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12 classic British ‘feel-good’ films

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

by Stephen Andrews (単語・表現リスト by Shigeri Nishide)

In these uncertain times, comfort viewing has become more essential than ever before. One great way to escape from reality is to sprawl on your sofa with a glass of wine and a great film (a favourite occupation of me and Shigeri). British cinema has produced some fantastic classics that you really have to see.

From ‘romcoms’ (romantic comedies) to humorous animated characters, and not forgetting James Bond, here are some all-time favourite British movies guaranteed to give you that ‘feel-good’ factor.

Notting Hill

Hugh Grant stars as a bookshop owner from London's idyllic Notting Hill neighbourhood, who falls in love with Anna Scott, an A-list actress played by real-life A-lister, Julia Roberts. A light-hearted story, perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Billy Elliot

This poignant film tells the story of a young boy growing up in a conservative town in northeastern England who trains to become a ballet dancer against the wishes of his coal miner father. If you want to feel inspired, this is a great film to watch.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

The original film is one of the best romantic comedies ever made. Renee Zellweger's performance as the lovelorn but plucky Bridget is excellent, and she's supported by the ultimate British heartthrob duo: Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

The Railway Children

The story is a children's classic. A family are thrown into poverty and forced to move to the country when their father is accused of treason. In-between playing on the railway lines and some exciting adventures, they become accustomed to their new life.

Gregory’s Girl

An interesting film to watch because it’s set in Scotland. So you may have to concentrate a little bit more to understand the dialogue! But this brilliantly observed and very funny story of teenage love is well worth the effort.


Based on the classic series of children’s books by Michael Bond, 'Paddington' is one of the all-time great British characters, who happens to be a bear! Charming and funny, there’s no better movie for escaping the cares of the world.

The Full Monty

Set in the 1970s in the decaying steel mill town of Sheffield in Northern England. Friends Gaz and Dave, unemployed after the closure of most of the town's steel mills, steal scrap metal to supplement their meagre income. Then they have a great idea to make more money – to become a Chippendales-style dance troupe, stripping off their clothes in clubs. It sounds unlikely, but it’s very, very funny!

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Shaun the Sheep is one of Britain’s most-loved animated animals. He’s a mischievous sheep who lives on a farm called Mossy Bottom. Bored with the routine of life on the farm, he concocts a plan to have a day off, and all sorts of adventures follow. Unmissable for kids, or adults who are big kids!

Mr. Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie

The eccentric and very English Mr Bean, a mature man, but with the mind of a child. His hilarious adventures arise from the fact that he find coping with the world very difficult. As a result, whenever he goes out, things go disastrously wrong.

In the film, Mr Bean is a well-meaning yet clumsy and destructive security guard working at the National Gallery in London. Interestingly, Mr Bean hardly ever speaks and his jokes tend to be very visual, so the humour of the film is very easy to understand.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Full of human warmth and typically ironic English middle-class humour, ‘Four Weddings…’ stands out as one of the most enjoyable of British romantic comedies. And what’s more, it’s the only film in this list to open with the word ‘f**k!’

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

The members of the Monty Python team are known for their typically English, but very surreal, brand of humour. In this hilarious film, they make fun of the legendary story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and such unlikely things as the English rivalry with France.

James Bond: Goldfinger

For many people, 'Goldfinger' is still the quintessential James Bond experience and features most people’s favourite Bond, Sean Connery. With Sean, girls, spying, exotic locations, a pop-star theme tune, and an Aston Martin with ejector seat, it has everything you expect from a classic James Bond movie! And for a Bond film with a Japanese connection, watch 'You Only Live Twice'. In the film, Bond is dispatched to a remote Japanese island after American and Soviet crewed spacecraft disappear mysteriously in orbit.

Hopefully, you can find most of these films on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or DVD. So go and grab that glass of wine, snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy some self-indulgent binge viewing!



sprawl: リラックスして手足を伸ばして座ったり、横になったりする

lovelorn:  片思いで悲しい

plucky:  勇気があり、絶対やるぞ!という感じ。大胆

heartthrob: 女性に人気のある有名人

meagre:  少なすぎる(お金や食料などについて言う時に使う)

Chippendales: 男性ストリッパー(特に筋肉ムキムキ系)

Concoct:  賢い計画、言い訳などを作り出す(人を騙したりするため)

Quintessential: 典型的な(being a perfect example)





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