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My Go-To Comfort Movies That Feel Like Self Care

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

It’s that time of year again: classes are picking up, the weather is starting to cool down, and all I really want to do during the weekends is curl up on the couch for a movie with my cat and my popcorn. Movie days and nights have always been one of my favorite forms of self care. From nostalgic flicks to stories that renew and recharge my faith in the world around me, there’s nothing like the perfect film to have me feeling ready to tackle the new week. Here are my go-to movies for those times when you’re ready for a little pick-me-up!

  1. “Legally Blonde”

Starting off with a true classic: “Legally Blonde” is a surefire way to lift your spirits. Elle Woods is an eccentric and lovable protagonist that many of us– myself included– can strongly relate to. She tackles and dominates an environment that was initially very hostile towards her, while still retaining her fun and girly personality. It’s a movie full of moxie, hope, and comedy with a deeper significance for anyone who’s ever been underestimated or taken only for surface value. Plus, the poppy soundtrack and impeccable costume design perfectly compliment Reese Witherspoon’s effortless beauty. I will never stop loving every aspect of this movie!

  1. “Little Women” (2019)

Another film that celebrates the experience of womanhood, “Little Women” never fails to make me feel all of the emotions. While there isn’t a wrong version of this timeless story to watch, my personal favorite is the 2019 version directed by Greta Gerwig . Gerwig’s attention to detail and fast-paced dialectical direction make this version fun and satisfying to watch.

On a broader note, there’s a reason “Little Women” has so many new takes and remakes. The story of sisterhood and growing up as a girl will always be universal experiences for so many people and paints a beautiful picture of the adolescence of each sister throughout every season of life. Each character is timeless, from Jo’s independence and passion, to Amy’s joy that coexists with cynicism as she grows, to Meg’s love of beautiful things, both material and otherwise, and to Beth’s unwavering kindness and love for her family, “Little Women” encapsulates girlhood in a way that will always remain relevant and heartwarming.

  1. “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

I’m a sucker for animation, and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” satisfies my every wish for aesthetic design within cartoons. Wes Anderson’s commitment to a specific dreaminess and charm throughout the whole film fulfills an artistic vision brought to life by soft shades of orange and dry, clever humor. This is one of those movies that people of any age can find joy in. It brings back childhood memories while also giving you something new every time you watch it, whether it’s a quick quip you never caught before, or a background detail that holds more significance the second (or third, or fourth) time around.

  1. “My Neighbor Totoro”

While you can never go wrong with any Studio Ghibli film, I have to give a special spotlight to one of director Hayao Miyazaki’s first successes in the US. I grew up watching “My Neighbor Totoro,” and it’s always held a certain nostalgia and charm that seems to be hard to find anywhere else. The main characters, sisters Satsuki and Mei, are perfectly written to encapsulate the loving and sometimes complicated sibling relationship that is so familiar to many of us. I never would have admitted as a child that I was anything like the characters, but as I grow, I realize more and more how precisely Miyazaki captures the dialogue, feelings, and habits of young people, especially young sisters.

The deeper meaning, centering around imagination, growing up, and coping with change may leave some viewers with a more profound take on the movie, but if you’re just wanting something cute and surface level, “Totoro” will never disappoint there either. The visuals are gorgeous, and the memorable creatures (including the titular giant, fluffy forest spirit) are just about as fun and adorable as you can get.

  1. The “Harry Potter” Franchise

Even though J.K. Rowling has been a hot topic of debate recently (ah, the beauty of Twitter), I’ll be the first to admit that the “Harry Potter” series still holds its charm for me. The story of a mistreated young boy escaping the mundane world for one full of magic and vibrancy will always be one of my favorite forms of escapism. There’s something that still feels magical about sitting down to watch these movies, and I like to think that they’ve grown past their author just thanks to the sheer enormity of their success. I think the Harry Potter series holds different joys and meanings for everyone that watches or reads it, and it’s always a treat to sit down and experience this over and over again.

  1. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

There isn’t really anything like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. It unexpectedly took off when it came out in the 80’s, and is still one of the most well known and well referenced films of all time. There’s a character for every audience member to relate to on some level, and I can’t help feeling the deep satisfaction that comes with Ferris’s overall success by the end. Knowing everything will work out and just being along for the ride is not only one of the core messages of the movie, but it also describes the joy in watching the movie itself. You love watching Ferris because you know that he’ll get away with his shenanigans every time. It’s part of his charm!

  1. “10 Things I Hate About You”

As an English major, I’ve seen and read my fair share of reimagined Shakespeare. I maintain that nothing will ever top this early 2000’s classic. The characters, costumes, and soundtrack are perfectly chosen and have irrefutably reached icon status, along with many of the actors whose careers took off thanks to this quirky but timeless story. Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Julia Stiles all shine in this charming romantic comedy, and the ending truly satisfies my hopeless romantic heart every single time.

A good movie should never be underestimated. Especially during one of the most stressful times of the year, taking a break to engage with a story that brings us joy is sometimes all it takes to refresh and renew for the new day, week, or even month. While these films are on my personal favorite rewatch list, there is no wrong or right way to enjoy a comfort movie. With this, I wish you a happy Fall and hope you’re able to enjoy a favorite movie soon!

tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2
Collette Mace

CU Boulder '26

Collette Mace is thrilled to be a writer for the University of Colorado, Boulder chapter. Outside of Her Campus, Collette is a second year student at CU studying English, as well as working in the School of Education towards a secondary English teaching licensure. She has interned for local newspapers including the Sky-Hi news in Granby, CO. While most of her work experience has been in cafes and coffee shops, she was lucky enough to work at Grand Kids Learning Center in Fraser, CO, over the summer of 2023 as an assistant teacher, primarily with pre-school aged children. In her free time, Collette adores reading and reviewing as many novels as she can get her hands on. While she prefers reading outside, often after an adventure with her dog, Luna, she will always seize the opportunity to seek out a new coffee shop to enjoy while she reads. She's a movie enthusiast (and will often see new movies in theaters at least twice) and will never pass up a chance to support the dramatic arts. Collette also enjoys going to concerts (when funds allow it), with Red Rocks being her favorite venue-- except for the parking, of course. She is passionate about politics, especially concerning education and schools.