10 Movies to Ease Your Election-Induced Anxiety

Next week, America will know who the new president is. The fire of anxiety that’s smoldered in the pits of your stomachs for 18 months will flare up into an inferno on Tuesday night and then, just like that, be stamped out by the cold reality of the results. At that sobering moment, you’ll regain your senses. The curse of the news cycle will be lifted and you’ll be free to, you know, focus on your hobbies. To say hello to your neighbors. To take note of the crisp fall air. Sure, half of you will be disappointed, but you’ll still look out at your neighborhood and think, “You know what? Our republic is strong no matter what. It’s a new day.”

But not now. Not yet.

Now is the worst possible time. Now you’re in the fluorescent waiting room as the doctor runs your lab tests. There’s really not much more you can do—except vote next week, if you haven’t already. You’ve read all the magazines and tweeted all the tweets. You deserve a break. And let’s be honest, no matter who you’re rooting for, your blood pressure would benefit from you taking the weekend off from worrying. So stop checking the polls. Stop biting your nails. Gather your popcorn and your comfy blanket—all the things that make you feel safe—and binge watch these perfectly diverting films that will transport you to a happy place where Election 2016 does not exist.

Love Actually (2007)

Whenever you need mindless distraction and unrealistic positivity, Love Actually is there. In fact, most of Hugh Grant’s films are. But this movie is the apex of the now-declining rom-com genre, a pastiche of reductionist love stories so adorable and heartwarming that you simply cannot summon an image of either US presidential candidate in your mind while you’re watching. Seriously, we dare you.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Whenever you need mindless distraction and unrealistic positivity, Love Actually is there. In fact, most of Hugh Grant’s films are. But this movie is the apex of the now-declining rom-com genre, a pastiche of reductionist love stories so adorable and heartwarming that you simply cannot summon an image of either US presidential candidate in your mind while you’re watching. Seriously, we dare you.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Jane Eyre (2011)

The 2011 version of this classic is not exactly uplifting, what with its beautiful subdued tones and subtle performances, so you may object to its inclusion on this list. But here’s the thing: this film transports you to a different time and place. And above all, it’s a tear-jerker. Sometimes when you’re knotted up with worry, the thing you need most is to cry it out. Go on, get your catharsis on.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

The 2011 version of this classic is not exactly uplifting, what with its beautiful subdued tones and subtle performances, so you may object to its inclusion on this list. But here’s the thing: this film transports you to a different time and place. And above all, it’s a tear-jerker. Sometimes when you’re knotted up with worry, the thing you need most is to cry it out. Go on, get your catharsis on.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Anyone who doesn’t think this is the best Indiana Jones film is not to be trusted. It has everything. Nazis. And the righteous killing of those Nazis! It even has Sean Connery in a funny hat. And a trick fireplace, rats, high heels, and eternal life. What more could you possibly want from a film?
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Anyone who doesn’t think this is the best Indiana Jones film is not to be trusted. It has everything. Nazis. And the righteous killing of those Nazis! It even has Sean Connery in a funny hat. And a trick fireplace, rats, high heels, and eternal life. What more could you possibly want from a film?
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Sure, you could lose yourself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—but really, even those movies are a little too political to be truly distracting right now. (Captain America: Civil War, anyone?) Instead, enjoy two Marvel ex-pats—Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton—in vampire form in this weird and wonderful Jim Jarmusch love story. It’s actually quite fun. Promise.
Where to watch: Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu

Sure, you could lose yourself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—but really, even those movies are a little too political to be truly distracting right now. (Captain America: Civil War, anyone?) Instead, enjoy two Marvel ex-pats—Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton—in vampire form in this weird and wonderful Jim Jarmusch love story. It’s actually quite fun. Promise.
Where to watch: Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Honestly, any bit of absurdist humor from the Monty Python folks would offer welcome relief right now, but this King Arthur spoof and its “it’s just a flesh wound!” one-liners mean this one has the most LoLs per minute. It also has the Knights Who Say NI!
Where to watch: iTunes, Google Play

Honestly, any bit of absurdist humor from the Monty Python folks would offer welcome relief right now, but this King Arthur spoof and its “it’s just a flesh wound!” one-liners mean this one has the most LoLs per minute. It also has the Knights Who Say NI!
Where to watch: iTunes, Google Play

The Princess Bride (1987)

Before Mandy Patinkin was a spook on Homeland and before Robin Wright was the first lady on House of Cards, they were in this charming love story that you probably remember from all the times it sent you off to dreamland as a kid. Regress to those slumber-party days now, if for no other reason than it might save you from going full-fetal while watching CNN.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu

Before Mandy Patinkin was a spook on Homeland and before Robin Wright was the first lady on House of Cards, they were in this charming love story that you probably remember from all the times it sent you off to dreamland as a kid. Regress to those slumber-party days now, if for no other reason than it might save you from going full-fetal while watching CNN.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

If you’re anything like us, you probably haven’t watched this since the Last Day Before Summer Vacation in grade school. That means now is a perfect time to get back on Falcor and ride once again.
Where to watch: HBO Go, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Video

If you’re anything like us, you probably haven’t watched this since the Last Day Before Summer Vacation in grade school. That means now is a perfect time to get back on Falcor and ride once again.
Where to watch: HBO Go, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Video

E.T. (1982)

Pretty much any film Steven Spielberg directed in the 1980s is perfect for staving off an existential crisis. (See also: All of the Indiana Jones films.) But E.T., with its kindly alien and early-period Drew Barrymore performance, is the best at warming one’s heart and generally giving off an “It’s all going to be OK” vibe. Phone home.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Pretty much any film Steven Spielberg directed in the 1980s is perfect for staving off an existential crisis. (See also: All of the Indiana Jones films.) But E.T., with its kindly alien and early-period Drew Barrymore performance, is the best at warming one’s heart and generally giving off an “It’s all going to be OK” vibe. Phone home.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Serenity (2005)

Look, it’s a space western. Joss Whedon’s film version of his show Firefly takes us way into the future to a time where no one remembers the 2016 election and where there are much bigger problems to solve than whether Putin is hacking the vote. It’s funny and thrilling and it’s even got Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Look, it’s a space western. Joss Whedon’s film version of his show Firefly takes us way into the future to a time where no one remembers the 2016 election and where there are much bigger problems to solve than whether Putin is hacking the vote. It’s funny and thrilling and it’s even got Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Legally Blonde (2001)

You may remember Legally Blonde as dumb and plastered in pink, and you’d be right, but also wrong. The film hides its smarts under intentionally over-the-top femininity to create a saga of an unlikely hero. At its heart, it’s a hero’s journey. And if you want to feel like the good guy (or gal) can win after all, it’s got you covered.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

You may remember Legally Blonde as dumb and plastered in pink, and you’d be right, but also wrong. The film hides its smarts under intentionally over-the-top femininity to create a saga of an unlikely hero. At its heart, it’s a hero’s journey. And if you want to feel like the good guy (or gal) can win after all, it’s got you covered.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

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