Best Movies to Watch While Sick

The Arts Desk gives its film recommendations for the next time you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Guru Ramanathan, Alex Cullina, Claire Fishman, Arts Desk

When you’re feeling sick, there are a couple things you can do to take care of yourself: rest up, take some vitamins or watch a good movie. Films can conjure up feelings of wonder, excitement and joy, which can counter the endless headaches and exhaustion we experience when sick. Luckily, the Arts Desk is here to help you decide what movies to watch the next time you fall ill.

“How to Train Your Dragon”

There are so many animated films to enjoy while bedridden. But “How to Train Your Dragon” is an especially worthy watch because of how entertaining and emotional of a movie experience it provides, particularly for one that does not carry the Disney or Studio Ghibli label. The animated picture is a wonderful exploration of the relationship between a father and son, the friendship between a pet and owner and the struggle of an outcast finding his identity in his community. The weighty themes are balanced by the charming rapport between Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless, as well as Hiccup’s friendship with the village blacksmith, Gobber (Craig Ferguson). The film also has one of cinema’s greatest movie scores, composed by John Powell — the music alone will instill you with so much happiness. “How to Train Your Dragon” is endlessly rewatchable, has a lot of heart and offers a change of pace from the Disney animation style you’re probably used to. -Guru

“Mamma Mia!”


When I’m under the weather and feeling out of it, I like to watch something simple and familiar — the movie equivalent of sipping chicken noodle soup. For me, one of those classic comfort food movies is the iconic jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” Even if the vocal stylings of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan aren’t exactly anything to write home about, the fluffy, light-as-air plot and delightfully stagey Greek island setting always bring a smile to my face. And that’s not to mention the pure sonic joy of Swedish supergroup ABBA’s greatest hits, from “Dancing Queen” and “SOS” to “Super Trouper” and the iconic, eponymous “Mamma Mia.” What more can I say than “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” -Alex

“When Harry Met Sally”

When you’re home sick and nobody’s around to see you cry and look ugly, “When Harry Met Sally” will always be there for you. Undoubtedly the best rom-com ever made, the movie follows the ten-year friendship between Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) through a series of meet-cutes at iconic New York locations. If you’ve ever heard about the orgasm scene in Katz Deli, this is where it’s from. That being said, “When Harry Met Sally” isn’t all fun and games. For every laugh, there are plenty of tears to follow, and if crying’s not really your thing, it’s totally fine because you’re sick in bed and no one will ever find out. Plus it’s got a fantastic jazz soundtrack by Harry Connick, Jr. So whether you’ve been pretending to have seen “When Harry Met Sally” for years or are just sick — get it? — of not being in on all the references, watch the movie that set the record straight: love does not happen at first sight. Or does it? -Claire

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