fullest, including seducing the funny, beautiful co-worker who sees him as just the prick he is…

Can you tell I like time paradox movies? 🙂 This one’s incidentally also a great romance as the weatherman, living the same day over and over, comes to realize what really matters in life.

Ack, my list of 10 is already up! Well, other cheerful movies will have to wait for another day.

So, your turn! Any favorite pick-me-up movies you’d like to recommend?

4 thoughts on “10 pick-me-up movies

  • March 10, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Oh Sara – you hit on several of my favorites – Galaxy Quest, Star Trek IV, Monsters Inc., Back to the Future, and GroundHog Day. The old Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn Seems Like Old Times still makes me laugh. And though these aren’t comedies, I also re-watch Star Wars IV & V, Sleepless in Seattle, Indiana Jones, and frequently turn to specific episodes of old television shows.

    • March 10, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Hmm, I wonder if I ever saw “Seems Like Old Times”? I’m going to have to look it up, thanks! I love “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn–so funny. 🙂

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