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    23 Best Comfort Watches On HBO Max Right Now

    TV and movies for anyone who just wants to escape for a few hours.

    We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh and FYI — platform, prices and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

    1. Joe Pera Talks With You (2018-)

    Joe Pera in "Joe Pera Talks With You"
    Adult Swim

    The quintessential comfort watch. Comedian Joe Pera has made a career out of being a "cozy sweater in human form" and his Adult Swim show, recently added to HBO Max, contains hypnotizing, 12-minute episodes in which Pera (playing a fictionalized version of himself, a choir teacher living in the Upper Peninsula) helps us appreciate the little things in life. For example: the song "Baba O'Riley," a slice of cherry pie at a diner, or the sound of rain against your window pane. The series also features writing and acting from Jo Firestone, an exceptional comfort-watch comedian in her own right, who, FWIW, is currently producing one of the most wholesome video series to grace Instagram, aptly titled "Jo Firestone and Her Grandmother Dorothy Cook."

    2. Bridesmaids (2011)

    Kristen Wiig in "Bridesmaids"
    Universal Pictures

    Hold on for one more day 'cause it's gonna go your way! Saoirse Ronan's favorite movie is a hilarious two-hour romp filled with raunchy jokes, jealousy, explosive diarrhea, and tender lessons on friendship. It's also a strong case for why comedic performances (like Melissa McCarthy's, which was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at the Oscars) can and *should* be recognized by the stuffiest and most elite awards bodies.

    3. Walking and Talking (1996)

    Catherine Keener and Liev Schreiber in "Walking and Talking"
    Miramax Films

    Nicole Holofcener is a master of the female-friendship comfort watch, and chief among them is this Catherine Keener vehicle which fans of Frances Ha, or its spiritual predecessor Girlfriends, will find scratches a similar itch. Consider Walking and Talking a time capsule to a simpler time when video rental stores, landline phones, and the croons of Bill Bragg, served as set pieces for the perfect, quirky New York City romance.

    4. That Thing You Do! (1996)

    Johnathon Schaech in "That Thing You Do!"
    20th Century Fox

    Following the death of Adam Schlesinger this year, many praises were sung about the prolific songwriter's body of work — notably his Oscar-nominated contribution to the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do!. A surprise cast reunion followed. Then, the rewatches. Take this to its logical conclusion by revisiting the nostalgic '90s work for yourself and remembering the pure joy and light that Schlesinger brought to the screen.

    5. Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

    Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, and Tara Reid in "Josie and the Pussycats"
    Universal Pictures

    Cut to: a parallel rock universe a decade later that finds the Archie comics trio navigating the industry in the age of Total Request Live. It's a deeply 2001 film, which of course translates to Tara Reid, Rosario Dawson, and Rachael Leigh Cook at its helm — and yet another earworm-y Adam Schlesinger track "Pretend to be Nice" (the best of the soundtrack, IMO, which you could easily imagine hearing back in the day on No Doubt's "Return Of Saturn"). You'll definitely want to consult this wild list of little-known facts before queuing up the film. Did you know that Beyoncé, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, and Aaliyah all auditioned to play Val?

    6. The Daytrippers (1997)

    Anne Meara, Liev Schreiber, and Parker Posey in "The Daytrippers"
    Cinepix Film Properties

    This debut film from Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad) has many hallmarks of the Comfort Watch genre: It stars Parker Posey (featured above in Josie) and Stanley Tucci (a double whammy), and places a comically dysfunctional family together on a road trip. Here, it is to confirm Eliza's (Hope Davis) suspicions that her husband is cheating on her after discovering a hand-written love poem from someone named "Sandy." How and why her entire family decides to join her on this journey? Let's just say this one is best enjoyed with suspended disbelief ... and a watchful eye for enormous '90s fits.

    7. Haute Dog (2020-)

    The judges of "Haute Dog" evaluating a toy poodle in competition
    HBO Max

    Las Culturistas co-host and theme park apologist Matt Rogers stars in this upbeat dog-grooming competition show, alongside comedian Robin Thede and groomer Jess Rona. Much like Great British Bakeoff and Nailed It!, the show operates on a low-stakes frequency — despite a looming cash prize of $10,000, of course — where it is not uncommon to see competitors helping each other out and turning down free handouts in the name of fairness. What you probably won't be able to find in any other reality television program: toy poodles flaunting Lana Del Rey-inspired dye jobs and flower crowns. I do think so, honey!

