Best Feel-Good Movies on Netflix to Watch Now (November 2022)


Trying to find a good movie to watch on Netflix is hard enough, but trying to find, specifically, a happy movie to watch on Netflix can be extra difficult. Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up, and the right film at the right time can do wonders to improve your mood. That’s the power of storytelling, especially on a feature-length scale, and Netflix isn’t lacking in films that make you happy without forsaking quality.


Below, we’ve assembled a curated list of the very best happy movies to watch on Netflix, from comedies to blockbusters to little-seen indies. So stop the endless searching and let us whittle the list down for you.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out our list of best comedies, rom-coms, and family movies on the platform.

Editor’s note: This article was updated November 2022 to include Love Hard.

RELATED: The Best Comedy Shows on Netflix Right Now

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The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

Run Time: 1 hr 53 min | Genre: Animated Sci-Fi Comedy | Director: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe

Cast: Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph

If you are looking for a movie to put a smile on your face, it is impossible to go wrong with the vibrant animated comedy The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Clever, sweet, and endlessly funny, it follows a family who must take on the robot apocalypse while also working through their own internal dysfunctions. There are just so many great sequences from start to finish that fully embraces the creative potential of animation, proving to be a love letter both to the form and to movies generally. Even if you have seen it before, there just is so much packed into every single frame that it rewards going back to it again and picking up on some visual gags you might have missed the first go around. It is also incredibly honest about family and the struggles of growing up, making it one that hits home amid all the goofiness going on. The heart and humor go hand-in-hand, making it one of the very best animated movies of recent memory. — Chase Hutchinson

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Love Hard (2021)

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Run Time: 1 hr 44 min | Genre: Romance Comedy | Director: Hernán Jiménez

Cast: Nina Dobrev, Jimmy O. Yang, Darren Barnet, Harry Shum Jr.

Nina Dobrev(The Vampire Diaries) stars in the adorably charming Love Hard,a romantic comedy based on the trope of mistaken – and in this case misleading – identity. Love Hard updates the common narrative with a modern perspective, setting up the story through contemporary technology like dating apps. Director Hernán Jiménez expertly utilizes the comedic talent of his stars, including underrated comedian Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley), whose character catfishes our lovelorn main character by pretending to look like heartthrob Darren Barnet (Never Have I Ever). Love Hard is an engaging and lighthearted love story with a wonderful message and an even better cast. – Yael Tygiel

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Look Both Ways (2022)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 50 min | Genre: Romantic Comedy Drama | Director: Wanuri Kahiu

Cast: Lili Reinhart, Danny Ramirez, David Corenswet, Aisha Dee

One moment can change your life forever, and Look Both Ways explores this concept in a fun and charming way. The movie revolves around Natalie (Lili Reinhart), who spontaneously has sex with her best friend Gabe (Danny Ramirez). A few weeks later, on graduation night, she takes a pregnancy test. The film explores both what Natalie’s life would be like if it was positive and if it was negative, showing us how both would play out over the next several years. Look Both Ways succeeds in that both stories are equally compelling and fleshed-out with their own unique triumphs and challenges. The focus on Natalie’s animation career dream is especially refreshing. – Taylor Gates

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The Prom (2020)

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Run Time: 2 hr 10 min | Genre: Musical Comedy | Director: Ryan Murphy

Cast: Meryl Streep, Jo Ellen Pellman, Ariana DeBose, Nicole Kidman

The film version of the hit Broadway musical premiered on Netflix in 2020. In rural Indiana, a gay teenager, Emma, is turned away from her prom after wanting to bring a same-sex date. In New York, a bunch of self-righteous actors down on their luck decide to make Emma their cause in hopes of rehabilitating their image. As the overdramatic troupe arrives in town, what they find is a kid who actually needs their help, and if they put their egos aside, they may actually be able to do some genuine good. A worthy adaptation of the stage show with an all-star cast, The Prom is a great way to celebrate Pride and the joy of accepting people, old and young alike, for who they really are. – Jennifer McHugh

