In Good Hands: 10 Similar Feel-Good Movies You’ll Like

Directed by Ketche, ‘In Good Hands’ is a Turkish romantic comedy-drama that revolves around a single mother, Melisa, who discovers she only has a few months to live. In order to ensure her six-year-old son, Can, lives a secure and loving life, Melisa embarks on a mission to find a suitable father figure for him. When her eyes begin to follow Firat, a rich and spoiled womanizer, everywhere she goes, Melisa takes it as a sign from the universe and decides to give him a chance. As the two put their not-so-cute meets behind them and hit it off, Melisa discovers several urges rising in her heart for Firat, raising the stakes.

Originally known as ‘Sen Yasamaya Bak,’ the Netflix original heads into some broad directions, showcasing a range of heartfelt and tear-jerking sequences. Undoubtedly, the biggest strength of the 2022 film lies in the mother-son relationship, making it a perfect family watch. We’ve thoughtfully curated a list of movies like ‘In Good Hands’ for viewers looking to immerse themselves in the warmth of more relatable feel-good dramedies.

10. Jerry Maguire (1996)

One of the most beloved Tom Cruise movies, ‘Jerry Maguire’ is among the greatest to combine a rom-com story with a sports-drama backdrop. Known for its numerous quotable lines, the Cameron Crowe directorial stars Cruise as the eponymous sports agent — loosely written after renowned sports agent and philanthropist Leigh Steinberg — who, in a sudden moment of awakening, separates himself from the profit-first policies of his agency, detailing his whole career. Joining Jerry in his fresh, and somewhat doubtful, new agency is his assistant and a single mother, Renée Zellweger’s Dorothy Boyd, and in an Academy Award-winning performance, Cuba Gooding Jr. as NFL star in the making, Rod Tidwell.

Amidst a deeply motivating dramedy story, Jerry begins to evolve from a genius agent to a complete man, understanding the significance of love, familial values, and commitment. In a very similar manner to ‘In Good Hands,’ Jerry’s interactions with Dorothy’s son Frank, though more comic at first, fill the story with emotional moments, all of which comprise subtle life lessons to keep the plot moving forward. This innocence of their potential to-be-adopted sons melts the men’s hearts that had been occupied with pragmatic drama and self-indulgence.

9. Parenthood (1989)

Ron Howard’s underrated 80’s family comedy, starring an ensemble cast led by Steve Martin, is said to be based on the actual parenting experiences of Howard and his entire writing team. The plot follows the Buckman family, led by Gil Buckman (Martin), who struggles to balance his career as a salesman and raising his three children. Gil’s wife, Karen (Mary Steenburgen), is pregnant and dealing with her own set of responsibilities. Additionally, Gil’s siblings Helen, Susan, and Frank, all are struggling in life for one reason or another. Joaquin Phoenix and Keanu Reeves also appear in supporting roles.

Despite its happy-go-lucky take on life, Howard’s film is filled with realistic character development and emotional depth. It signifies the message of families standing together by showing them messing up together. Much like Ketche’s movie, ‘Parenthood’ showcases some bright and dark aspects of parenting and the pressure that arrives with it. As with Firat, it also proves that personal growth is not restricted to certain ages and human beings never stop evolving. The two films also produce some hilarious situations that arise from individual differences.

8. Beginners (2011)

Director Mike Mills’ comedy is inspired by his own experiences when his father came out as gay at the age of 75. Ewan McGregor stars as Oliver, a graphic designer whose father, Hal, comes out after his wife’s death. The late-in-life revelation impacts the son as he goes through accepting Hal’s choice and a terminal illness. Mills’ film highlights the contrast between Hal’s ambitiously driven elder, who embraces his true self, and Oliver’s struggle to connect emotionally in his own relationships.

The narrative utilizes flashbacks that present the relationship between the father and son over the years. This film shares thematic similarities with ‘In Good Hands,’ where characters also confront life’s sudden surprises. Blending humor and melancholy, the films spend their large runtimes inspiring characters to treasure their lives with loved ones. They also guide those characters to accept reality and mentally prepare themselves for the inevitable separation.

7. Knocked Up (2007)

Judd Apatow’s ‘Knocked Up‘ is a comedic take on unexpected pregnancy and the challenges of adulthood in classic 2000s fashion. The flick follows Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), a slacker who impregnates Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl), a career-driven woman, during a one-night stand. As Alison learns to deal with the repercussions of her unplanned pregnancy, she and Ben must handle the responsibilities together, adjusting their differing lifestyles. Like Melisa and Firat in ‘In Good Hands,’ Ben and Alison also begin a slow-burn, realistic romance, which roots from the common goal: the wellbeing of their kid. Despite its comedic tone, ‘Knocked Up’ also manages to touch on deeper emotional truths, highlighting the universal understanding of love, responsibility, and adulthood.

