Although comedies are highly recommended for any patient, here are 10 movies for cancer patients that deal directly with the disease itself. You may opt to watch some of these or a couple that speak to your own situation and tastes. We recommend washing them down with lots of comedic fare by your preferred comedic writers.
- "My Life WIthout Me" is a deeply moving movie starring the incredible Sarah Polley. Polley's a reluctant movie star and successful actress since childhood. The movie tells the story of a young mother who works a dead end job to make ends meet. When she is diagnosed with a terminal illness, she doesn't tell anybody in her life. Instead, she makes a list of things she wants to do and does them—as well as spending quality time with her family and recording tapes of advice for every birthday her daughters will have growing up without her.
- "Don't Tell Her It's Me" is a comedy about what comes after recovery from cancer. Its romantic lead is a man who has recovered from cancer, yet who gets stuck in his safety net in life after the traumatic experience. His romantic life gets a jump start with help from his interfering sister.
"Love Story" is a movie about falling madly in love and being a happy couple, then facing what happens when one gets ill. Couples who face the disease often turn to the movie for comfort. Its famous line was, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." It's definitely a downer movie, but it's well-written and well-acted.
"My Sister's Keeper" deals a double whammy. It's about childhood cancer, terminal childhood cancer, but its whole story is also intricate and interesting.
"Stepmom" is a tearjerker. It deals with a mother who's fully aware of her impending death from cancer and her acceptance of the new stepmom in the lives of her children, and how she selflessly helps them transition to having her in their lives as a full-time presence.
"A Christmas Romance" starring Olivia Newton-John and her real-life daughter Chloe Lattanzi, is a movie that should be on every cancer patient's list. It's the only one here that doesn't directly deal with cancer, but the story behind the movie is inspiring: Olivia made this film right after she won her battle with breast cancer, having undergone chemotherapy, a mastectomy and holistic treatments as well. She looks more beautiful and healthy than ever here, and it's a great example of surviving and thriving. She even wrote the uplifting, upbeat and positive theme song to the movie while she was recovering.
- "Sweet November" centers around a character name Sara. She's dying, and she doesn't like to share this fact with anyone. Instead, she starts personal projects and short-term relationships, so that she feels love, yet never has to hurt anyone by breaking her bad news.
"A Message from Holly" stars Shelley Long and Lindsay Wagner. It's a great movie for someone who is coming to terms with terminal cancer and facing the end of one's life.
- "Erin Brockovich" is a film about empowerment and winning in the legal system. The people Brockovich champions are families whose members have been ravaged by cancer caused by toxins in their environment that a heartless company knowingly placed there.
- "Terms of Endearment" is an especially tragic movie, as it also involves cancer in a young mother. Its dated to when it was made, the 1980s, but it remains a dramatic favorite, and many survivors and patients are comforted by it somehow.