With the 83rd Academy Awards just a few weeks away (got your Oscar pools lined up yet?), I thought I’d warm things up a bit on this Saturday morning with some happy movie memories. Keep in mind these are seven of the happiest movie scenes for me—if you’ve got some to add, please do!
1. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) Just try not to smile as you watch Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) frolick in the street in his swanky tap shoes and an umbrella after walking his new love Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) home. He’s so happy, you can’t help but appreciate his joy, right down to the end of the scene when he hands the umbrella over to a stranger and chooses to walk home in the rain.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Didn’t this scene just tempt you at the time to jump on a parade float and karaoke your little heart out? Almost enough to make you want to form a Michael Jackson-themed flash mob of your own.
3. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Between tears, you can truly appreciate the joy that George Bailey (James Stewart) has—the debt is taken care of, his brother is home, he’s with his family–and he realizes that everything is going to be okay and he’s actually got the life he wants. Sniff!
4. Big Fish (2003) I debated this one—was it sad because we know it’s the end of his father’s life? I decided that it was ultimately a happy scene—we see all of Ed Bloom’s (Albert Finney) unique friends waiting for him and watching him off as well as his son (Billy Crudup) reconciling with his dad’s storytelling ways. You’ll be smiling through your tears.
5. Amelie (2001) In a movie that’s based on the lovely Amelie (Audrey Tautou) doing things to make others happy, this scene is sharp and puts a smile on your face. Not only does Amelie help a blind man across the street, but she also describes to him in deep detail everything that’s going on in the street as they talk together to the metro, and then just as quickly, leaves him.
6. The Wizard of Oz (1939) I put this one in because whenever I come across this movie, this end scene reminds me of being a a kid and how happy I felt when we realized that Dorothy (Judy Garland) had dreamt the entire adventure and in fact was home with Auntie Em.
7. The King’s Speech (2010) How could I end this list without putting in a scene from a 2010-nominated film? My personal happy moment goes to when King George VI (Colin Firth) actually executes his wartime speech. You’ll hold your breath during the speech, and then just about jump out of your seat with joy when he’s finished it.