5 feel-good movies that will make you laugh

Sometimes, all you want to do is slip into something comfy and flick on a feel-good movie. We love the shared experience of watching a film with family or friends. The warmth of loved ones in a room, cosy knits, collective stillness that breaks into laughter, and, if you’re lucky, a big bowl of popcorn. When you want something thought-provoking yet light, uplifting yet grounded, familiar but original, look to these 5 favourite comedy-dramas of ours from the past year.


1. The Holdovers

One of our favourite films from last year is a coming-of-age gem set in a prep school in Massachusetts. An uppity, strict, widely despised teacher is tasked with overseeing students during the holiday holdover period. Neither the teacher nor the students are thrilled about it, in fact, they actively loathe the situation, but they are forced to make the best of it. What emerges is a heartfelt connection between the rigid professor and the student troublemaker. They develop an unlikely bond, joined by the school’s cafeteria manager, and learn important life lessons from each other. Expect sharp dialogue, amusing mishaps and plenty of soul-warming emotion.


2. Uproar

In another heartwarming coming-of-age tale, we follow 17-year-old Josh Waaka growing up in Dunedin, New Zealand. Against the backdrop of the 1981 South African rugby tour, which sparked nationwide protests against apartheid and racism, Josh, part Maori with European heritage, is thrust into a new role. No longer just a bystander, Josh must stand up for himself, his family and his future. This inspiring story is filled with humorous quirks, heartfelt interactions and proud moments that will leave you with a big grin on your face and a tear in your eye.

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3. American Fiction

American Fiction is a brilliant satire about what the publishing industry wants of Black authors. A disillusioned novelist-professor is tired of a system that profits from Black entertainment using worn-out and offensive stereotypes. After being told his writing isn't "Black" enough, he decides to create a parody that flips the script to troll the entertainment industry. But when his book unexpectedly becomes a hit, he finds himself caught in a storm of controversy and mixed feelings. Can he confront the very system he aimed to criticise from within? You’ll just have to watch and find out.


4. Asteroid City

Wes Anderson’s whimsical film unfolds at a 1950s summer camp, adorned with candy-coloured costumes under a turquoise sky. A grieving father relocates his tech-loving family to a desert town where the Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention is about to take place. Little do they know the town will soon be forced to confront a dramatically altered reality after a series of world-changing events unfold. If you enjoy meta storytelling, an all-star cast, endearing yet clever children, and the distinctive style of Wes Anderson, you'll thoroughly enjoy Asteroid City.


5. Wicked Little Letters

Based on a stranger-than-fiction true story, Wicked Little Letters follows two neighbours in a 1920s English seaside town called Littlehampton. The town is thrown into chaos when its residents start receiving hilariously profane letters, and one of the neighbours, a rowdy Irish immigrant named Rose, is accused of the mischief. Suspicious of the situation, the town's women team up to unravel the mystery. Olivia Coleman and Jessie Buckley shine as the head-clashing neighbours, delivering side-splittingly funny insults throughout the film. Prepare to laugh along with their brilliantly portrayed antics as you guess the letter writer.