There are times when I’m craving comfort and want nothing more than to watch one of these movies and curl up on the couch or in bed for a shot of familiarity. Most of my comfort movies are from my childhood/teen years, or they’re ones I watched or mutually enjoyed with my mom. Some are ones that I identify with or that just seem so cozy. Either way, sometimes movie nights are best done with movies that you already know will bring you peace and make you happy.
This is my (very long) list of comfort movies for which I will almost always be in the mood.
While You Were Sleeping (1994)
This has to top the list as it’s one that I fell asleep to for months as a teenager. I watched it so much that I can still recite, word-for-word, the entire opening scene, up until they’re in the hospital. Even then, I can quote the rest of the movie with a little help. This was one that my mom loved, and we watched on VHS until we bought the DVD. I’m pretty sure I still have the tape in a memories box somewhere even though I haven’t owned a VCR since I was 16. Sandra Bullock hasn’t aged, and I love 90s Bill Pullman so much. Plus, the Callahan family is so cute and loud and it reminds me of the best parts of my family.
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
Another 90s movie! I actually didn’t watch this as a kid, but it’s one of my favorites as an adult. Crazy to think it came out the same year as Parent Trap. The technology is dated and the storyline wouldn’t make sense in today’s world, but I have a huge problem with romanticizing the 90s (probably because I was too young to have had any real problems during the decade) and New York, so this movie gives me all the happy feels. Plus, as a Mindy Project fan, it’s hilarious to see a young Chris Messina play a no-name bookstore clerk close to the end. Also, Tom Hanks is bae. I love him so much.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
Probably a weird one for some people to see on a comfort movies list, but BDS is my all-time favorite movie. I have this fantasy of being a super badass vigilante, so that coupled with the fact that they’re Irish just makes this movie that much better. It’s definitely got a 90s vibe in quite a bit of the movie, but you cannot miss out on Norman Reedus pre-Walking Dead and Willem Dafoe and Billy Connelly are just fantastic actors in general. If you like action movies with heart and a story, you’ll love this one.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
In her movie debut, Anne Hathaway played the wonderfully awkward, uncoordinated Mia perfectly. I think I watched this for the first time at my grandma’s house, but when she let us borrow her VHS copy to take home, we watched it constantly. I own the DVD now and watch it whenever I need my fix. I just love the old firehouse Mia and her mom live in, Julie Andrews, and the very real way Mia bumbles through everything from high school to state dinners with world leaders.
Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
My mom loved the books and was so excited when they announced they were making a movie about them. We used to watch this one together, and when I was old enough, I read the first two BJD books. I never read the last one, but I kind of don’t want to because I know what happens and I’m not prepared for that. I like the way Bridget Jones’ Baby worked out. Bridget is the epitome of a hot mess well before the term was as popular as it is today.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
When this was in theaters, my mom and dad went to see it together and that memory is one I’ll treasure forever. They divorced when I was 2, so I don’t remember them being together (nor have I ever really wished they had stayed together), but it was nice when they did spend time together because I know they were friends and had a lot in common. Nia Vardalos is so funny and this movie is so sweet, and I had such a crush on John Corbett because of this one. I quote this one with my best friends quite often it really doesn’t get old.
The Bourne Series (2002-2016)
Jason Bourne is a badass. I had no opinions on Matt Damon before I watched Bourne Identity for the first time, but I’ve been a fan ever since. I love that I figured out something new every time I watched it for a long time, and because of that, I admire the depth in storytelling and details they included. I recently bought the first book by Robert Ludlum but I haven’t started reading it yet. It’s my understanding that it’s much different from the movies, so I’ll have to set that aside while reading the series, but I just can’t wait.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
I remember standing in line at the movie theater to see this with my mom and little sister. “Just be warned, there will be a lot of nerds here to see this,” she told us. She wasn’t lying. But because of her love of Douglas Adams, British humor, political satire, and general nerdiness, we got there early enough to only be the third group of people in line. We got fantastic seats, and I remember absolutely loving it. It’s one that I watch frequently to this day, still laughing at the jokes, and often getting “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish” stuck in my head. Shane’s seen it enough times, now, in our seven years together, that he doesn’t even bat an eye when I throw out obscure movie quotes. Usually he can recite the next line. And best of all, I wrote this poem my senior year of high school based on the title of a poem from the book/movie. Once a nerdling, always a nerdling.
Driving Lessons (2006)
I actually remember first finding this at Blockbuster, if that tells you anything. This is a bit of a weird one to a lot of people. They don’t get why I like it so much, and after I show it to them, they don’t want to watch it anymore, but I love it so much that I watch it multiple times a year, depending on my mood. Rupert Grint and Julie Walters are in this during filming the Harry Potter series – where, if you don’t know, they play mother and son. In this, their relationship is much different, but still so sweet as caretaker and little old lady, respectively. Rupert is awkward AF and Julie is way over-the-top in the best way. It’s just a perfect pairing and one of my favorites.
My Life in Ruins (2009)
Another Nia Vardalos movie! She’s just so good at romcom and her comedic timing is great. Plus, the backdrop of Greece makes this movie feel like you’re on a vacation – if not a slightly dysfunctional one. Richard Dreyfuss’ dad jokes are actually pretty funny (and relatable) and I honestly could not have picked a cuter couple than Rachel Dratch and Harland Williams.
To be honest, there are a handful more that I could add, but this list is already long enough. I am curious, though, what are some of your favorite comfort movies? Maybe we have some of the same, but I just didn’t add them to my list? Let me know in the comments.