With the world still very much in the throes of being awful, I wanted to highlight three feel good films (four if you count Bad Trip in the new and noteworthy top). It’s about to be summer blockbuster season, so I wanted to highlight the quieter, warmer, and little seen films of the last few years that touched my heart. Enjoy.
New or noteworthy…
Falling somewhere between Jackass and Borat, is comedian Eric André’s Bad Trip. Built with slight narrative rails, Chris (André) and his pal Bud (played by Lil Rel Howery from Get Out) are on a road trip to NYC to meet Chris’s high school crush Maria (played by Michaela Conlin of Bones), pursued by a crazed, gangbanging Tiffany Haddish. A clip show built on public pranks—and surprising warmth—the movie is an entertaining buddy flick as much as it a provocative clip show. Trailer. 84 mins. Stream on Netflix.
WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn as a title is longer than its run as a startup darling. The documentary takes you through its origins to meteoric rise to its tumultuous pre-IPO period and spotlights its toxic, egomaniacal, messianic CEO Adam Neumann. Not the most illuminating of docs, but entertaining given everyone’s familiarity with the WeWork crash. Trailer. 104 mins. Watch on Hulu now.
Feel good hidden gems…
Viggo Mortenson is an off-the-grid, hippie father who raises his kids in a Emerson-esque wilderness utopia. But his teachings and the real world come to a reckoning when his wife dies and he butts heads with her father (Frank Langella). A serious dash of hope and heart, Captain Fantastic is a feel good tearjerker. Hard to believe a film this wholesome came from Gavin Belson (the awful Silicon Valley CEO amalgamation played by writer/director Matt Ross). Trailer. 119 mins. Find it on Netflix.
The most awkward period in life is captured beautifully by director Bo Burnham and played to a T by teen darling Elsie Fisher. All of the angst and trepidation is perfectly encapsulated in this heartwarming tale of one girl finding her voice. A true masterpiece that deserves to be seen. Trailer. 93 mins. Watch on Showtime or Rent on Amazon. (Or do a 7-day free Showtime Trial).
Probably the least seen film on the week’s list is a little father-daughter, indie. Nick Offerman plays father in somewhat arrested development to daughter Kiersey Clemons, who isn’t sure of what the future holds for her. Sweet and comfortable, the Sundance darling showed an even softer side to Ron Swanson, while it introduced the world to Kiersey. Trailer. 97 mins. Watch on Hulu now.
Shoutout Letterboxd for helping the film community keep track!
For last week’s recommendations, check it out here.