    8. Before Sunrise/Before Sunset (1995/2004)

    Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in "Before Sunrise"
    Columbia Pictures

    You've officially reached the Linklater stan portion of this streaming guide. Sure, his stuff can veer into the cerebral, but what you're ultimately signing up for in the case of the Before Trilogy, is two lovers walking and talking through idyllic European landscapes. I recently rewatched on a 60% full Delta flight and I must admit the wanderlust hit even harder than before — as did the iconic, I could-puke-from-the-sweetness Kath Bloom scene. (And no, Before Midnight being left off here is not an attack — it's also perfect, but not streaming at the moment.)

    9. School of Rock (2003)

    Jack Black in "School of Rock"
    Paramount Pictures

    It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll but a much shorter way if your plan is to just veg out on the couch and stream other people doing it. The rumors are true: School of Rock, the incredibly formative cultural text that birthed endlessly reusable catchphrases like "you're tacky and I hate you" and inevitably led to your purchase of a Led Zepp tee at Hot Topic, is available on HBO Max. A Mike White x Richard Linklater collaboration isn't something you get every day and should be held dear like Miranda Cosgrove's fleeting youth.

    10. Togetherness (2015–2016)

    Mark Duplass in "Togetherness"
    HBO

    This Duplass Brothers-directed show about two couples living together under one roof in Los Angeles had its ups and downs but by the end of its two-season run, saying goodbye felt like saying goodbye to a good friend at summer camp. Starring Amanda Peet, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Duplass, and Steve Zissis, this was a show that could get away with pretty much anything just on the strength of its likable adult-child characters. (One of the series' very best episodes, "Kick the Can," finds the couples facing off in a game of ball in order to reclaim the field that a group of "hipsters" have reserved for the same time.) Luckily, we have been spoiled with much more Duplass Brothers content!

    11. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

    Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law in "The Talented Mr. Ripley"
    Miramax

    It's been described as the "perfect quarantine watch" and "comfort watch" (granted our comfort requirements have shifted a bit since April). This 1999 film adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel is all about staring at beautiful people in beautiful places with beautiful things for a few hours (I should warn you there is some grisly crime, too). It's no surprise that fashion websites have devoted so much ink to documenting the iconic resorty fits sported by Jude Law, Matt Damon, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

    12. The Studio Ghibli Collection (1984–2013)

    Chihiro Ogino in "Spirited Away"
    GKIDS

    You should know by now that one of the major selling points of HBO Max is its exclusive streaming rights to the Studio Ghibli catalog. Everything from iconic fan favorites Spirited Away and My Neighbor Tortoro to Isao Takahata's less-talked-about but equally worth-your-time comeback film, Tale of the Princess Kaguya (which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film and currently sits at 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) are available for your viewing pleasure.

    13. Space Jam (1996)

    Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny, and Michael Jordan in "Space Jam"
    Warner Bros.

    Before he was a noted predator and cult leader, R. Kelly gave millennials the soundtrack of their childhoods with the hit "I Believe I Can Fly." Though more than two decades have passed, Space Jam, the colorful NBA-Looney Tunes crossover, remains embedded in our culture and popularly revisited in film trivia. With new, wiser eyes, we can't promise that you'll still love this film, but at the very least, you'll develop a retroactive appreciation for the unlikely marriage that was Seinfeld's Wayne Knight and some of basketball's then all-stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.

    14. Somewhere (2010)

    Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in "Somewhere"
    Focus Features

    If you like your comfort watch with a side of melancholy then Sofia Coppola should be on the menu. Like Lost in Translation, the experience of watching Somewhere is a completely immersive one that invites you to slip into a feeling for a few hours while taking in beautiful photography and vibey tunes. Naturally, there is an undercurrent of despair creeping through the film: a jaded Hollywood actor reconnects with his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) and is forced to take stock of his life and what he's jeopardized in the pursuit of fame. With On the Rocks hitting theaters on Oct 2, there's never been a better time to go deep on Coppola's IMDB.

