As we move into a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic, Australians are being urged to stay at home and we’re trying to search for the positives.
For one — it’s a time to reconnect with loved ones (even if that means via video call). And another? It’s an opportunity to binge-watch some of your favourite movies on repeat.
But, it’s not just about what we are watching.
With a constant stream of COVID-19 updates, there’s a lot of doom and gloom out there, so finding something to watch that is uplifting and thoughtful, will leave you smiling as the credits roll. An absolute must, in my opinion.
So, what to watch during this unprecedented time?
From the heartwarming to the downright silly, I’ve put together a list of seven uplifting films you can watch on Netflix right now.
1. Blended (2014)
Why you should watch: If you’re a huge fan of iconic duo Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, you must watch their most recent collaboration.
Synopsis: After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the budding relationship.
Stars: Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems) and Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
2. Notting Hill (1999)
Why you should watch: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Need we say more?
Synopsis: The life of a simple bookshop owner changes when he meets the most famous film star in the world.
Stars: Julia Roberts (Wonder), Hugh Grant (The Gentleman) and Rhys Ifans (Misbehaviour)
3. What a Girl Wants (2003)
Why you should watch: Who didn’t love Amanda Bynes circa 2003? She was super funny, endearing and quite frankly, in her prime. Based on the 1955 play The Reluctant Debutante by William Douglas-Home, there was a teenage love story, a fashion montage and a young Colin Firth.
Synopsis: An American teenager learns that her father is a wealthy British politician running for office. Although she is eager to find him, she realises it could cause a scandal and cost him the election.
Stars: Amanda Bynes (Hairspray), Colin Firth (Love Actually), Kelly Preston (Gotti), Oliver James (Raise Your Voice).
4. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Why you should watch: It’s just a whole lot of fun. Plus the musical numbers with the core cast are brilliant. Plus, it’s a reminder that one day we will be allowed to travel overseas again.
Synopsis: The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA.
Stars: Meryl Streep (Big Little Lies), Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls), Julie Walters (Harry Potter), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Colin Firth (1917), Pierce Brosnan (The Son) and Stellan Skarsård (Chernobyl).
5. Shrek (2001)
Why you should watch: Shrek is one of those kids films that is enjoyed by the whole family. From the fairytale characters to the brilliant one-liners, it was seriously one of the best animated films in its heyday.
Synopsis: A mean lord exiles fairytale creatures to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess for the lord in order to get his land back.
Stars: Mike Myers (Austin Powers), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Cameron Diaz (Annie), John Lithgow (The Crown)
6. The Big Sick (2017)
Why you should watch: The Big Sick has an emotional depth but with laughs along the way. A modern-day, true story that is relatable because love is love. No matter where you are from.
Synopsis: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani (Bless the Harts), Zoe Kazan (The Deuce), Holly Hunter (The Incredibles), Ray Romano (Get Shorty).
7. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Why you should watch: Flashy cars, outlandish characters, a love story and Henry Golding.
Synopsis: This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s extremely wealthy family.
Stars: Henry Golding (Last Christmas), Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Gemma Chan (Captain Marvel), Awkwafina (Ocean’s Eight), Ken Jeong (The Hangover).