Think Happy Thoughts: Movies That Make Me Smile

Certain movies can make turn any frown upside down. In light of Reese Witherspoon’s recent DUI arrest, maybe she should watch Pleasantville or Legally Blonde to help her get through her legal woes. Here’s a list of movies that always put a smile on my face and are worth checking out to help kick off your weekend with a smile of your own.

  1. Babe (1995) Poster Babe (1995): Pigs, especially talking pigs, are adorable. Plus, it has one of the best lines in movie history, ” That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”
  2. Amélie (2001) PosterAmélie (2001): It’s French, it’s fabulous, and it ALWAYS puts a smile on my face. Visually stunning too.
  3. Clue (1985) PosterClue (1985): I could watch this movie all day. In fact, I have watched this movie all day on several occasions just to watch the three endings the way they were meant to be seen. It’s also one of the funniest movie ensembles ever with Michael McKean, Christopher Lloyd, and the late Madeline Kahn at its helm. Kahn also delivers one of the best improvised monologues I’ve ever seen.
  4. Pretty Woman (1990) PosterPretty Woman (1990): Who wouldn’t want to have an endless supply of pizza while they go on a shopping spree? And bag Richard Gere (from his glory days) in the process? I also wanted to give those salesgirls a piece of my mind.
  5. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) PosterRomy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997): Success is the best form of revenge. Too bad they had to make most of it up. But it’s hysterical in the process. Plus, I really want to know WHO actually invented Post-Its. And, there’s the kick-ass dance number with Alan Cumming, Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino.
  6. Noises Off... (1992) PosterNoises Off… (1992): Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Carol Burnett & Michael Caine in ONE movie. And it has constantly made me laugh every time I watch it. If you’re involved in theater, or have seen the play, it’s definitely worth checking out.
  7. The Philadelphia Story (1940) PosterThe Philadelphia Story  (1940): It’s one of the best movies ever, with three of the biggest stars ever.. It’s classic. And Katharine Hepburn has a scene where she gets drunk. It’s hysterical.
  8. Barefoot in the Park (1967) PosterBarefoot in the Park (1967): Neil Simon’s classic play adapted for the screen in one of the funniest movies about becoming a newlywed.
  9. Nine Months (1995) PosterNine Months (1995): Joan Cusack, Julianne Moore, Tom Arnold, Hugh Grant and a hysterical performance by Robin Williams. The miracle of life gets funny, especially when Julianne Moore’s character goes into labor.
  10. The First Wives Club (1996) PosterThe First Wives Club (1996): Jennifer Lawrence got her “I beat Meryl” line FROM this movie. And it’s hysterical. Divorced women seeking revenge is ACTUALLY FUNNY in this case.

Breakout Role: Edward Norton in “Primal Fear” (1996)

Richard Gere and Edward Norton in “Primal Fear” (1996.)

A fellow Boston-born actor, Edward Norton, made his film debut in 1996 with Primal Fear beating out 2, 100 other actors for the role, including Matt Damon.  Apparently,” When Norton met with the director for Primal Fear (1996), he told them that he, like Aaron, came from eastern Kentucky. Norton even spoke with the twang, which he prepared by watching Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980.)”–From IMDB. Additionally, “According to the Blu-ray behind-the-scenes information, it was Edward Norton’s idea to stutter as “Aaron,” as it appeared nowhere in the original book or script. In addition, when “Roy” shoves Vail (Richard Gere) against the prison cell wall, Gere’s shocked reaction is genuine, as that was another Norton ad-lib. Yet another Norton ad-lib is Roy’s slow clap at the end just before the exposition when Vail realized what had happened.”–From IMDB.

Edward Norton has always been an interesting actor for me to keep up with. He’s intelligent (he went to Yale.) He’s multilingual (he speaks Spanish and Japanese.) The fact that he managed to fool the casting director and production team with his accent is really impressive too. He’s gone on to star in blockbuster films and even received an Oscar nomination for his film debut. I think he was amazing in the role, and the praise is more than justified. I’d love to work with him one day, just to witness his process. I’ve always been impressed with this film and with his performance.

Here’s a look at a key scene: