With everything that's going on in the world, sometimes all you want to do is to sit back, relax and watch a movie with an ending guaranteed to brighten your day. Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at some of our favorite happy-ending movies you can stream right now… starting with one of Netflix's latest releases, "The Half of It." On May 1, the streaming service debuted this coming-of-age drama starring Leah Lewis and Daniel Diemer that tells the story of Ellie Chu, an introverted teen who agrees to help Paul Munsky, an awkward-winning jock, gain the affection of his crush — the girl for whom they both have feelings. The film is refreshing in that it explores relationships in more ways than one: While there's an emphasis on romance, audiences also get a look at the genuine, unlikely friendship between Ellie and Paul. "The Half of It" is more than your stereotypical rom-com — it's layered, complex, and above all, it has so much heart. By the end of the film, you'll be left with a smile on your face — the kind that's earned only after watching something that moves you. Keep reading for more…
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What's the best way to get your insufferable boss to ease up on you? By setting them up! Netflix's 2018 romantic comedy "Set It Up," which stars Zoey Deutch and and Glen Powell, tells the story of two assistants, Harper Moore and Charlie Young, who join forces to manipulate their bosses into falling in love with each other in an effort to make their own work lives more tolerable. However, what starts off as a harmless solution soon turns into a potentially life-long commitment based on lies and deception. If you love modern romance and New York City in the summer, then this film is perfect for you. From Harper and Charlie's adorable but super vibey rooftop dance to their endearing expedition for drunken pizza, "Set It Up" is a winner in our books.
While we've all probably seen this film many times, it's hard not to add it to our list! Since its 1995 debut, "Clueless" has established itself as an absolute favorite thanks to its iconic coordinating outfits to Cher's most quotable quips ("Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie"). While the entire movie is a delight to watch, its ending is particularly heartwarming — not only does Cher get the guy of her dreams (who — spoiler alert — has been there the entire time!), but we also get to witness the adorable union between Miss Geist and Mr. Hall.
While "Coco" isn't without sad, gut-wrenching beats, the 2017 Disney animated flick is also an absolute favorite to rewatch. Bright-eyed, aspiring musician Miguel finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead, where he interacts with the deceased — who are now skeletons — including late family members. What makes "Coco" so special is its message: At its core, the film emphasizes the importance of family. Its beautiful celebration of Mexican culture coupled with its exploration of familial ties makes "Coco" a stand-out film. (Plus, if one of its many musical numbers, "Remember Me," doesn't make you sob, we don't know what will!)
Thirty, flirty and thriving! Growing up is never easy, especially when there's a group of girls who think you owe them something (we're looking at you, Six Chicks). The 2004 rom-com "13 Going on 30" stars Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink, a girl trapped in a woman's body. After making a wish at her 13th birthday party, Jenna miraculously wakes up to realize she's a successful 30-year-old magazine editor living in New York City. She thinks all her dreams have come true, but as the film continues, she comes to understand that couldn't be further from the truth. While the entire movie offers up some feel-good fun, it's the final act that stays with us — there's a moment when you think Jenna's all-grown-up childhood friend Matty (Mark Ruffalo) is going to leave his fiancé for Jenna, then you realize that in this reality, he doesn't… because this version of Jenna doesn't deserve a happy ending. When 30-year-old Jenna becomes 13 again, with all the foresight she's gained, she leads a completely different life that eventually leads to marrying Matty. In this way, the film challenges the common romantic-comedy expectation that the leads always end up together, no matter what. "13 Going on 30" is fantastic in that it gives us that fuzzy, fairytale ending, while showing us what could happen if we live selfishly.
We couldn't make a list about films that'll brighten your day without including one starring Robin Williams. While there's no shortage of feel-good Robin Williams flicks (see: his entire filmography), there's something extra special about "Mrs. Doubtfire." The 1993 movie tells the story of divorced voice actor Daniel Hillard, who decides to disguise himself as Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, a female housekeeper, in an effort to spend more time with his children because his ex has more custody. Robin effortlessly balances comedy and poignance — his portrayal of a man who would stop at nothing to spend time with his kids is done in a way that feels honest. You're rooting for him, and by the film's end, you're overcome with joy when you realize he's succeeded in getting joint custody.
