Five Movies About Happiness

The cinema, as a social mirror, has also echoed our struggle to be happy. There are some fantastic movies in which desire and courage triumph over difficulties.
Five Movies About Happiness
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Happy and fun movies are the ones that make you feel good. They’re ideal for raising your self-esteem. In the history of cinema, there have been many productions that have given us a look at the bright side of life. We’ve selected some of the most successful.

Before we start, we’re going to explain the meaning of the concept of happiness. It’s defined as an emotional state linked to the well-being we feel when we achieve a goal or a desired purpose or feel fulfilled. How can this concept be presented in a film? Let’s take a look.

1. Love Actually

This is one of the most charismatic romantic comedies of all time. Its director, Richard Curtis, produced a movie in which various love stories of people of different ages intertwine. Some of them end really well, while others inevitably result in heartbreak. In fact, there are a number of contrasting stories and we soon find ourselves empathizing with most of the characters.

At the end of each love story, we witness the triumph of kindness, effort, and dedication to finding the goal of happiness. We see the enthusiasm of being in love. Furthermore, the most intense scenes are accompanied by a really emotionally powerful soundtrack.

“Happiness is only real when shared.”

-Jon Krakauer-

2. The pursuit of happyness

Director, Gabriele Muccino shows us Chris Gardner’s long struggle for financial stability.

At certain times in life, we can find ourselves in situations where we’re extremely vulnerable. This movie reminds us that we must continue to seek our fortune and create our own opportunities. In fact, it reminds us that we’re the builders of our own destinies and well-being.

3. The Intouchables

Happiness can be perceived in different ways. Sometimes, we can feel it even if we’re not in particularly good circumstances. This is how happiness is portrayed in The Intouchables, a movie directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. Here are some of its highlights:

  • Philippe is a rich and handsome quadriplegic man. Into his orderly and correct life comes Driss, a young Senegalese man from a humble neighborhood. The two have extremely different ideas. However, despite their differences, the contributions they can make to each other’s lives are far greater. In fact, almost unintentionally, they end up being friends and reconciling with life.
  • Driss starts to spend many hours with Philippe. Consequently, they have a chance to understand each other’s points of view.
  • Happiness presents itself as, despite Philippe’s limitations, they both try to ensure that the moment in which they find themselves living isn’t frustrated by the past or the future. Best of all, as viewers, we feel the same way.

4. The Bucket List

Director, Rob Reinier has made one of the most stimulating movies about happiness. Two men, Carter and Edward, don’t know each other, but both have been diagnosed with terminal cancer. They’ve worked hard all their lives and now find themselves having to relegate their dreams to a future that now appears uncertain.

Throughout the story, there are moments of enjoyment, emotion, and melancholy. However, above all we see love transcending the fear that both characters feel after being diagnosed.

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”

-Benjamin Disraeli-

5. Billy Elliot

One of the great movie classics. Stephen Daldry presents us with a story of hope, and provides an inspiring narrative for all of us who don’t ever dare to take the first steps toward real change. Billy Elliot has a real love for dancing. He wants to dedicate himself to this pursuit, but it isn’t going to be easy.

Socially, dancing seems to be an activity only for women, but Billy wants to carve out a niche for himself in this new world that fills him with excitement and joy. He fights hard for it, despite the many obstacles he encounters along the way. This is one of the most iconic movies about happiness due to its rebellious attitude toward meaningless social molds.

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The six movies in this article are great examples of how films are able to portray the subject of personal growth.

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The contents of Exploring Your Mind are for informational and educational purposes only. They don't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment of a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.