The Most Heartwarming and Kindest (But Still Funny) Comedy Movies, Ranked

Some of the best comedies in recent decades have been filled with those little moments that tug right at the heartstrings. While these moments toe the line between genres, a comedy is still a subsidiary of the drama. Dramas are perhaps the primary genre of all film, with others that collide and make the film what it is. Drama is essentially the main genre of human existence, and perhaps the most realistic. As such, implementing dramatic and warm moments into comedies make them even more relatable to the audience.

The inverse is also true, as establishing characters in a humorous or witty way helps that relatability or makes them more likable. When they are faced with some more heartwarming moments, it brings the audience closer into the arms of the film itself. There are a few films that are overall comedies, but with moments of warmth and drama; these kindhearted, less cynical or gross-out comedies are the kinds people love to watch for stress relief. Kind comedy just makes you feel better. This combination of genres with just the right touch of humor mixed with the sweet and saccharine make the following list of films notable in the eyes of audiences.


11 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

The first in the series of feature films set in the popular world of SpongeBob SquarePants came with a boat load of kindhearted surprises. While still maintaining the slapstick humor that is quite prevalent in the hit animated Nickelodeon show, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is filled with heartwarming moments about friendship and coming-of-age. SpongeBob is always referred to as if he was a kid, and his journey to grow up is a quite sophisticated motivation for the character in this film, allowing the audiences (fans or not of the show) to latch on and swim through those waters with him. It’s simultaneously sweet and silly.

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10 Bruce Almighty

Jim Carrey is an actor who can surely bring some kindness and heartwarming moments to any film, as evidenced by his excellent dramatic work. He is primarily known for over the top and animated styles of hilarity, but can implement that drama and human emotion to create some moving moments within the comedy. Bruce Almighty does not shy away from those bittersweet moments that allow us to feel multiple arrays of emotions whilst seeing Bruce on his path of power and redemption. The film’s heart is the love story between Bruce and Grace (played by Jennifer Aniston). That love story, mixed with some hilarious sequences of cartoonish banter, makes this film a highlight of Jim Carrey’s career.

9 World’s Greatest Dad

The late and great Robin Williams is still considered one of film’s most versatile actors. He could make us laugh, but also make us cry. World’s Greatest Dad is one of Williams’ later works, and it packs quite a punch. The story centers on a grieving father trying to cover up the truth about the death of his son. This story alone seems to be the synopsis of a certified tearjerker. But of course, Williams does deliver humorous moments and over the top comedic sequences (one being taking place in a public pool); even if this film is a very dark comedy, Williams delivers a truly heartwarming, emotionally resonant performance.

8 The Birdcage

The heart of The Birdcage is the concept of family, and how they may not always look, act, talk or even dress the same. Yet again, Robin Williams’ great performance boosts this wonderful film alongside the iconic Nathan Lane, who own a drag club together and come face to face with their son’s girlfriend and her family… who are a bit on the rigid conservative side. Nathan Lane as Albert is the true center of this film because his emotions drive the film in a variety of directions. The most memorable is the acceptance he receives from his son Val, who embraces Albert as his mother in front of his girlfriend’s family. This kind, touching moment is one of many, in addition to the amazing and hilarious chemistry between the cast.

7 The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Steve Carell is another actor who can bring a bit of warmth and relatability to a hilarious character (or melancholy and sadness in Carell’s great dramatic performances). The 40-Year-Old Virgin is one of the funniest comedies of all time, with the waxing scene being forever marked in comedy history (and actually endured by Carell, with improvised dialogue). However, as Judd Apatow is famous for, this film is also layered with drama and youthful innocence, which is perfectly conveyed by Carell himself. There is a childlike wonder and sweetness to his character, and the emotional ups and downs make it one of Carell’s more versatile roles and Apatow’s kindest film.

6 Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Steve Martin and John Candy make one of the most iconic duos in comedy history in the holiday classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles, a wild, hilarious, and truly touching ride. Steve Martin’s bitterness in the film is contrasted perfectly with John Candy’s lighthearted innocence. That clash makes for some hilarious moments, but also heartwarming expressions about each other. John Candy’s famous monologue about how he sees himself is one of the more heartwarming moments of the film, and it is the first time Martin (and the audience) truly takes him seriously. The ending goes for sweetness rather than laughs, helping solidify Planes, Trains and Automobiles as a perfect holiday film.

5 Ted

Seth MacFarlane pulled off the impossible in his feature film directorial debut Ted. Taking a story that could have been seen in a children’s book, and turning it into a raunchy adult comedy, all while maintaining the charm of both elements, is quite an impressive accomplishment. However, there are some heartwarming moments between Ted and Johnny (played by Mark Wahlberg), who are and will always be thunder buddies for life. There is romance, action, and emotional stakes that allow the audience to see Ted as a real character and not just a talking teddy bear. Despite his foul mouth, Ted is pretty sweet.

4 Paddington

Those who have read the Paddington books know about the adorable childlike joy that this bear has brought to kids around the world. However, Paddington as a film (and its sequel) hit a home run with a heartwarming story about family, while also maintaining the level of humor from the famous bear. Being a fish truly out of waterPaddington gets into some funny situations with the world around him, especially the facilities, but the core of this film is the familial bond he gets with the Brown’s, who take him in as one of their own.

Related: Best Family Movies on Netflix to Watch with Your Kids

This bittersweet and beautiful film and its sequel have been critically and commercially acclaimed, humorously takeover Citizen Kane on Rotten Tomatoes and causing Nicolas Cage to weep in adoration in his recent film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

3 Finding Nemo

Perhaps all of Pixar animation through the years could be considered to have paired drama with comedy. However, Finding Nemo has some special moments and real heart-to-heart connections that make it one of the best in terms of genre-melding, heartwarming goodness. The film is honest and authentic about suffering, with one of the darkest Disney openings resulting in a father on a quest to save his son. While in this emotional journey, there are nonetheless many laughs along the way with Dory, but this is a film that takes itself very seriously, and truly earns the warmth and emotions it works so hard to inspire.

2 Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 is one of the best Pixar movies of all time. There is great maturity to this third installment in an already successful franchise; however, it has tear-jerking and heartfelt moments that surpass both the first and second film. The ending sequence where we see Andy handing his toys over to Bonnie is an emotional bookend to Andy’s story, and the entire film will undoubtedly resonate with anyone’s inner child. The journey we saw these toys go on in just this film alone makes that final sequence cathartic and emotional, and the film remains both bittersweet and heartwarming.

1 Mrs. Doubtfire

Perhaps Robin Williams’ most iconic role, Mrs. Doubtfire is the perfect definition of a heartwarming comedy. The comedy comes from Williams doing what he does best… and that is truly everything he can possibly fit into a scene. From improvisations to his incredible voice imitations and physical comedy, he brings many laughs to this film. However, there is a strong heart to this film about family and a father desperate to repair his broken family. The story, while outrageous, tells of how far this father will go just to be in the same room as his children. That determination and drive is one that audiences have latched onto, as this film is considered a heartwarming classic.

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