As news of rising Covid-19 cases around Southeast Asia dominate the headlines and countries go back into some version of a lockdown, it’s never been a better time to reach for some good ol’ comfort. 

Sink back into your comfy couch while dressed in your softest jammies and grab a bowl of your favourite soul-filling food as you veg out to these comfort films on Netflix. Much like your favourite slice of pizza or a hot bowl of chicken soup, these are feel-good films guaranteed to spark joy and leave you feeling warm and sated. Repeated viewing is advised. 

Relive awkwardly sweet teenagehood: To All The Boys I Loved Before 

Image via New on Netflix

While the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is a thoroughly fulfilling watch, there’s nothing like the first movie to take you back to the awkward yesteryears of teenagehood. Lara Jean Song Covey is an impressive and entirely relatable heroine. A chronic daydreamer who is self-possessed while battling inner anxiety, she is forced outside her comfort zone when love letters she writes end up in the hands of her former crushes. The first movie captures the rollercoaster of falling in love for the first time. Stay on for the second and third films to watch Lara Jean’s continual blooming as she grows into her very own person. 

Other films like it: Easy A, The Edge of Seventeen, Angus Thongs & Perfect Snogging

 

Be charmed by romantic comedies: Set It Up

Image: Vanity Fair

The ingredients of making a rom-com are pretty standard. Have two attractive leads, a sassy best friend, a meet-cute, improbable hijinks, and a happy ending. This formula is what makes rom-coms such comfort films, even if they tend to breed lazy and unimaginative results.

When the female lead has agency and a life goal not confined to finding a romantic partner, such as Kirsten Steven’s overworked but ambitious assistant in Set It Up, that’s when a rom-com truly shines. We’re allowed to see women be multifaceted characters, and that’s a thing of true beauty. 

 

Other films like it: Finding Sarah Marshall, Always Be My Maybe, What Men Want

Watch pulse-racing action comedy: Polis Evo

Image: Kakimuvee

There’s something incredibly satisfying about a multi-genre film that hits its intended mark perfectly. Malaysian buddy cop action comedy film, Polis Evo, is a prime example of that film. Using the classic trope of two conflicting personalities forced to work together, it successfully creates belly-splitting laughs and serves up well-choreographed action sequences. The extra layer of the contrasting city and village mouse outlook makes it highly relatable for any Southeast Asian country.

Other films like it: Kung Fu Hustle, Spy, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

Sing along to movie musicals: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

 

Image: Zeenews

Some films make you want to burst out in song, the more off-key, the better. While musicals and documentaries about musicians may seem like the go-to, here’s a case for the films with iconic songs that have made pop-culture history. These films might be a biopic about your favourite band, or a compilation of hit songs from an otherwise average film. But once you hear the opening notes, such as the percussions of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, you can’t help but answer the irresistible call with a rewatch. The ever charismatic Shah Rukh Khan and tale of unrequited love welcomes you. 

Other films like it: Rocket Man, Mamma Mia!, Pitch Perfect 2

 

Embrace child-like fantasy: My Neighbour Totoro

Image: Roger Ebert

To view the world again with child-like wonder is an everyday act of mindfulness and being present. Thankfully, if you need a bit of help, Hayao Miyazaki’s films exist. The Japanese King of Animation has crafted a career of wholesomeness with his emphasis on strong female leads and moral complexity. Frankly, any Studio Ghibli film would make a good watch, but My Neighbour Totoro gets a leg up for heartwarming scenes of a young Mei discovering the countryside while her father deals with her ill mother and lounging on the cuddly oversized Totoro. 

Other films like it: How To Train Your Dragon, Anastasia, Matilda