10 feel-good films on-demand to bust the January blues
Ah January… That frosty foe yanking us out of bed every morning to remind us that Christmas 2015 is over and Christmas 2016 couldn’t be further away (yes, I live for Christmas). Thankfully, we have a fail-safe solution for busting those January blues, and it doesn’t require leaving the house or ‘eating clean’. We’re talking of course about feel-good films!
Infinitely Polar Bear (2015) on BT TV
Hulk star Mark Ruffalo shows his real strength as a bipolar father who must step up for his daughters in this irresistible feature debut from writer-director Maya Forbes. Based on a chapter of Forbes’s own childhood, Infinitely Polar Bear succeeds in balancing the bitter with the sweet to deliver a spirited homage to real life parenthood and its attendant chaos, while sneakily tugging at those heartstrings.
A Walk in the Woods (2015) on BT TV
Hollywood veteran Robert Redford stars as travel writer Bill Bryson in this Bucket List-style adventure comedy. Recruiting a long-lost friend (Nick Nolte) to join him on an ambitious hike along the Appalachian Trail, which stretches more than 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, Bryson and his old pal bumble into numerous obstacles while rediscovering America, and themselves, in this gentle charmer. Also starring Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Kristen Schaal and Nick Offerman.
Sleeping With Other People (2015) on BT TV
Comedy champs Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis star in this very funny yet very touching contemporary rom com from Bachelorette director Leslye Headland. Running into one another twelve years after a one-night stand, a pair of sex addicts attempts to maintain a platonic friendship in spite of each party’s mutual desire for something more.
Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014) on Netflix
In a film that pretty much delivers what it says on the tin, dissatisfied psychiatrist Hector (Simon Pegg) leaves his lacklustre life in London behind to travel the world in search of true happiness. For fans of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Eat Pray Love, this voyage-of-discovery movie also stars Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård and Toni Collette.
Chef (2014) on Netflix
Iron Man director Jon Favreau steps in front of the camera in this foodie favourite which he also wrote, directed and produced. Make sure you’re not watching on an empty stomach as Favreau’s character Carl Casper quits his job as the head chef of a swanky restaurant and embarks on an altogether different career as a food truck owner, rekindling his passions of food and family. Also starring Sofía Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr.
The Lunchbox (2013) on Netflix
It all started with lunch… When a mix-up in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young neglected housewife and a lonely older widow, the two begin an unusual friendship, bringing joy to one another’s lives via the exchange of notes. Starring Life of Pi‘s Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur of Homeland.
Walking on Sunshine (2014) on Netflix
A young woman’s life goes a bit sideways when she discovers her sister’s fiancé is in fact the same dreamboat she fell deeply in love with when they met on holiday a few years back. Set to an infectiously upbeat ’80s soundtrack, and starring Hannah Arterton, Annabel Scholey, Giulio Berruti and Leona Lewis.
St. Vincent (2014) on NOW TV
Melissa McCarthy plays a hardworking single mother who has no choice but to entrust her misanthropic neighbour Vincent (Bill Murray) with taking care of her son while she works long hours. Of course, a sweet and unlikely friendship forms between the boy and the smoking, drinking, gambling Vincent, whose only other friends are his cat and a pregnant Russian sex worker (Naomi Watts).
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) on NOW TV
A super-sized outer-space adventure set to an ’80s soundtrack, in which a team of underdogs bands together to defeat evil? Bradley Cooper as a talking racoon with a whole lot of insecurity issues? Nothing has us wanting to fist pump the air more than the two hours of solid fun that is this Chris Pratt-led superhero sensation.
Annie (2014) on NOW TV
The sun will come out… today, if you hit play on this modern reimagining of the Little Orphan Annie tale! Bursting with joyous performances that bring Broadway into your own home, Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale and Cameron Diaz put on a jolly good show in this musical masterpiece.