    15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

    Judy Garland in "Wizard of Oz"
    MGM

    Sure, you know this story like the back of your hand. The real question is: Did you know that it is easily streamable on HBO Max? That's right, the still-chill-inducing experience of hearing Judy Garland belt out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" can be yours any time of the day, should you choose to sit through the decidedly unchill sequences that involve flying monkeys.

    16. Amelie (2001)

    Audrey Tautou in "Amelie"
    UGC-Fox

    Maybe what you *really* need right now is to be transported to a whimsical, made-for-Tumblr world where love is not only possible but punctuated by a seductive Yann Tiersen score and splashes of red and neon green. Roger Ebert called this five-time Oscar-nominated French film a "delicious pastry of a movie" at the time and he was not wrong! It's a pump of sugar straight to the system!

    17. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

    Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, and Josh Hutcherson in "The Kids Are All Right"
    Focus Features

    There are still very few portrayals of queer parenting in the year 2020 — fewer, even, that attempt to examine some of its messier aspects — which makes The Kids Are All Right all that much more of an important and radical cultural document to this day. Lisa Cholodenko possesses an enviable superpower of being able to make people laugh and cry simultaneously (see also: Olive Kitteridge). You might find yourself doing just that as the film toggles between tearful Julianne Moore monologuing and dark (but not too dark!), whipsmart humor.

    18. Lord of the Rings (2001–2003)

    Elijah Wood in "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring"
    New Line Cinema

    Have you heard of this one? It's kind of a "hidden gem." Peter Jackson's trilogy (and Hobbit) are available for you to revisit with your friends any time you darn need to be swept away into another world for, like, 10 hours. To quote Enya, "May it be your journey on!"

    19. Muriel's Wedding (1994)

    Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths in "Muriel's Wedding"
    Miramax

    This Australian cult-comedy from P.J. Hogan may have turned 25 this year but it still feels as fresh and relevant as ever. Career-making performances from Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths! Dismantling the patriarchy! Finding confidence from within! It's all here. Before coronavirus restrictions tightened, Hogan was in the midst of bringing “Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical” stateside (in Australia, it was a critical favorite), but that has temporarily been put on pause.

    20. The Descendants (2011)

    Shailene Woodley and George Clooney in "The Descendants"
    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    Hawaii...maybe it's not so much of a paradise after all. At least this was the juxtaposition Alexander Payne set out to create with this George Clooney vehicle in 2011. Now? All I see is an angsty teenage Shailene Woodley and a very nice Kauai beach I would like to visit right now. (Yes I am glossing over some of the heavier plot points — an affair, a boat accident, a coma, gentrification.)

    21. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

    Judi Dench in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
    Fox Searchlight Pictures

    Where were you the first time you watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Were you with your mom? Or, was that just for the second on-demand viewing? Whomever you watched it with, I hope you were able to appreciate how absolutely stacked this lineup of powerhouse Brits was — Judi Dench! Maggie Smith! Tom Wilkinson! Bill Nighy! Dev Patel! Do be aware that the idea of "retirement" might hit a bit different in 2020.

    22. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

    Brad Pitt in "Oceans Eleven"
    Warner Bros. Pictures

    But, if we're here to talk about stacked casts, it would be silly not to mention this major comfort-watch heistcom starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Casey Affleck. How many collective Oscar nominations do you count? I am tired just thinking about it! Anyway, Steven Soderbergh remake is basically exactly what you'd want out of a comfort watch: One critic summed it up best by calling the film "forgettable in a fun way," which feels like an unspoken marker of the comfort watch genre. Think...but don't think too much!

    23. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

    John Corbett and Nia Vardalos in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
    IFC Films

    It's all Greek to me, put some Windex on it, what do you mean you don't eat no meat? If you managed to make it through the year 2002 without hearing one of these quotes...congratulations. Nia Vardalos' Oscar-nominated screenplay was one of the most singular of the '00s (until, maybe, Juno) and its grosses of nearly $400 million at box offices worldwide was simply unprecedented. I say prepare yourself an enormous bowl of moussaka and experience the simpler times. What are you waiting for?

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