12 Feel-Good Movies on Hulu to Watch This Summer
The past few months have been challenging to say the least, and you’d be forgiven if you need a break from the cycle of heavy news and uncertainty. Since it’s now summer (can you believe it?), it’s the perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself and stream some movies that simply feel good to watch. To start, we put together this list of just plain nice movies to watch this summer—and all of them are available to stream on Hulu. If you don’t already have Hulu, you’re in luck, because Hulu offers the first month free to new customers. Read on, and if you want more suggestions check out our roundup of the funniest movies on Hulu right now.
Hearts Beat Loud (2018)
Starring Nick Offerman of “Parks & Recreation” fame, “Hearts Beat Loud” follows single dad and record store owner Frank as he deals with two major life changes at once—his daughter Sam is about to leave for college, and he’s being forced to close his store. Both Frank and Sam have a shared passion for music, and their weekly jam sessions quickly turn into something more serious when one of their songs goes viral. Father-daughter duets and heart-warming moments ensue.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
The classic 1998 rom-com stars Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg as two 40-something friends who set off to Jamaica in need of a much-deserved break. While there, Stella (Angela Bassett) has a fling with Winston (played by Taye Diggs), a younger man, and ends up developing real feelings for him. Will Stella and Winston make it work despite their age difference and physical distance? Pour some wine and find out. (Note: This movie is available with the HBO Max subscription add-on.)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
In these darks times, we need ABBA. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is a fitting sequel to the 2008 film starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, and picks up with Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) renovating a Greek taverna and reminiscing with her mom’s old friends and lovers about the summer Sophie was conceived. It splits between the present day and 1979, with Lily James playing a young Donna. There’s singing, dancing, beachy scenery, and Cher—what more could you ask for? (Note: This movie is available with the HBO Max subscription add-on.)
The plot of this movie revolves around a dating coach named Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (played by Will Smith), who is enlisted to help Albert (Kevin James) win over the beautiful Allegra (Amber Valletta). Simultaneously, Hitch finds himself falling for Sara (Eva Mendes), a tabloid reporter who seems to be immune to Hitch’s charms. Both relationships are in jeopardy when Sara finds out the truth about Hitch’s services. Light and funny, this is one of those rom coms that never seems to get old.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Is there any movie that screams summer more than “Dirty Dancing“? The movie stars Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze as Baby and Johnny, two star-crossed lovers who meet at a resort in the Catskills in the ’60s. Baby is staying at the resort with her family for the summer, while Johnny is one of the resort’s dance instructors. When Baby becomes Johnny’s dance partner, sparks fly—but will class differences keep them apart? Try to watch the final dance scene and not feel happy.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, “Crazy Rich Asians” stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding as Rachel and Nick, a New York couple who travel to Singapore for a wedding. This is also the first time Rachel meets Nick’s family, and she quickly finds out that not only are they extremely wealthy, but that Nick himself is considered one of Singapore’s most eligible bachelors. Can Rachel win over Nick’s family? Hint: The film adaptation of “China Rich Girlfriend”, the book’s sequel, is allegedly in the works. (Note: This movie is available with the HBO Max subscription add-on.)
Overachievers Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) have made it to the end of high school without partying or dating, as they’ve been laser-focused on academics. When they realize that their classmates got into prestigious universities without putting in all the intense work that they did, the two best friends decide they need to make up for lost time—starting with a huge graduation party thrown by one of their peers. “Booksmart” is a fun ride that’s quickly become a modern classic.
What Men Want (2019)
In “What Men Want“, Taraji P. Henson plays Ali, a sports agent who’s just been passed over for a big promotion. After drinking a concoction given to her by a psychic at her friend’s bachelorette party, Ali wakes up with the ability to read the minds of men. Thanks to her newfound gift, Ali is able to turn the tables on her male colleagues, but it also gets her in trouble with her friends and Will (Aldis Hodge), a new love interest. With a cast that also includes Tracy Morgan and Phoebe Robinson, “What Men Want” is a genuinely fun rom com.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
An early aughts classic, “Bend It Like Beckham” centers on Jess (Parminder Nagra), whose strict Indian parents have banned her from playing organized soccer. One day, Jules (Keira Knightley) sees Jess playing and is impressed enough to ask her to play for the semi-pro team she’s a part of. Jess agrees, and starts playing secretly so her parents don’t find out. If feel-good is what you’re after, you can’t do much better than this—plus, it’s fun to watch Keira Knightley in a role from before she became famous.
Support the Girls (2018)
Lisa (Regina Hall) is the manager of Double Whammies, a sports bar with scantily-clad waitresses. Protective and nurturing toward her staff, Lisa has endless optimism despite an incompetent boss, struggling coworkers, relationship troubles, and a competitor that threatens to take the bar’s business. “Support the Girls” isn’t obviously heartwarming, but the last 20 minutes with Lisa, Maci (Haley Lu Richardson), and Danyelle (Shayna McHayle) are a true testament to the power of female friendship.
Starring frequent co-stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, “Adventureland” follows James (Jesse Eisenberg) during the summer of 1987 as he embarks on a summer job at a theme park in Western Pennsylvania (which is based on Kennywood, for anyone familiar with the Pittsburgh area!). His boring summer starts to look up when he meets Em, a coworker who saves him one night from a cheating customer. Nostalgic summer love! (Note: This movie is available with the STARZ subscription add-on.)
Skate Kitchen (2018)
Based on a real group of young female skaters in New York, “Skate Kitchen” follows Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), a Long Island teenager who becomes interested in a collective of female skaters in the city. She’s quickly welcomed by the group despite her conservative mother’s disapproval, and develops close bonds with her new friends. All the skaters are played by the actual members of Skate Kitchen, and none of them had prior acting experience before, resulting in a truly genuine movie that celebrates teenage female friendship in all its glory.