Sunday evening is the weekend's very own twilight zone, stuck between the freedom of the previous few days and the impending week ahead. Perhaps you're heading back to the 9-to-5 on Monday, and all that remains of your Friday Feeling is a lingering hangover and a realisation that you are just hours away from your morning commute. Maybe you spent Saturday marathoning your favourite show and now have nothing left to watch. That's OK, though. My secret to banishing the preventing the Sunday night blues is a jolly good film, and if you add a sheet mask and light a candle, you will quickly forget the fact you still have your laundry to do.
As a phenomenon, a post-weekend downer is way more common than you might think. A 2013 survey by jobs website Monster revealed that a startling 78 percent of people suffer with Sunday night blues. So what causes the dreaded dread? According to Psychology Today, it's that we end up leaving things until the last minute and become overwhelmed by the tasks ahead and the dwindling time left to complete them. Luckily, there are habits you can introduce to stave off a weekly existential crisis. One wise tip passed through the generations is that if you plan to drink at the weekend, do it on a Friday night so you have more recovery time. For Guardian journalist Sharmadean Reid, the answer lies in looking at how you spend your Monday morning in order to improve your Sunday evening.
Sometimes, though, we're lacking in the foresight and the brainpower for such advance planning. That's where a really great film comes in. So, if you ever find yourself in the throes of woe, here are the best movies to ease you into a less stressful evening and an even better Monday morning.
Starring Lola Kirke and the inimitable Greta Gerwig, Mistress America sees doe-eyed college freshman Tracy learn all about New York life by falling down the rabbit hole of future stepsister Brooke's bizarre lifestyle. Watching Brooke and Tracy navigate New York makes for the ideal relaxed Sunday night viewing.
'Hunt For The Wilderpeople'
Directed by Taika Waititi, who also helmed Thor: Ragnarok andWhat We Do In The Shadows, Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a charming and hilarious film about a reluctant foster dad, the boy in his care, and the manhunt that ensues after they get stranded in the New Zealand outback. The lush landscape and wry humour is the perfect combination for stress-free vibes.
Some people swear by Studio Ghibli films to put them in a good mood, and Ponyo is a great place to start. If you haven't already seen it, you're in for a treat. The storyline follows a goldfish-princess and her adventure out of water, onto land, and her friendship with Sosuke. Ponyo is incredibly cute and heart-warming. The colours and animation of the sea and landscape are really soothing, and the ideal pick-me-up on a glum Sunday evening.
'The First Wives Club'
Look, it's a classic with a cast full of heavy hitters, all teaching valuable life lessons. And it features lots of women getting revenge on their ex-husbands. If you're not sold on that, the '90s fashion is great and there are lots of heartwarming moments interspersed with plenty of jokes. The First Wives Club is a very therapeutic watch — it's fun, easy-going, and has plenty of heart to cheer you up.
'Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging'
This film is 10 years old this year, which is terrifying, but do not let the swift passage of time get to you right now, because we're trying to feel good, remember? Based on the brilliant Louise Rennison books, this film sees Georgia and her Ace Gang battle the ups and downs of being a teenager and dealing with spots, boys, and bullies. Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging is great for some Sunday evening escapism, and also features Aaron Johnson as Georgia's crush.
Frances Ha is possibly the greatest antidote to feeling a bit world-weary. Greta Gerwig, who directed Lady Bird, plays Frances, a New York dancer who isn't quite sure what direction she is going in when everyone around her seems to know exactly what their plan is. In the midst of the funny and super relatable scenes, you also have Adam Driver, so, you know. Watch it.
'The Young Offenders'
Set in the sunny southeast of Ireland, The Young Offenders, which the BBC recently adapted into a TV series, is well worth a watch if you want a big dose of comedy on a lazy Sunday. The two teenagers, Jock and Conor, set out on a mission to solve all their problems by stealing two bikes and setting off in search of close to €1 million worth of contraband shipwrecked off the coast. Needless to say, there are plenty of detours and unplanned skirmishes, but the entire story is a gem and there's loads of gorgeous footage of Cork scenery, too.
There won't be a dry eye in the house after this one — but it will be good crying, not bad crying. United by a mutual hatred of Margaret Thatcher, the film sees a London-based LGBTQ group team up with a group of miners on strike in a small Welsh town. Banded together in solidarity, they raise awareness of one another's cause and support each other through difficult times. It's a genuine tear-jerker.
'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'
Meet Toula, a woman who's definitely had her fair share of Sunday night blues. After moving from a job in her father's Greek restaurant to one in her aunt's travel agency, she meets Ian Miller, a seemingly perfect match. But it's not all smooth sailing, as he still has to be approved by her eccentric family who expect her to marry a Greek man. This is highly recommended Sunday viewing if you need a laugh and a cute love story. There is also a sequel from 2016 if you decide you want even more of the Portokalos family.
Empire Records follows an eclectic bunch of record store employees as they try to make sure their beloved store doesn't get sold to a faceless chain. This film is a rite of passage and has a quintessentially '90s aesthetic — think lots of plaid and blue denim. Also, prepare for Debra to become your idol.
It's fair to say that the combination of Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg would not be the first to spring to mind when you are thinking about cheery movies. Neither are particularly known for their happy-go-lucky, laugh-a-minute role choices, but Adventureland is a great watch when you're in need of a lift. It also has an incredible cast and sound track. Aside from the leads, there's the comic genius of Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, and Martin Starr to turn your Sunday mood around.
Whether you need a distracting comedy, or a love story you know is going to end well, any of these films are sure to elevate your mindset come Sunday night. Dive in and enjoy the last of the weekend stress-free.