17 Light & Uplifting Feel-Good British Movies You Can Stream Right Now (& 1 You Can’t)

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One of the top requests we've been getting lately is for something light, uplifting, fun, or distracting to watch. Though we have some great lists of British television comedies (see below), I realised we didn't have a great list for those in search of a happy, fun, or uplifting British movie – so that's exactly what we've put together here. 

If you need those lists of television comedies, check them out here:

Finding Your Feet

Finding Your Feet

When a woman discovers her husband of 35 years is having an affair with her closest friend, she heads to London to stay with her estranged older sister. Her new lifestyle is completely different from everything she knows, but it's just what she needs to get back into life.

Imelda Staunton, Joanna Lumley, Timothy Spall, David Hayman, and Celia Imrie are among the stars of this ensemble comedy.

Watch it: Amazon

 

This Beautiful Fantastic

 

Facing eviction over the state of her long-neglected garden, a reclusive young aspiring children's book writer forms an unlikely friendship with the crotchety old widower next door. Jessica Brown Findlay and Tom Wilkinson star. Andrew Scott (aka the hot priest from Fleabag) also appears.

Watch it: Amazon | Tubi

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

After being displaced from his native India, Hassan Kadam settles in a small French village and decides to open an Indian restaurant. Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) runs a much-loved restaurant just down the street, and has strong objections. Though their friendship doesn't get off to a promising start, she eventually recognises his talents and takes him under her wing.

Watch it: Amazon | Netflix

 

The Bookshop

The Bookshop

In the seaside town of Hardborough, England, a young widow set up a bookshop. Unfortunately, the locals are not ready for her and her shop. Set in 1959, it's a lovely story of a young woman who fights for her place at the table – and her love of sharing knowledge.

Watch it: Amazon | Hulu | Kanopy (via your library) **Thanks, Clara A.!

 

Bernard & Doris

Bernard and Doris

 

This film tells a semi-fictionalised account of the relationship between socialite Doris Duke and the butler she would leave in control of her massive fortune. American Susan Sarandon and Brit Ralph Fiennes star.

Watch it: Amazon

 

Waking Ned (Waking Ned Devine in North America)

Waking Ned (Devine)

Though more than 20 years old now, there's a light and timeless quality to this Irish classic. Though not truly British in the sense that it's from Great Britain, it IS from the British Isles. The film was set in Ireland and filmed on the Isle of Man (a crown dependency located between Ireland and Great Britain). 

The story revolves around a winning lottery ticket in a tiny Irish village. When it's discovered that the ticket belonged to a now-deceased villager, some of the local residents hatch a plan to collect on his ticket.

Watch it: Amazon

 

Enchanted April

Enchanted April

Much in need of a break from their lives, a group of four women in 1920s England trade the rainy British skies for a holiday in Italy. They have little in common, and only become acquainted when they come together to share expenses on the rental of a small medieval castle. 

The film is based on Elizabeth von Arnim's 1922 novel, The Enchanted April. Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker, and Joan Plowright star, and Jim Broadbent, Alfred Molina, and Michael Kitchen also put in appearances.

Watch it: Amazon

 

84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road

More than thirty years old now, this is another one of those classics that stands the test of time. Anne Bancroft stars as a New York writer who begins a long-running relationship by letter with a British bookseller (played by Anthony Hopkins). Dame Judi Dench also features heavily in this one.

Watch it: Amazon | Pluto (thanks, Clara A.!)

 

Edie

Edie

Sheila Hancock stars as Edie, and older woman who embarks on a trip to the Scottish Highlands to fulfill her dream of climbing Mount Suilven. Actress Sheila Hancock (and wife to John Thaw, mother to Abigail Thaw) stars.

Watch it: Amazon

 

Local Hero

Local Hero

As long as we're talking about Scotland, we can't forget Local Hero. This delightful early 80s film is 50% comedy, 50% drama, and 100% love letter to Scotland. It's about an American oil company rep who's sent to the village of Ferness to purchase the town and its surrounding property.

