Smiling's never been so easy

When you’ve had a bad day, one of the best ways to deal is to turn on a good movie. Movies have that effect on us – they can uplift our mood and make our days feel a little better. When you need a good laugh or you simply want to restore that smile on your face, it’s time to press play on your remote. These are the top 15 movies that make you grin and uplift your spirits.

In need of a booster? Add these movies to your watch list now!


Clueless is one of the most iconic films of the 1990s. In fact, many would consider it as one of the most defining films of the 90’s that created its own niche. The movie’s plot follows the life and adventure of Cher Horowitz, who is a privileged high school student with a Beverly Hills address. She is joined by her closest friends as she tackles the common dilemmas that any high school students face – relationships, sex, and fashion.

When a new girl, Tai, comes over to her school, Cher has made it her mission to makeover that new girl. But it is only a matter of time until Cher realizes that she, too, needs a lifestyle makeover. While you can set aside all of the clichés of the movie, there is an undeniable feel-good moment that you get from Cher’s pure optimism, and in some regards, naiveté. With her sheltered life, she realizes that there is more to life than just deciding what to wear for school or who you’re dating. You can’t help but give a good laugh about the witty one-liners on this film! And the colorful 90’s wardrobe is sure to make you happy.

Forrest Gump

From one classic to another, Forrest Gump is another movie to add to your watch list if you want to put that grin on your face. Starring the talented Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump is one of the most iconic movies of all-time. This movie is a creation of Robert Zemeckis and was released in 1994 wherein it became an instant hit. More than two decades later, this movie continues to be popular with the movie audience.

You probably have watched this movie a few times already. And even if you might have memorized the lines on the film, it manages to pull something new. This movie is a perfect example of creative genius – simple but brilliant!

Little Miss Sunshine

Released in 2006, Little Miss Sunshine’s title should give you a preview of what the movie is about. It’s no wonder why this film makes it to the list of movies that make you grin. This movie stars Toni Colette and Greg Kinnear, who are part of a dysfunctional family. The entire bunch goes on a cross-country road trip in order for their daughter to compete in a beauty pageant.

As you would expect from a dysfunctional family like theirs, they are faced with plenty of obstacles along the way. But despite the obstacles, the family surpassed them all just so they can get to the pageant in time. Abigail Breslin plays the titular role in this film. She could not have played the role any better. She literally brings the sun to the rainiest days for her family, which is a walking drama.

The film teaches a very important moral: the results don’t matter but the process of chasing your ambition is. It tackles a refreshing yet honest take on family conflicts. It focuses on adapting a be-yourself-attitude towards dealing with family relationships and not taking that smile off your face no matter how hard the process gets.

Big Fish

Who would have thought that Tim Burton is the mastermind behind this film? Known for his dark films, this one is almost like a fairytale. But it is not the type of fairytale that makes your smile once and then forget about it after. It penetrates into your mind and heart, making you feel good about yourself and the Universe you live in.

Big Fish follows the story of Edward Bloom, which is played by Ewan McGregor. Bloom believes that there is a Universe inside each person, which is different even from your soul mate. Trust that Tim Burton is able to create a world that is whimsical yet magical and uplifting at the same time. It is a wonderful film that is best enjoyed by the whole family.

Mamma Mia

The 2008 rom-com musical makes the cut for the movies that will make you grin. With a star-studded cast including Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, and Meryl Streep, expect nothing less when it comes to acting performance. This film was adapted from the popular Broadway musical and transformed into the big screen. Call it cheesy, but you cannot deny that this film will give you the good vibes and smiles.

Throughout the film, you will get to sing to your favorite ABBA tunes. You’ll also be transported to the gorgeous islands of Greece! Get ready to sing your hearts out and feel good at the end of the movie. This is the kind of film you’ll want to watch on a lazy, or any day of the year! It never fails to satisfy.

Pitch Perfect

The Pitch Perfect is one of the most popular musical comedy films of this recent decade. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow, these young comedic actresses deliver their best in singing and acting to deliver a new cult favorite. These young women are part of an acapella girl group known as The Barden Bellas. This singing group is trying to win the Nationals trophy. In doing so, they find themselves having to overcome a series of internal and external challenges to achieve the ultimate goal.

The Pitch Perfect film delivers a lot of music, sarcasm, witty humor, and self-deprecation. There are two more films that followed the original, and a fourth one is coming soon. But you need to see the first movie to truly understand the essence of this film. It’s hard not to laugh at Rebel Wilson’s character’s funny quips, or to feel good about the group’s impressive singing prowess.


You can never go wrong with a Disney film! Whether you are looking for an emotional pick-me-up, a touching story, or lots of hilarity, Disney will give it to you. Aladdin is one of the classics as far as Disney film goes. This film was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements. It features a star-studded cast including Robin Williams, Jonathan Freeman, Scott Weinger, and Linda Larkin.

Released in 1992, this film adaptation of Aladdin brings together a tale of sand and sorcery. Known as one of the hallmarks of Disney film production, it endeared itself to fans because of its underdog protagonist. When he fell in love with a beautiful princess, he had to fight through all the odds to win her hand. The film also features a bevy of interesting supporting characters, that are each capable of taking the spotlight – the thieving monkey, talking parrot, and the hilarious genie, to name a few.

This is also a thrilling adventure that offers a mix of magic and music. A truly unforgettable tale, Aladdin is a film that will put a grin on your face. Do yourself a favor and take a ride in the magic carpet as you follow the adventures of Aladdin and Jasmine.

