With Zach Braff in the director’s chair, ‘A Good Person,’ follows Allison, a brilliant young woman who faces a terrible car accident resulting in the death of her future sister-in-law. As she was the one driving the vehicle, she is overcome with sorrow and guilt, which is multiplied by her to-be father-in-law, Daniel (Morgan Freeman), who blames Allison for the loss of his daughter. When feeling completely lost and helpless in her misery, Allison seeks the assistance of a help group and finds Daniel there. He stops her from leaving because of him, and by leaning on each other, they slowly gather their courage and find the strength to face their lives again.
The film can serve as an open letter to those struggling to make sense of their lives and those coping with loss. Its beauty lies in taking us to the edge of despair and shining a ray of hope to measured salvation. The heartfelt drama deals with loss, family bonds, and healing, possibly leaving you touched and seeking further solace in similar films. Here are 8 movies like A Good Person you must see.
8. The Starling (2021)
‘The Starling’ follows Lilly and Jack, a couple struggling with the aftermath of tragedy after the loss of their baby. Lilly grapples with grief, while Jack seeks solace in a mental health facility. Lilly encounters an aggressive starling in her garden, which becomes a metaphor for her emotional turmoil, all the while seeking help from a therapist turned veterinarian.
Much like ‘A Good Person,’ the film delicately navigates the profound grief of the loss of a child, adding the healing power of empathy and humor as a coping mechanism. Director Theodore Melfi takes us through unimaginable sorrow and gradually follows up with heartfelt and humorous moments, showcasing the transformative journey of finding hope and healing amidst life’s profound challenges.
7. Wish I Was Here (2014)
Prior to ‘A Good Person,’ Zach Braff directed, ‘Wish I Was Here.’ The 2014 comedy-drama, follows struggling actor Aidan Bloom, confronting familial challenges, while being uncertain of his own goals in life. Faced with financial struggles, poor educational institutions, and his father’s illness, Aidan starts to homeschool his children, leading to a journey of self-discovery for him and his family. Themes of family relationships, uncertainty, and hope intertwine as Aidan navigates his identity crisis while trying to instill values in his kids.
Amidst the turmoil, the film highlights the healing power of family bonds and the pursuit of dreams. It delicately explores the fragility of life, the resilience found in unity, and the redemptive nature of embracing uncertainties while seeking solace and hope within familial connections. Besides having a similar directorial mindset behind it, ‘Wish I Was Here’ takes on a deep exploration of life and its offerings, from the purview of one facing their darkest hour, similar to ‘A Good Person.’
6. Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
‘Sunshine Cleaning,’ by director Christine Jeffs, is a dramedy following sisters Rose and Norah, who start a crime-scene cleanup business. Amidst grappling with life’s uncertainties and personal struggles, they confront their past traumas and loss. Similar to ‘A Good Person,’ the film weaves themes of contemplation and coping with the aftermath of tragedy, albeit in a lighter manner.
As they navigate their unconventional business, the sisters confront their emotional wounds, seeking closure and meaning amidst chaos. It subtly explores the complexities of life’s unpredictability, resilience in the face of adversity, and the transformative journey toward acceptance and healing, showcasing the human ability to find purpose and solace in unexpected places amidst profound loss.
5. What Dreams May Come (1998)
Helmed by director Vincent Ward, ‘What Dreams May Come’ is a fantastical drama, that follows Chris Nielsen, who dies in a car accident and navigates the afterlife to reunite with his beloved wife, Annie, who tragically committed suicide after his passing. The film intricately explores life’s uncertainties, the concept of the afterlife, and the search for peace and closure. Chris journeys through vibrant landscapes, navigating the realms of heaven and hell, driven by an unwavering love for Annie.
It portrays the human quest for understanding, healing, and the profound desire for closure, ultimately emphasizing the transformative power of love, resilience, and the pursuit of inner peace amidst life’s greatest sorrows. Fans of ‘A Good Person’ will experience an emotional rollercoaster in this film, as it goes beyond the barrier of death to further explore suffering and the bond of familial love.
4. The Bucket List (2007)
‘The Bucket List,’ a comedy-drama by director Rob Reiner, follows two terminally ill men, Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) and Carter Chambers(Morgan Freeman), who form an unlikely friendship in a hospital. Realizing they have limited time left, they compile a ‘Bucket list’ of things to do before they die. The film delves into life’s uncertainties, aspirations, and the pursuit of happiness amidst mortality. As they embark on adventures together, they discover the importance of seizing the moment and cherishing life’s experiences. Much like Zach Braff’s films, ‘The Bucket List’ poignantly explores the transformative power of hope, emphasizing the significance of fulfilling dreams and finding meaning in life’s fleeting moments despite inevitable uncertainties.
3. Steel Magnolias (1989)
Herbert Ross directed a film about life as a dichotomy of laughter and loss, held up by obstinate friends sitting with you at the end of the day. ‘Steel Magnolias,’ unfolds in a Louisiana beauty salon, highlighting the lives of six Southern women who navigate joy, sorrow, and the complexities of life. Centered on friendships and support, the film intricately weaves themes of coping with loss, resilience, and being there for one another.
Through laughter and tears, these women confront grief when one of their own faces a tragedy. The movie, much like ‘A Good Person,’ delicately explores the enduring bonds of even unlikely friendships, showcasing how they offer solace, strength, and a sense of community in times of hardship, portraying the resilience of the human spirit amidst life’s heartaches.
2. We Bought a Zoo (2011)
‘We Bought a Zoo,’ directed by Cameron Crowe, follows widower Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon), who purchases a rundown zoo to start anew with his children after the loss of his wife. Amidst grief, the family endeavors to renovate the zoo, finding solace in the shared mission of restoration. The film intricately explores themes of coping with loss by immersing oneself in meaningful work and being there for each other. Through the challenges of running the zoo, it highlights the healing power of dedication, the importance of familial support, and the transformative journey towards finding purpose and renewal amidst life’s adversities.
1. An Unfinished Life (2005)
Upon watching ‘A Good Person,’ you may feel an intense sense of Déjà vu if you have seen director Lasse Hallström’s, ‘An Unfinished Life.’ Jean (Jennifer Lopez) is blamed for the death of her husband in a car accident by her father-in-law, Einar. Staying apart for years, she is forced to seek shelter on his ranch for fear of her daughter’s safety, a daughter Einar did not know existed. He lives with his friend Mitch (Morgan Freeman) and helps in his recovery from a bear attack.
As Mitch heals from his physical wounds, he offers wise advice to Einar in making amends with his remaining kin and healing emotionally. The estranged family begins to grow closer as they work on the ranch and partake in antics, with Jean and her daughter enjoying newfound freedom and safety under Einar’s wing.
Read More: Is A Good Person Based on a True Story?