6 Best 90s Feel-Good Comedies

If you’re looking for entertainment that tickles your funny bone, makes you smile, and increases your laughs-per-minute, we have a few films for you. 

 

Sister Act

These singing and dancing nuns are such a unique form of cinematic joy. The premise—witness protection in a convent—is so wacky as to be almost insulting, but Whoopi Goldberg’s spirit, rock and roll interpretations of churchy music, and interactions with the Reverend Mother (played so perfectly by Maggie Smith) make this movie so, so much fun. 

 

Clueless

When sweet but vapid Beverly Hills teen Cher decides to do a good deed by giving the most uncool girl in school a makeover, romantic rivalry and awkward stabs at maturity ensue. One of the most quotable and endlessly parodied teen coming of age of all time, Clueless exposed so many teenagers to the slang of their California peers and turned Alicia Silverstone into a national icon. 

 

Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion

What do you do when you’re a couple of unambitious but happy twenty-somethings worried about appearing pathetic at your ten-year high school reunion? If you’re Romy and Michele, you invent fake careers and kind of hope for the best. Anchored by amazing performances from Mina Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow, what follows is a funny movie about not letting high school define you and figuring out what success looks like for you. After watching this movie you’ll never think of  Cindi Lauper’s “Time After Time” the same way again. 

 

Rushmore

We admit it, Wes Anderson films can get a little dark. Eccentric teen Max Fischer’s awkwardness can be painful, his infatuation with a teacher at his school is destructive, and his jealousy, directed towards Bill Murray’s character, gets ugly. But there’s a lot of beauty in the way Anderson characters admit and finally engage with their faults. Plus Max is charming and a joy to watch, even when he’s sabotaging himself. 

 

As Good As It Gets

Jack Nicholson is a misanthrope, but he doesn’t have to be. Watching him learn to treat people decently and overcome his many faults is a warm experience, and watching him struggle to allow his neighbour (played by Greg Kinnear) and favourite waitress (Helen Hunt) into his life is equal parts funny and awkward. This movie gives hope that all of us can get better. In the end, we’re more than our faults. 

 

The Birdcage

Respect other people, even if you don’t understand them, because we’re all just people. That’s the message we get out of The Birdcage, which sees a flamboyant gay couple played by Nathan Lane and Robin Williams pretend to be straight for their son, who is engaged to the daughter of an ultraconservative senator played by Gene Hackman. Wacky hijinks, improbable schemes, mistaken identities, and other elements of farce cause the whole thing to descend into chaos, but at the heart of this film is a tender and loving message. The Birdcage also features Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria, and Christine Baranski, and they’re all pretty great too. 

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