Keep an eye out for a young Peter Capaldi playing the role of Danny Oldsen.

Watch it: Amazon

 

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

 

Set in 1917, this film stars Ian McNeice (Doc Martin) and Hugh Grant as English cartographers who arrive in a Welsh village to measure their “mountain” – only to be told it's actually a hill. The villagers aren't having it, and they come up with a plan to turn their hill back into a mountain.

The film is based on a story writer Christopher Monger once her from his grandfather about the real life village of Taff's Well. 

Watch it: Amazon

 

Undertaking Betty

Undertaking Betty

Brenda Blethyn and Christopher Walken star in this quirky dark comedy about a woman who decides the best way to get out of a bad marriage is to fake her own death.

Watch it: Amazon

 

Saving Grace

This 2000 film starring Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson follows a middle-aged woman who turns to growing cannabis after her husband dies and leaves her in debt. Doc Martin fans may feel there's something familiar about this one – and that's because Port Isaac is one of the filming locations (along with Boscastle and London). 

And speaking of Doc Martin, keep an eye out for a young Martin Clunes playing Dr. Bamford.

Watch it: Amazon

 

Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls

This delightful 2003 British comedy is one of those films you can watch over and over. With an ensemble cast featuring women like Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Dame Penelope Wilton, and Geraldine James, it tells the story of a group of middle-aged Yorkshire women who created and sold a nude calendar to raise money for leukaemia research.  Philip Glenister and Ciarán Hinds also appear.

Watch it: Amazon | Hulu

 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

When some budget-minded British pensioners choose an Indian retirement home, they get more than a few surprises – along with a new lease on life. The all-star cast features favourites like Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Penelope Wilton, Liza Tarbuck (Watching), Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy. 

Watch it: Amazon

 

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This follow-up to the original is just as fun, revisiting the pensioners who are now happily living in India when Muriel Donnelly (Dame Maggie Smith) and Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) aspire to open a companion hotel to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

Watch it: Amazon

 

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Set in London just before WWII, this film follows a struggling middle-aged vicar's daughter as she seizes an opportunity meant for someone else and ends up completely transforming her life in a day. Though the two lead actresses are American, dedicated British TV and film fans will recognise loads of British and Irish talent – including Stephanie Cole and Ciarán Hinds.

Watch it: Amazon

 

One Chance

James Corden stars in One Chance

James Corden stars in this film that tells the story of a shy, bullied shop clerk who goes on to great fame after a performance on Britain's Got Talent. Julie Walters and Mackenzie Crook also appear.

Watch it: Tubi

 

Sunshine on Leith

Gorgeous Edinburgh scenery, songs by the Proclaimers, and heartwarming storylines – what more could you ask for in a movie? Strangely, this one's not actually streaming ANYWHERE in the US. You can, however, get it on a UK-encoded DVD (viewable with a region-free DVD player and on some computer DVD drives). We felt it was totally worth the purchase and wait, but it depends on how much you enjoy Edinburgh and The Proclaimers.

Please note: People from outside the UK *can* places orders with Amazon UK, and it's occasionally cheaper. They give you the option to convert to USD or other currencies at checkout, and that allows you to avoid foreign currency transaction fees on many cards.

Watch it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | eBay

 

What's Your Favourite Uplifting British Movie? 

Have we missed some good ones? Share your favourites in the comments!

 

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Feel-good British Movies You Can Stream

3 Comments

  1. Truly Madly Deeply. Alan Rickman plays a cellist who dies suddenly and returns as a ghost…My favorite movie of his, a real tear jerker but to hear him sing (with Juliet Stevenson his girlfriend), the Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore absolutely wonderful what a voice

  2. I have seen most of these movies but I have been waiting for Sunshine on Leith to be streamed in the US( are you listening AcornTV and Britbox?) it would be difficult for me to pick a favourite from this list, but I will watch anything the awesome Brenda Blethyn is in.

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