Fiction…But Still Positively Fabulous

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

The high school boy who bunked off school for the day to hang out with his best friends Cameron and Sloane before graduation is one of the most inspiring and touching films of the century, teaching us all that there’s more to life than rules and conformity.

Pitch Perfect (2012)

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp and Brittany Snow are but a handful of stellar comedic actresses that star in this musical comedy film. The plot follows all-girl a cappella group, The Barden Bellas, as they compete to win Nationals. Sarcasm, self-deprecation, and music at its finest. Sure, they’re now working on the forth Pitch Perfect film (and you should definitely watch the other two), but this is still our favorite.

Up! (2009) 

Right, let’s get it out of the way. Yes, you will be weeping buckets after that scene early on in the Pixar film but you’ll soon feel inspired by Carl, a septuagenarian balloon salesman, who has always dreamed of traveling South America. Little does he know his life is about to be changed by an eight-year-old wilderness explorer named Russell. Oh, and a talking dog. This film is sure to turn that frown upside down.

Legally Blonde (2001) 

In Robert Luketic‘s uproariously funny and entertaining comedy—which isn’t as fluffy as it might have been, thanks to Witherspoon’s deathly serious conviction just beneath the chipper exterior—Elle Woods goes after a boy who underestimates her, and discovers herself along the way. If you can’t fall under the spell of this heart warmer, check for a pulse. The perm surprise in the courtroom finale is still a treat, all these years later. 

The Parent Trap (1998) 

A young Lindsay Lohan shines as twins that were raised without knowing of the other’s existence—until fate has them meet at summer camp. They soon hatch a plan, swapping places in order to reunite their divorced parents. 

Hugo (2011) 

Martin Scorsese‘s special effects-heavy, heartstrings-tugging masterwork was hailed by Roger Ebert as the director’s most personal film. Asa Butterfield stars as an orphan in 1930s Paris who becomes entangled in a mystery involving robots, family secrets and the birth of cinema. An adaptation of Brian Selznick‘s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo won five Academy Awards (it basically swept all technical categories), and was nominated for Best Picture. 

The Little Prince (2015) 

Like the iconic children’s book, this clever film adaptation will inspire you to hold on to a youthful sense of wonder and curiosity — no matter how old and jaded you’ve become. 

About Time (2013) 

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. 

The Spectacular Now (2013) 

Sutter, a popular party animal unexpectedly meets the introverted Aimee after waking up on a stranger’s lawn. As Sutter deals with the problems in his life and Aimee plans for her future beyond school, an unexpected romance blossoms between them. 

20th Century Women (2016) 

Mike Mills wrote and directed this very personal piece about the powerful women that shaped his life. Set in 1970s California, it features one of the best performances of Annette Bening’s career, and she’s ably supported by a wonderful cast that includes Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup. It’s a smart, tender film about family. 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) 

Even if there weren’t a montage in this movie set to the song “Sunshine and Lollipops”, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs would still put a gigantic smile on your face. It has all of the anarchic silliness of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (I still have no idea how they got away with the snowball scene), but it’s also got a lot of heart to go along with the story of food raining down from the sky. 

Uptown Girls (2003) 

A grown-up woman, who kept her childish instincts and behavior, starts working as a nanny of a 8-year-old girl, who actually acts like an adult. But in the end everything turns to its right places. 

Zootopia (2016) 

Zootopia is a surprisingly thoughtful chronicle of prejudice and inherent bias, telling the story of a young bunny who wants nothing more than to be a top police officer in a world filled with various types of animals. 

Love, Actually (2003) 

When it comes to feel-good movies, schmaltz really isn’t an issue. Sure Love Actuallyis ooey gooey and incredibly sentimental, but isn’t that also part of its charm? This is the ultimate romantic comedy combined with the ultimate Christmas movie to make one, super-charming concoction that’s guaranteed to pick you up—or at least make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

Newsies (1992) 

In this musical, homeless New York City newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly befriends two newcomers to his trade, brothers David and Les Jacobs. When publisher Joseph Pulitzer sets new rules that make it harder for the young newspaper salesmen to make a buck, the boys go on strike. Bryan Denton, a journalist who’s sympathetic to their plight, gives them some tips in public relations, as the newsboys’ battle grips the city.

Whiplash (2014) 

Andrew Neiman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, in pursuit of rising to the top of his elite music conservatory. Terence Fletcher, an instructor known for his terrifying teaching methods, discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into the top jazz ensemble, forever changing the young man’s life. But Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher pushes him to the brink of his ability and his sanity. 

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 

When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route they meet a Scarecrow that needs a brain, a Tin Man missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage. The wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West to earn his help.

Like Stars on Earth (2007) 

An eight-year-old boy is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school. 

