15 Uplifting and Family-Friendly Films for a Wholesome Escape

mrs harris goes to paris

As a nice gesture, a man searched the internet for suggestions for whimsical, fun, and clean movies that would cheer up his sick wife. These are the top 15 movies these film enthusiasts suggested. One of them may help you feel better today, too.

1. Best in Show (2000)

Best in Show Movie (2000)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

This mockumentary is a delightful and hilarious examination of the quirky and competitive world of dog shows. The film is populated with an array of eccentric characters, from a yuppie couple who are overly concerned with their dog's diet to a middle-aged couple who have dressed their beloved terrier in an array of ridiculous costumes.

2. Legally Blonde (2001)

legally blonde
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

This modern classic is a cult favorite for its upbeat and empowering message. The film centers around Elle Woods, a seemingly shallow sorority girl who enrolls in Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend. However, as she navigates the challenges of law school, Elle discovers her true potential and learns to embrace her intelligence and ambition. Reese Witherspoon delivers a delightful and charismatic performance as Elle, and the film is full of memorable moments and witty one-liners. 

3. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Image Credit: Focus Features.

This Wes Anderson film is a whimsical and poignant coming-of-age story that will enchant audiences of all ages. Set on a picturesque island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, the film tells the story of two young misfits who fall in love and run away together, sparking a search party and causing chaos in their small town.

The film captures the innocence and wonder of childhood, as well as the heartache and confusion of adolescence. Through the eyes of its young protagonists, Moonrise Kingdom reminds us of the beauty and magic of life, even amid its struggles and sorrows.

4. Coraline (2009)

Image Credit: Focus Features.

This stop-motion animated film is a dark and enchanting fairy tale that is beautiful and terrifying. Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, the film tells the story of a young girl who discovers a mysterious parallel world behind a secret door in her new home. But the world is not what it seems, and she must fight to save herself and her family from a sinister and manipulative other mother.

Coraline is a masterful blend of fantasy, horror, and humor, and its stunning visuals and haunting score create an atmosphere of wonder and dread. While it does have some darker moments, it ultimately explores the power of imagination and the importance of family.

5. Juno (2007)

Juno (2007) Michael Cera, Elliot Page
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

This charming and offbeat comedy-drama is a refreshing and heartfelt exploration of teenage pregnancy and its aftermath. The film stars Elliot Page as Juno, a quirky, confident teenager who becomes pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Along the way, she bonds with prospective parents and learns valuable lessons about love, responsibility, and growing up.

6. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Image Credit: Cinesite/Touchstone Pictures.

This science fiction comedy is a hilarious and irreverent romp through the galaxy that will delight fans of Douglas Adams' beloved book series. The film follows the misadventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless earthling who finds himself thrust into a universe of bizarre creatures and wacky situations. Along the way, he befriends a depressed robot, falls in love with an astrophysicist, and learns the ultimate answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.

7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

This uplifting and visually stunning film is a modern retelling of James Thurber's classic short story. The film stars Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty, a meek and unassuming man who escapes his mundane life through vivid daydreams of adventure and romance. But when his job and the future of his magazine are threatened, Walter embarks on a real-life adventure that takes him from the streets of New York to the mountains of Iceland.

8. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Ferris Buellers Day Off Paramount PIctures
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a classic teen comedy. It's a lighthearted and joyous celebration of rebellion and fun. The film stars Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, a charismatic and mischievous high school student who convinces his best friend and girlfriend to skip school and spend the day exploring Chicago. Along the way, they dodge their principal, visit art museums, and sing in a parade.

9. Liar Liar (1997)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This Jim Carrey comedy is a hilarious and heartwarming exploration of the consequences of lying. The film stars Carrey as Fletcher Reede, a slick and successful lawyer who is forced to tell the truth for 24 hours after his son makes a birthday wish that his dad can't lie. What follows is a series of comedic misadventures as Fletcher struggles to navigate his personal and professional life without the ability to lie.

10. 50 First Dates (2004)

50 First Dates Adam Sandler Drew Barrymore Rob Schneider
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

In this romantic comedy, you'll be charmed by a beautiful love story. The film stars Adam Sandler as Henry Roth, a veterinarian who falls in love with Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore), a woman with short-term memory loss who can't remember him the next day. In an effort to win her heart, Henry must woo her every day, and he finds himself falling more and more in love with her each time.

11. Ratatouille (2007)

Image Credit: Chammon/Disney Enterprises/Pixar Animation Studios

This Pixar animated film is a whimsical and heartwarming tale about a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a chef in a fancy French restaurant. The film follows Remy as he befriends a hapless kitchen worker named Linguini and helps him become a renowned chef, all while keeping his true identity as a rat hidden.

Ratatouille is filled with stunning visuals and imaginative set pieces, from the bustling kitchen to the bustling streets of Paris. What makes Ratatouille so special is its message about the power of following your dreams and the importance of embracing your true self.

12. Jumanji (1995)

Jumanji animals
Source: Columbia Pictures/Tristar Pictures

Jumanji is a thrilling ride through a magical board game that comes to life. The film stars Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a man who has been trapped in the game for 26 years and is released by two siblings who accidentally start playing the game. The film is filled with heart-pumping action and edge-of-your-seat suspense as the characters must navigate through dangerous jungle environments and confront fearsome wild animals.

13. Paddington 2 (2017)

Brendan Gleeson Paddington 2
Image Credit: The Weinstein Company.

When the first Paddington movie came out, it was so adorable that everyone needed more Paddington Bear. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long for Paddington 2 to come out. This movie follows our favorite bear as he tries to find the perfect birthday present for his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday. But when the present is stolen, Paddington has to go on a mission to find the thief.

14. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022)

Image Credit: Focus Features.

Mrs. Harris's life is pretty normal. After losing her husband and spending her days working as a cleaning lady, Mrs. Harris ends up falling in love with a beautiful Dior dress. This couture dress sends Mrs. Harris away from her everyday life into the high-end world of Paris fashion. It's such a wonderful movie about finding yourself at any age in your life and chasing your dreams.

15. The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The Princess Bride is one of the most beloved movies of all time about love, loss, and friendship. When Westley and Buttercup fall in love, their love is meant to last forever, but Westly is lost at sea, only to fight his way back to the woman he loves. If this isn't one of the best romance movies ever, I don't know what else to tell you.

Source: Reddit. 

Film & Culture Writer | Website | + posts

Jaimee Marshall is a culture writer, avid movie buff, and political junkie. She spends the bulk of her time watching and critiquing films, writing political op-eds, and dabbling in philosophy. She has a Communication Studies degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she flirted with several different majors before deciding to pursue writing. As a result, she has a diverse educational background, having studied economics, political science, psychology, business admin, rhetoric, and debate.

At Wealth of Geeks, Jaimee places an emphasis on film and television analysis, ranking the best [and worst] in media so you can find more diamonds in the rough and waste less time on box-office duds. You can find her articles on politics and culture in Evie Magazine, Katie Couric Media, Lotus Eaters, and Her Campus. You can also find her find her episode of Popcorned Planet, where she analyzes the Johnny Depp & Amber Heard trial. She has written extensively about due process, free speech, and pop culture.