6. I Am Sam (2001)

I Am Sam‘ is a drama from director Jessie Nelson, starring Sean Penn in the titular role of Sam Dawson, a man with an intellectual disability who works at Starbucks and is raising his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning). Though he is a loving and devoted father, Sam comes under scrutiny from social services when Lucy turns seven and starts surpassing his mental age. The story escalates into the courtroom for a custody battle where Sam must prove his capability as a father. The film features Michelle Pfeiffer as Rita Harrison, a high-powered lawyer who takes on Sam’s case, and throughout the battle, reevaluates her own priorities and relationship with her son.

From the heartfelt portrayal of the father-daughter relationship to the gut-wrenching struggles faced by individuals with disabilities and the societal prejudices they endure, the movie thrives in every moment. Similar to ‘In Good Hands,’ where Melisa, also a single mother with a terminal illness, seeks the best for her son and his future, ‘I Am Sam’ blurs the line between apparent and actual righteousness. Both films explore themes of parental love, proving the lengths a parent will go to protect their child, surpasses any physical barriers.

5. About a Boy (2002)

Adapted from Nick Hornby’s novel, ‘About a Boy,’ the Weitz brothers’ directorial revolves around the life of Hugh Grant’s Will Freeman, a carefree bachelor living off of the royalties of his father. Will is content with his self-satisfactory lifestyle until he encounters Fionna, a single mother struggling with depression. Will forms an unexpected friendship with Fionna’s son, Marcus, a socially awkward and sensitive twelve-year-old.

The comic side of this union is seen when Will uses Marcus to meet women. The two gradually become positive influences in each other’s lives. Like the bond between Firat and Can in ‘In Good Hands,’ Will and Marcus’ relationship creates several heartfelt moments, discovering the power of human connection. As the pairs find support in each other’s company, they learn valuable lessons about loneliness, empathy, and self-discovery.

4. The Descendants (2011)

Written and directed by Alexander Payne and based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the film takes place in Hawaiian landscapes and follows George Clooney’s Matt King. A lawyer dealing with the aftermath of his wife’s accident, which left her in a coma, Matt reconnects with his two daughters: rebellious teenager Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) and younger Scottie (Amara Miller). Complicating matters, Matt discovers his wife was having an affair and planned to leave him. As the chances of her survival diminish, Matt decides to find and confront her lover.

Like ‘In Good Hands,’ Payne’s film deals with the emotional distress following a loved one’s terminal condition and the struggles and responsibilities of keeping families connected. The films underscore the resilience of the human spirit and helping each other to overcome life’s unexpected challenges. The development of Matt’s relationship with his daughters, as the three together find a new path forward, also relates to Firat’s journey of becoming a responsible human being, with or without his lover.

3. This is Where I Leave You (2014)

Starring an ensemble cast led by comedy powerhouses Jason Beitman and Tina Fey, as well as Adam Driver and Jane Fonda, among others, ‘This is Where I Leave You’ is adapted from Jonathan Tropper’s novel of the same name. The Shawn Levy directorial follows the Altman family, who reunite after the death of their father. The central character, Judd Altman (Bateman), has his world shaken up after discovering his wife’s infidelity. His siblings—Wendy, Paul, and Phillip—each bring their own unresolved repressed issues, creating a chaotic atmosphere in the family.

Preventing their true feelings from exploding, the Altmans spend a week together, honoring their father’s last wish. ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ mirrors the themes of ‘In Good Hands’ in an interestingly reverse-engineered manner. While the movies deal with family, loss, and reconciliation, Levy’s film offers these insights after the father is already dead and the children are all grown up. The films also showcase characters making amends and putting their little conflicts behind them for the well-being of their families.

2. Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘Manchester by the Sea‘ is a nerve-wracking drama about grief and guilt. It follows Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), a withdrawn janitor in Boston who is unexpectedly tasked to become the legal guardian of his teenage nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), after the sudden demise of his brother, Joe. Having returned to his hometown after a long while, Lee takes a second look at his painful past and strained relationships with the townsfolk while also fighting an overwhelming guilt he carries for a tragic event that shattered his life.

The film’s portrayal of grief and how individuals cope with trauma resonates deeply with audiences. Just like ‘In Good Hands,’ ‘Manchester by the Sea’ presents grief and familial bonds. Moreover, both Lee and Firat live emotionally starved lives, failing to deal with their loneliness. The two get a second chance to live a complete and loving life when an unexpected person battling their own tragedies enters their lives.

1. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013)

‘Miracle in Cell No. 7, directed by Lee Hwan-kyung, is an emotionally charged Korean dramedy that tells the story of a mentally challenged man named Lee Yong-gu, who is wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death. The film follows his bond with his young daughter, Ye-seung, and his fellow inmates in Cell No. 7 of a prison. As Yong-gu faces the challenges of prison life, his cellmates help him to only focus on the positives. As the inmates become a family, the film oscillates between moments of laughter and tears in the confinement while Yong-gu fights for justice.

Like ‘In Good Hands,’ the dramedy explores the theme of familial bonds and the lengths to which a parent could go to protect their loved ones. The central relationship between Yong-gu and his daughter Ye-seung fights to its fullest for justice and survival, mirroring Melisa’s internal conflicts in choosing the perfect guardian for her son, no matter how difficult it gets to find them.

Read More: Is In Good Hands Based on a True Story?