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The Half of It (2020)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 44 min | Genre: Coming-of-Age Comedy-Drama | Director: Alice Wu

Cast: Leah Lewis, Alexxis Lemire, Daniel Diemer, Wolfgang Novogratz, Collin Chou

In the small town of Squahamish, Ellie (Leah Lewis) lives with her father, who hasn’t been the same since her mother passed away. Ellie doesn’t have many friends but uses her skills as a writer to do homework assignments for her peers in exchange for money. When Paul (Daniel Diemer), a football player, approaches her with an unusual request – write love letters to his crush, Aster (Alexxis Lemire) – Ellie hesitates to do something so personal. However, given Paul’s not-so-smooth way with words and Ellie’s desperate need for extra cash to help her family, she begrudgingly agrees to help him. As Ellie and Aster correspond with each other, first via letter then through text message, feelings start to blossom – but not between whom you might expect in this scenario. The Half of It is the kind of quirky queer romance I wish I had growing up. It’s a refreshing coming-of-age movie that is about friendship and self-acceptance just as much as it is about young love. – Brynna Arens

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Carrie Pilby (2016)

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Image via The Orchard

Run Time: 1 hr 38 min | Genre: Comedy-Drama | Director: Susan Johnson

Cast: Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, William Moseley, Vanessa Bayer, Desmin Borges, Jason Ritter

Sometimes, you just need to get out of your shell. Based on the popular novel of the same name by Caren Lissner, Carrie Pilby follows the reclusive and stubborn Carrie Pilby (Bel Powley), a young New Yorker with a high intellect who is strongly averse to change and adventure. In an effort to get Carrie to embrace and experience the beautiful messiness that is life as a 19-year-old, her therapist Dr. Petrov (Nathan Lane) assigns her a series of tasks to accomplish one by one, which include everything from buying a pet to going on a date. This delightful and charming film will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, appreciate the little things. –Emily Bernard

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

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Image Via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 37 min | Genre: Comedy-Drama | Director: Rob Burnett

Cast: Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez

This gem may not be as obviously feel-good as other titles on this list, but as the credits roll, you’ll be sure to have a more optimistic view on things. Paul Ruddstars as Ben Benjamin, an unsuccessful writer who takes a job as a carer whilst he dodges his wife’s incessant pleas to get him to sign their divorce papers. Who is he caring for? Trevor (Craig Roberts) suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy and so must use a wheelchair full-time. Trevor doesn’t seem to extract any excitement or happiness from anything except seeing America’s deepest pit, and so, the two set out on a road trip. meeting the irreverent but sweet Dot (a strong performance from Selena Gomez) who joins them. The film never bites off more than it can chew, somewhat posing life’s bigger questions but always bringing it back to the smaller, and more important things like friendship, first love, and waffles. Rudd and Roberts have the perfect chemistry of unlikely friends. This film will sure to make any blue day bright again. — Emma Kiely

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

Let It Snow (2019)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 33 min | Genre: Christmas Romantic Comedy | Director: Luke Snellin

Cast: Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Liv Hewson, Odeya Rush, Jacob Batalon, Kiernan Shipka, Joan Cusack

If you’re in the mood for a feel-good movie that’s also a Christmas movie, Netflix delivered its own twist on Love Actually for the teen set with Let It Snow, a breezy holiday rom-com that finds a series of overlapping love stories on one fateful Christmas season snow day. It’s a sweet film from top-to-tail, as interested in the dramas of teen friendship and domestic struggles as it is the blossoming romances, and it’s filled with delightful performances from a knockout cast of young up-and-comers. A lot of the Netflix Christmas romances follow in the Hallmark Channel vein, and absolutely no judgment if that’s your preferred thing, but for those who want an old-fashioned feel-good holiday romance, Let It Snow is just the ticket. – Haleigh Foutch