Ah, the film that gave us the first collaboration between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore! It's hard to pinpoint just one thing we love about "The Wedding Singer" — in which Adam plays the titular character, Robbie, and Drew plays the woman he falls for, Julia — so instead, we'll share many aspects of the 1998 rom-com that we hold dear: Adam's stellar performances of '80s hits like "Love Stinks"; Julia's terrible but really hilarious fiancé, Glen Gulia; Robbie's sweet relationship with neighbor Rosie; and, of course, the iconic plane scene (cue the tears!). In addition to brightening your day, this film will have you wanting to serenade your significant other — or anyone, really — with "Grow Old With You," acoustic guitar and all.
If only we could be telekinetic! Adapted from the Roald Dahl novel of the same name, the 1996 film "Matilda" tells the story of a gifted young girl (Mara Wilson) who's forced to live with her cruel parents. To make matters worse, she must deal with diabolical principal Agatha Trunchbull, who often bullies her. When Matilda realizes she has the gift of telekinesis, she decides to exact revenge on her terrible parents and principal. The film's an absolute classic, and it's extremely gratifying to watch our heroine fight back against the people who'd long made her life miserable.
Reese Witherspoon shines in this film that celebrates its 19th anniversary in July 2020! What makes "Legally Blonde" so special is how its emphasis is on Elle Woods' journey above everything else — sure, she was initially motivated to go to law school for a guy, but she ends up realizing she's far more qualified for the profession than she thought. In putting Warner on a pedestal, Elle's shrunk herself in the process — her worth and sense of self have long been derived from the way Warner sees her instead of the way she sees herself. Memorable moments of the film include the bend-and-snap scene, any time Elle steps out in one of her head-to-toe pink looks and, of course, the epic way she won that case!
Adam Sandler plus Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse in one film? Count us in! "Big Daddy," which came out in 1999, tells the story of 30-something Sonny Koufax, who adopts 5-year-old Julian (who's played by both twins) in an effort to impress his ex-girlfriend and show her that he's capable of assuming responsibility. But when his plan doesn't win her back and he realizes the adoption is final, he finds himself in a less-than-ideal situation. It's a charming, hilarious flick about the special bond that forms between an unlikely father and son, and, like Sonny, you'll find yourself falling in love with adorable Julian.
Did you really think we'd make a list about films with endings that'll brighten your day and not include this beloved 2018 romantic comedy? You've likely heard the synopsis of "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" before, so we'll spare you — instead, we'll take this opportunity to share why it's worth the rewatch. "TATBILB" has all the makings of a great romantic comedy — adorable leads with out-of-this-world chemistry, a stellar soundtrack and some good ol' drama with a jealous ex. You can't help but root for Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky — suddenly, you've become so attached to their love story that you want nothing more than for them to finally admit their true feelings for each other. Really though, we've never been so invested in a fake relationship.
Whether the story resonates with you personally or you just love the idea of two estranged twin sisters plotting to bring their parents back together, "The Parent Trap" is a delight to watch. Starring Lindsay Lohan as both Hallie Parker and Annie James, the 1998 rom-com tells the story of young twins who each live with a different parent. After meeting each other at summer camp, they put into motion a plan to reunite their mom and dad. The only problem is, their father lives in Napa Valley while their mother lives in London — so the girls decide to swap places as a means of also getting to know their estranged parent. As with any romantic comedy, there are some serious threats to their plan — namely their father's gold-digging bride-to-be. "The Parent Trap" is a classic — not only does it give you that feel-good "happily ever after" ending, but it shows a young, talented Lindsay Lohan totally in her element.