Toy Story

When it comes to classic Disney films, Toy Story is another icon. The original film was released in 1995 and is currently known as one of the best animated films of all-time. The iconic characters of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Andy are unforgettable even two decades after its initial release. Sure, this comedy adventure film will make you want to grab some tissues with a few tear-jerker moments. But the amazing story of friendship and devotion is something that will keep you warm inside.

The Toy Story film offers a load of life lessons and inspirational phrases. Whether you watch the film looking for one or you simply want to feel good while watching, then you have made the right choice.

The Princess Bride

Written by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner, The Princess Bride is another fairytale movie that will give you all the feels. Whether you are into romantic movies or not, it’s hard not to love this one. This movie unfolds in a very interesting manner of story-telling – it uses an old man reading a story to his grandchild as a framing device. This story was read in order to make his grandson feel better, which is something you’ll feel when you are done watching this film, too.

This movie is the perfect pick-me-up for a lonely child or an adult whose feeling under the weather. This movie has everything you could ever want – true love, miracles, monsters, revenge, fighting, and escapes. There are dark moments in the film but it is generally warm, funny, and light-hearted.

School of Rock

When you have a film starring Jack Black, it is next to impossible not to have a grin on your face. This movie is directed by Richard Linklater and it is both optimistic and infectious. Jack Black plays the charmingly manic substitute teacher. When Dewey, played by Black Jack, nabbed this teaching gig he enlists the help of his students to form a band. His initial intentions were selfish and that is to spite his ex-band mates.

As the story progressed, Dewey developed a tight-knit relationship with his students and this newly formed group that took the attention of fans. At its core, this film is formulaic. But you won’t find a family comedy as charming, electric, and sharply written as this. It has a slew of catchy songs to boot. This film is an unofficial musical that has all the right tunes and laughs to turn any bad day and make them better.

Pursuit of Happyness

The film starring Will Smith and his son Jayden is more of a drama than a comedy. Nonetheless, it makes the list of top movies that make you grin for its feel-good vibes and many uplifting moments. In fact, Will Smith’s acting on this film was so superb that he earned a nomination from the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.

In the film, Smith struggles with homelessness while trying to raise his son. This was also Smith’s real-life son’s, Jayden, debut into acting. The two established a wonderful connection on-screen that made the film even more effective and touching. Based on a true story, this film shows how determination and hard work can pay off, regardless of how bleak your current situation is.

Legally Blonde

The Legally Blonde film is another movie that is centered on a young woman’s privileged life who is trying to make it in the real world. While Clueless was set in high school, this one follows the story of Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) as she pursues her dream of becoming a lawyer.

She comes from a background of being a sorority girl in Beverly Hills. Thus, Elle’s character exhibits a lot of the stereotypes – bratty, prissy, and high maintenance. But Elle defies judgment as she attempts to enter Harvard and emerge as the top lawyer in class. Girl’s got ambition and she starts a revolution in her quest to achieve the same. If you are feeling down on your resolve, this film will give you plenty to smile about – and a whole lot of motivation, too.

Yes Man

Yes Man is another uplifting film that is sure to paint a grin on your face. Starring the ever-bubbly Jim Carrey, the film is a story on the life of Carl Allen. He is a lonely man with low self-esteem. He lists himself as part of a self-help program. This program challenges him to say “yes” to everything in his life for a single year. According to the program, this affirmative approach to living is going to have positive impacts on his life, as well.

In this challenge, Carl experiences amazing transformations. He is promoted in his job and finds new romance. But too much positivity has brought certain challenges in his life, too. The film challenges you to gain a new perspective on how to live your life, too. It is funny, uplifting, and powerful all at once.


There is something about Christmas-themed movies that are guaranteed to put a huge grin on your face. But Elf is a cut above the rest. Buddy the Elf is played by Will Ferrell. It is also one of his ridiculous characters to date. This movie perfectly encapsulates the essence of Christmas. Throughout the film, you will find acts of generosity and goodwill.

Many critics refer to Elf as a fish out of water comedy. It is beautifully wrapped in yuletide glee that teaches a very important lesson that applies to everyone. Go watch this film. You can watch it alone or with the whole family (recommended). You’re guaranteed to feel instantly better.


Finishing of this list of movies that make you grin is one of the most popular Disney films of all time – Frozen. This is a modern Disney film but it is going down as a classic! It is also the most progressive film from Disney to date. Sure, the film often finds itself going back to the traditional princess ways that Disney is known for. But for every step back it takes, it takes a couple more forward.

The plot of Frozen centers on two royal sisters who drifted apart following the older sister’s magical ice powers. The latter's inability to control them is the main point of conflict throughout the film. True love, once again, is what breaks the curse in this film. But thankfully, it isn’t the kind of love that the audience expected. It’s actually the love and bond between sisters. This heart-warming conclusion is guaranteed to make your heart warm. Plus, it’s got a memorable soundtrack to boot!

Round Up

We all have bad days, or bad weeks. Or even a bad year. But these are all fleeting moments and there are times in your life wherein you simply want to rest your head and enjoy a good movie. But movies that make you grin do more than just give you a reason to laugh or smile – they can also carry an uplifting message.

There are a ton of movies out there for you to choose from. But these top 15 movies listed above are the ones guaranteed to make you grin or feel better on your worst days. Make sure to grab a copy or stream them on your TV when your day could use a little help!

Which of these movies is on your list when you want to feel-good or brighten those not-so-sunny days? Any other movies you want added to the list?