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Enola Holmes (2020)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 2 hr 3 min | Genre: Mystery | Director: Harry Bradbeer

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Louis Partridge, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, and Helena Bonham Carter

Enola Holmes is one of the best and most charming Netflix original movies thus far, and will absolutely put you in a good mood. Based on the book series of the same name by Nancy Springer, the period film follows Millie Bobby Brown’s titular character, who is the youngest Holmes sibling and has been raised nearly in solitude by her single mother. But when she awakes one day to find her mother is missing, she takes matters into her own hands and sneaks into London to solve the case. The film is tremendously fun as Enola fearlessly follows leads and hunts for clues, but it’s also a surprisingly touching mother-daughter story with legitimately feminist themes. The script actually takes time to consider what it means to be a woman in a man’s world in a way that’s organic (and important) to the story at hand. It’s one of Brown’s best performances, but Henry Cavill is also a delight as Sherlock Holmes himself. Once the movie ends you’ll be begging for Netflix to make many more sequels. Luckily, Enola Holmes 2is already out. – Adam Chitwood

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 41 min | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, Michelle Buteau, James Saito, Daniel Dae Kim, Karan Soni, and Keanu Reeves

Netflix brought the rom-com back in a big way with 2018’s Set It Up, and the streaming service’s 2019 effort Always Be My Maybe is similarly charming and delightful. Co-written by and starring Randall Park and Ali Wong, the film follows a pair of teenage best friends who have since drifted apart and are pushed together once more in adulthood, even though their lives have followed very different paths. Park and Wong are dynamite together, and the film takes time to breathe with some well-paced dramatic sequences. It’s also not lacking in scene-stealers, as Michelle Buteau is a hoot and Keanu Reeves once again proves his talent knows no bounds. Bottom line: this movie is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. – Adam Chitwood

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

Set It Up (2018)

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Run Time: 1 hr 45 min | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Director: Claire Scanlon

Cast: Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, and Taye Diggs

If you’re looking for a charming romantic comedy, but don’t want to rewatch something from a previous decade for the umpteenth time, you should definitely give Claire Scanlon’s charming Set It Up a look. The plot follows two beleaguered assistants (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell) who decided to set up their bosses (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs, respectively) in order to just get some precious free time away from their demanding jobs. However, with all their scheming, they start to fall for each other. You can see the rom-com beats coming from a mile away, but they’re done so well and so effectively that you won’t mind. Plus, the film sizzles thanks to the outstanding performances from the dazzling Deutch and Powell, who should be the streaming generation’s Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. – Matt Goldberg

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 39 min | Genre: Teen Romantic Comedy | Director: Susan Johnson

Cast: Lana Condor, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Noah Centineo, Israel Broussard, and John Corbett

If you’re looking for a fun, sweet, YA romance to brighten your day, you won’t do much better on Netflix than To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Based off the novel by Jenny Han, the story follows Lara Jean (Lana Condor), a teenager whose worst nightmares are realized when five letters she wrote to her secret crushes are sent out without her knowledge. When she’s confronted by her old crush Peter (Noah Centineo), she’s afraid it could get in the way of her current crush Josh (Israel Broussard), so Lara Jean and Peter resolve to fake a relationship so they can get with who they really want to be with. Naturally, pretending to be together starts to create real feelings between the two. The film is a joy from start to finish, letting you relive a time when who “liked” you was the most important thing in the world, but without any of the trauma high school entails. – Matt Goldberg

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Wine Country (2019)

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Image via Netflix

Run Time: 1 hr 43 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Amy Poehler

Cast: Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, Ana Gasteyer, Tina Fey, and Jason Schwartzman