What's better than seeing an inspiring film? Finding out that it's based on a true story! The 2019 movie "Fighting with My Family" is inspired by the real-life tale of a female wrestler from England, Saraya Knight (played by Florence Pugh) and her family of wrestling fanatics as she forges a path to the WWF where she goes by the name Paige. The film expertly depicts Paige as an outcast — the freaky girl who doesn't belong — though in spite of this, she prevails and goes on to become the youngest Divas Champion and the only woman to win the title in her debut match. Whether you're interested in professional wrestling or not, there's something gripping about this film. Perhaps it's the way in which it depicts a close-knit family that isn't without flaws, or maybe it's how it empowers young women to follow their dreams against all odds. "Fighting with My Family" has a happy ending and an even more gratifying come-up.
A film about a misunderstood rat who dreams of becoming a Michelin star chef in Paris? I mean, c'mon! "Ratatouille," which debuted in 2007, tells the story of a rat named Remy who partners with Linguini, an amateur, clueless chef at a Parisian restaurant in an effort to bring his culinary dreams to fruition. Disney-Pixar managed to flawlessly execute a story about friendship, perseverance and achieving your dreams in a way that feels dynamic and fresh; Remy is the unlikely, anthropomorphic hero we didn't know we needed. Seriously — we never imagined rooting for a street rat, but here we are.
After watching this film, it's hard not to add "aca" to just about every word (we acapologize in advance). While a musical comedy might not be for everyone, it's hard to deny the amount of entertainment that can be derived from watching one — especial this one. 2012's "Pitch Perfect," which stars Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Elizabeth Banks, Ben Platt, and many more, is packed with well-sung covers of quintessential tunes from the 2010s — everything from "Titanium" to "Just The Way You Are" to "Price Tag." As to be expected, Anna shines in this film as Beca Mitchell, an introverted, snarky music enthusiast. Also, we love a good "Breakfast Club" nod!
You can count on Richard Curtis to craft an ending that'll leave you feeling all giddy inside. 1999's "Notting Hill" starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant tells the now-classic tale of a mega-famous actress who falls for a quiet London book seller after wandering into his store. Of course, their deepening connection isn't without its complications — Anna Scott's time in London is supposed to be ephemeral, while Will Thacker is unsure of how he feels about dating someone in the limelight. While the iconic moments are far too many to count, we'll leave you with this: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Swoon!
"Back to the Future" is a beloved sci-fi blockbuster fans have adored since it came out in 1985. Marty McFly gets himself involved in all sorts of shenanigans after time traveling to in the past in an effort to ensure that his parents end up together in the future. From dealing with his own mother falling in love with him to his father being bullied by Biff Tannen, Marty works relentlessly to rectify the past in an effort to improve his family's present. We'd be surprised if Michael J. Fox's perfect portrayal of California teen Marty didn't bring you any joy.
Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn shine in 2004's "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," a hilarious comedy about a group of employees and clients at a struggling gym who enter a dodgeball contest in an effort to win a $50,000 cash prize to help keep the business afloat. The road to $50K isn't an easy one though — to Peter La Fleur's (Vince Vaughn) dismay, his team has to compete against fancy rival gym owner White Goodman (Ben Stiller) and his superstar team. The epic-showdown ending will leave you cheering.
2007 was a big year for teen heartthrob Zac Efron. Not only did "High School Musical 2" come out, but so did the second feature film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical "Hairspray," in which he starred! The film, which saw Zac playing "The Corny Collins Show" hunk Link Larkin, also starred John Travolta, Brittany Snow, Amanda Bynes, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney and then-newcomer Nikki Blonsky. It was a toe-tapping, singalong phenomenon — and it was hard to watch without breaking into song. In addition to its infectious tunes, "Hairspray" also included an important narrative about racism in America.
It's a Golden Globe nominee for a reason. The 2016 musical coming-of-age drama "Sing Street" follows Conor, a former private school student who's forced to transfer to a tougher inner-city school where he decides to form a band. While "Sing Street" is indeed a musical of sorts, we'd argue that the music comes secondary to the film's exploration of relationships, specifically Conor's relationship with older brother Brendan. Brendan's emotional, transparent explanation of how Conor got to "follow the path that I macheted through the jungle that is our mad family" is one of many exceptional moments in the film.