After a long day of giving a shit about what your coworkers think or reading depressing news stories, your distraction of choice may be to fire up a bong and some documentaries, or vape and download sci-fi flicks straight into your brain. But sometimes a blunt and an uncomplicated movie with a happy ending is just what the doctor ordered. When you’re sad, it’s nice to buy into the illusion that they’ll live happily ever after, or the long-lost family members will be reunited, or the real winner is the one who has the most fun. These movies on Netflix (US) are pleasant without being sickly sweet (for the most part), and also happen to be dazzling, or mind-warping, or otherwise interesting to anyone viewing while in an altered state.
Speed Racer (2008)
If you’re not down for 134 minutes of psychedelic race car-themed CGI with a plot and some family dynamics character development mashed in, then you’re not high enough yet. Get good and ripped before even starting this beautiful work of visual magic. The Wachowskis bring the heat from the very first scene, in which a pre-pubescent Speed Racer uses the power of his imagination to warp his dumb boring classroom into a wormhole of a race track.
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
Before Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, or his trippy take on The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrman concocted a crazy colorful world about ballroom dancing, forbidden love, and inner beauty. When the couple with the best dance moves wins, sometimes it's best to break the rules. Spoiler: it has a happy ending.
When We First Met (2018)
Workaholics fans, this is the kind of thing Adam DeVine is doing instead of making another season of office-related antics with Anders Holm and Blake Anderson. When We First Met is all about the anxiety of regret in romance. Throw in a bit of time travel and a magical photo booth and… well, you know where this is going. Our only question is why DeVine’s character doesn’t use his serendipitous magic discovery to play the stock market.
Love Per Square Foot (2018)
The story of Sanjay and Karina, a couple of young people who must join forces to be able to buy a house, is almost too real to be feel-good, but it is. It’s kind of like Spaced, but with mesmerizing Bollywood dance sequences instead of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s relentless dry wit and pop culture references.
Mamma Mia (2008)
The story of Meryl Streep’s decades-old love quadrangle as sung through Abba tracks is easy to hate for its questionable premise and casting of A-list stars without A-list vocal chords. But the beautiful Greek setting and the pure number of famous faces on screen at once is extremely pleasant.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
If you’re down to follow Michael Cera and Kat Dennings on a standard love arc through serendipitous “only-in-New-York” encounters soundtracked by Vampire Weekend and other acts that will remind you of 2008 (not in a bad way), then please enjoy Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
There’s a single shot in Coco that took over 400 hours to render. The complexity of the animation behind Pixar’s take on the Dio de los Muertos mythos is as much a reason to light up as the doofy dog gags and touching ending. If you can bug out at crazy visuals, cry and feel exalted all in the same two-hour period, this one is for you.
More than your average sports movie, Lagaan is the story of late 19th century British officials who face a group of Indian farmers in a game of cricket, with three years of taxes hanging in the balance. Aside from the joy of actually learning the rules of cricket, it’s fun to watch the underdogs school a bunch of mutton chop-having 1890s imperialists at their own game. It’s also a reminder of how fucked up colonial power structures are, making it a feel-good movie and fire for the Resistance.
Pup Star World Tour (2018)
“Music is the universal language that brings us all together,” says a literal English-speaking pop star dog in this beautiful hairball of a cinematic experience. From the makers of Air Bud and Air Buddies comes a movie with a premise so absurd that the cloying, catchy songs actually come out the other side and become wonderful. Roll up a fat one well in advance if you choose to embark on Pup Star World Tour.
The Incredible Jessica James (2017)
Not to be confused with Netflix’s super-strong superhero Jessica Jones, Jessica James (played by Jessica Williams) has a strength that’s rooted in believing in herself and how dope she is. With this special power, she plows through New York’s treacherous dating scene and overcomes a love triangle between Chris Dowd and Lakeith Stanfield. It’s truly inspiring and has a dope soundtrack to boot.
The Flintstones (1994)
John Goodman and Rick Moranis do their best impressions of cartoon characters while acting around giant fake dinosaurs and foiling Agent Cooper—er, Kyle MacLachlan. Incredible.
Happy Gilmore (1996)
Peak stupid Adam Sandler terrorizing a stodgy golf community in a hockey jersey has never been more satisfying than in the years of our elitist, golf course-owning president. It’s 92-minutes to truly turn off the brain and let the lowest common denominator of humor take over.
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