Loved Perfect Days? Explore 8 Feel Good Movies Just Like It

Masterfully directed by Wim Wenders, ‘Perfect Days’ breezily follows the zen lifestyle of Hirayama, a middle-aged toilet cleaner in Tokyo city living in a hermit-like manner while enjoying all the little day-to-day things in his life. Hirayama follows a set routine, beginning his day by driving to work on quiet streets while listening to classic pop and rock on cassettes. He cleans diligently and enjoys a serene lunch while reading, something he likes to do a lot, as indicated by his small home being filled with books.

However, Hirayama’s story isn’t as evident as it initially appears to be. Through his interactions with locals and family members, a glimpse of a personal tragedy or a life-changing incident is revealed. The 2023 drama film is highlighted by the grounded yet magical feel given to scenes of mundane life, taken to new heights by a stellar performance by Koji Yakusho. Here are some other movies like ‘Perfect Days,’ that narrate heartwarming and uplifting experiences, focusing on the beauty of everyday life.

8. Begin Again (2013)

Directed by John Carney, ‘Begin Again’ is a heartfelt musical drama that revolves around the lives of Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a struggling record label executive, and Gretta (Keira Knightley), a talented songwriter who is reeling from a recent breakup. After a chance encounter at a bar, Dan sees potential in Gretta’s music and convinces her to collaborate on an album, embarking on a journey to revive both their careers.

As they step back into the music industry and form a deep bond through their creative partnership, Dan and Gretta find solace and redemption in their shared passion for music. Fans of ‘Perfect Days’ will appreciate the film’s soulful soundtrack, engaging performances by Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, and its uplifting message about following one’s dreams and finding beauty in life’s simple moments.

7. Shoplifters (2018)

Under the direction of Hirokazu Kore-eda, ‘Shoplifters,’ or ‘Manbiki kazoku,’ is a poignant drama that introduces us to the lives of a makeshift family living on the margins of society in Tokyo. The film follows Osamu Shibata and his wife Nobuyo, who supplement their income by shoplifting, and their children, including a young girl they rescue from an abusive home. Despite their unconventional circumstances, the family finds joy and warmth in their bond with each other.

As the authorities close in on their illegal activities, the family’s testimonials present a complex moral and social discourse. Through intimate character studies and subtle storytelling, ‘Shoplifters’ will appeal to fans of Wim Wenders’ work with themes of morality, belonging, and the essence of family. Both films treat us to deep emotional resonance, authentic performances, and a thought-provoking exploration of human relationships and societal norms.

6. Captain Fantastic (2016)

With Matt Ross at the helm, ‘Captain Fantastic’ follows Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen), a devoted father raising his six children off the grid in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Ben tutors his children with rigorous physical training, intellectual pursuits, and survival skills, sheltering them from the influence of modern society. However, when tragic events force the family to leave their secluded life and venture into the outside world, they must confront the challenges of assimilating into society while staying true to their unconventional beliefs and values.

As they begin on a journey of self-discovery and adaptation, the family’s bond is tested when Ben’s parents sue him for the custody of his children, and they must reconcile their ideals with the realities of the modern world. Those who liked ‘Perfect Days’ for its exploration of the fundamentals of life, will appreciate ‘Captain Fantastic’ for its heartfelt exploration of family dynamics and thought-provoking themes of individualism, parenting, and the pursuit of happiness.

5. Garden State (2004)

With Zach Braff in the director’s chair, ‘Garden State’ is a captivating film that centers on Andrew Largeman, a struggling actor who returns to his hometown in New Jersey for his mother’s funeral after years of estrangement. Upon his return, Andrew reconnects with old friends and meets Sam, a quirky and free-spirited girl who sparks a newfound sense of adventure and spontaneity in his life. Together, they confront their fears, regrets, and suppressed emotions in a smile-inducing exploration of life and love. Enthusiasts of Wim Wenders’ work will resonate with ‘Garden State’ for its heartfelt exploration of personal growth, authentic characters, and poignant storytelling, offering a relatable and uplifting cinematic experience.

4. Drive My Car (2021)

Under the expert direction of Ryusuke Hamaguchi, ‘Drive My Car’ introduces us to Yusuke Kafuku, a renowned stage actor and director who is mourning the loss of his wife. When he is assigned to direct a multilingual production, Yusuke is assigned a young chauffeur named Misaki Watari to drive him to and from rehearsals. As Yusuke and Misaki spend more time together, they begin to open up about their personal struggles and past traumas. Through their conversations during their drives, they form a deep emotional connection and find solace in each other’s company.

The film explores themes of grief, love, and the healing power of human connection, offering a profound meditation on the complexities of life. Those who were drawn to the introspective themes of ‘Perfect Days’ will appreciate ‘Drive My Car’ for its beautifully crafted narrative, nuanced character development, and soulful exploration of the human experience, which ends up leaving a lasting impression.

3. The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

Helmed by Rob Burnett, ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’ is a heartfelt comedy-drama that follows the journey of Ben, a retired writer who becomes a caregiver for Trevor, a sarcastic teenager with muscular dystrophy. As Ben and Trevor embark on a road trip across the United States, they encounter various quirky characters and unexpected challenges, leading to moments of laughter, tears, and introspection.

Throughout their journey, Ben and Trevor form a healing bond while facing painful reminders of their past and making hopeful new memories. With its poignant storytelling, genuine performances, and moments of humor and heart, ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’ will enchant those who appreciated similar elements in ‘Perfect Days.’

2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

In the directorial hands of Marielle Heller, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ narrates a heartwarming biographical drama inspired by the real-life friendship between journalist Tom Junod and beloved children’s television host Fred Rogers. The film centers on Lloyd Vogel, a cynical journalist assigned to profile Fred Rogers for Esquire magazine. As Lloyd spends time with Fred, he begins to undergo a profound transformation, learning valuable lessons about kindness, forgiveness, and the power of empathy. Through Fred’s gentle guidance and unwavering compassion, Lloyd confronts his personal demons and finds healing from past wounds.

Fans of ‘Perfect Days’ will appreciate ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ for its touching portrayal of human connection, inspiring message of love and acceptance, and uplifting storytelling that celebrates the beauty of everyday moments. The film beautifully captures the essence of Fred Rogers’ philosophy and the impact of his genuine compassion on those around him. Tom Hanks delivers a remarkable performance as Fred Rogers, embodying his spirit with grace.

1. Paterson (2016)

A Jim Jarmusch directorial, ‘Paterson’ is a contemplative drama centered around the life of a bus driver named Paterson, who resides in Paterson, New Jersey. Each day, Paterson follows a routine: he drives his bus, writes poetry during his breaks, and returns home to his wife, Laura, and their dog, Marvin. Despite the apparent simplicity of his life, Paterson finds inspiration in the everyday occurrences around him, from conversations with passengers to the urban landscape of his city.

Much like Hirayama in ‘Perfect Days,’ Paterson traverses the mundane and the extraordinary during his daily rounds, discovering beauty in the smallest details and finding solace in the rhythm of his routine. With its understated yet powerful storytelling and mesmerizing cinematography, ‘Paterson’ is a captivating exploration of the beauty found in ordinary moments.

Read More: Perfect Days Ending, Explained: Why Does Hirayama Laugh and Cry?