Shakespeare in Love (1998) 

Tale about a fictional relationship between William Shakespeare and a young woman who poses as a man in order to star in one of the writer’s plays. Suffering from writer’s block, Shakespeare is in need of a new muse. He soon finds inspiration in the form of a beautiful female aristocrat, but her daring determination to act in his play puts their already forbidden relationship on even more dangerous ground.

Moana (2016) 

An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity. 

Mamma Mia! (2008) 

Donna, an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.

The Greatest Showman (2017) 

Growing up in the early 1800s, P.T. Barnum displays a natural talent for publicity and promotion, selling lottery tickets by age 12. After trying his hands at various jobs, P.T. turns to show business to indulge his limitless imagination, rising from nothing to create the Barnum & Bailey circus. Featuring catchy musical numbers, exotic performers and daring acrobatic feats, Barnum’s mesmerizing spectacle soon takes the world by storm to become the greatest show on Earth.

Wonder Woman  (2017)

Strong female lead? Check!
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

Big Night  (1996)

Two brothers, Italian immigrants, work to achieve their American dream as they run a struggling restaurant. A delicious cast, a tasty story and some of the best recipes you’ll see on film.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

A young Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek and struggles to get her family to accept him while she comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them.

The Incredibles (2004)

A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (2005)

A young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world’s most unusual candy maker.

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)

A mischievous dog befriends a lonely young girl in a new town and helps her make new friends. C’mon. It’s a mischievous dog! What’s not to like?

E.T. (1982)

The tagline says, “You’ll believe a boy can fly.” You’ll also believe that Steven Spielberg is a storytelling genius in this story about a young child who summons up the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek and Fiona travel to the Kingdom of Far Far Away, where Fiona’s parents are King and Queen, to celebrate their marriage. When they arrive, they find they are not as welcome as they thought they would be.

Shrek (2001)

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.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Mere seconds before the Earth is to be demolished by an alien construction crew, journeyman Arthur Dent is swept off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher penning a new edition of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

A father and daughter form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for college.

Chef (2014)

A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Pitch Perfect (2012)

Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much-needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

Hook (1991)

When Captain James Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.

Jobs (2013)

The story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

50 First Dates (2004)

Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he’s finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the next day.

She’s the Man (2006)

When her brother decides to ditch for a couple weeks, Viola heads over to his elite boarding school, disguised as him, and proceeds to fall for his school’s star soccer player, and soon learns she’s not the only one with romantic troubles.

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

About Time (2013)

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

A League of their Own (1992)

Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

Hitch (2005)

While helping his latest client woo the woman of his dreams, a professional “date doctor” finds that his game doesn’t quite work on the gossip columnist with whom he’s smitten.

Angels in the Outfield (1994)

When a boy prays for a chance to have a family if the California Angels win the pennant, angels are assigned to make that possible.

Space Jam (1996)

In a desperate attempt to win a basketball match and earn their freedom, the Looney Tunes seek the aid of retired basketball champion, Michael Jordan.

Bruce Almighty (2003)

A guy who complains about God too often is given almighty powers to teach him how difficult it is to run the world.

Big (1988)

After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

Down With Love (2003)

In 1962 New York City, love blossoms between a playboy journalist and a feminist advice author.

Julie and Julia (2009)

Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

A few decades after her original visit, Mary Poppins, the magical nanny, returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives.

La La Land (2016)

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

A local scientist is often regarded as a failure until he invents a machine that can make food fall from the sky. But little does he know, that things are about to take a turn for the worst.

SING (2016)

In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario’s attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists find that their lives will never be the same.

Ratatouille (2007)

A rat who can cook makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant.

The Lego Movie (2004)

An ordinary LEGO construction worker, thought to be the prophesied as “special”, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the LEGO universe into eternal stasis.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

Six years after the events of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.

The Karate Kid (1984)

A boy and his mother move to California for a new job. He struggles to fit in, as a group of karate students starts to bully him for dating a rich girl from their clique. It’s up to the Japanese landlord, Miyagi, to teach him karate.

Frozen (2013)

When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.

The Princess Bride (1987)

While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him the story of a farm boy-turned-pirate who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies, and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

Sing Street (2016)

A 14-year-old boy named Conor finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool and beautiful Raphina, and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band…yet. He forms a band with a few friends, and the group pours their heart into writing lyrics and shooting videos. SING STREET shows us a world where music has the power to take us away from the turmoil of everyday life and transform us into something greater.

School of Rock  (2003)

The world’s least-employable heavy metal guitarist intercepts a call for his substitute-teacher roomie and finds himself in front of a class of elite elementary school students. At a loss for a lesson plan, Dewey makes it his goal to preach them the gospel of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC – with the ulterior motive of getting them to compete against his former band for a cash prize.