If you’re looking for a breezy, easy watch, check out Wine Country. While Amy Poehler’s directorial debut may not be the most thematically satisfying or airtight comedy, it’s a solid effort packed with sufficient laughs and a swell dose of heart, with a recurring theme of feel-good vibes throughout. The film is inspired by a real-life trip the cast members and real-life friends took to celebrate Dratch’s 50th birthday, during which their friendship was laid bare. The actors play only slightly exaggerated versions of themselves, so part of the fun is seeing what the dynamic between these SNL alums is really like. This is a really easy watch, especially if you’re looking for something to enjoy with friends (and wine) on a Friday or Saturday night in. – Adam Chitwood

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

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Run Time: 2 hr 3 min | Genre: Musical Comedy | Director: David Dobkin

Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, and Demi Lovato

If you think Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is just another “dumb Will Ferrell comedy,” think again. One of 2020s most pleasant surprises, this musical comedy is surprisingly sweet and genuinely emotional – don’t be surprised if you find yourself welling up with tears by the end. The story follows a pair of lifelong friends and musicians from Iceland who is unexpectedly thrust into the Eurovision Song Contest, which tests their talents and their relationship to one another. Ferrell is hilarious as always, but it’s Rachel McAdams who steals the show here and proves, yet again she’s one of the best comedic talents working right now. Oh, and the songs? They’re spectacular. – Adam Chitwood

​​​​​​​Watch on Netflix

Someone Great (2019)

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Run Time: 1 hr 32 min | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Brittany Snow, DeWanda Wise, DeWanda Wise

One of the main aspects that makes a film so feel-good is the friendship between the characters, and this film is full of heartfelt, caring bonds between friends. In Someone Great, Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) is going through a breakup with Nate (LaKeith Stanfield), her longtime boyfriend who she thought she’d marry as she prepares to move to San Francisco to work for Rolling Stone. For her send-off and to cheer her up, Jenny and her two best friends, Blaire (Brittany Snow) and Erin (DeWanda Wise) embark on a day and night of partying, drugs, and singing in bodegas. Someone Great captures all the feelings of making major life decisions, no matter how scary, exciting or heartbreaking they may be. Although this film deals with the trials and tribulations of romantic relationships, the heart, and soul of Someone Great is how important friends are in times of need. — Emma Kiely

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Moxie (2021)

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Run Time: 1 hr 51 min | Genre: Comedy-Drama | Director: Amy Poehler

Cast: Hadley Robinson, Amy Poehler, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Lauren Tsai, Nico Hiraga

Moxie follows high school student, Vivian as she takes on the patriarchy and starts a feminist revolution in her school as she anonymously publishes a feminist zine entitled “Moxie.” From male sports teams getting more funding than girls to female students getting punished for dress codes whilst male students run amok in whatever they like, the injustices at Rockport High School are at an all-time high. Moxie isn’t entirely feel-good from start to finish. Prepare to feel angry, frustrated, and somber for what these female students have to go through in order to establish gender equality at their school. But in the end, Moxie is an empowering watch, with that kickass rebellious punch that every person (well, most people) feels when they give the middle finger to the patriarchy. Prepare to have “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill on repeat after watching. — Emma Kiely

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Yes Day (2021)

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Run Time: 1 hr 29 min | Genre: Comedy-Drama | Director: Miguel Arteta

Cast: Jennifer Garner, Édgar Ramírez, Jenna Ortega

Yes Day follows the Torres family as they try to bring a little spontaneity and fun back into their lives. Parents Allison and Carlos (Jennifer Garnerand Édgar Ramírez) used to be adventurous and fun until they had their three kids, Katie, Evan, and Ellie. Once Allison realizes that her children see her as more of a dictator than a mother, she agrees to a “Yes Day.” For 24 hours, the parents have to say yes to everything. That means going through a car wash with the windows down, throwing balloons full of Kool-Aid at each other, and ending up at Six Flags. Yes Day may not be the most memorable film but it offers that pure and wholesome lift that we all need from time to time. It’s able to illustrate the issues between teenage kids and parents without delving into too dark territory and underscores the importance of family. If the friendship or romance-centric titles on this list don’t seem that appealing, give this harmless and silly family feature a try. — Emma Kiely

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