As you age, keeping an empathetic perspective about yourself can be difficult. The following five movies will remind your loved one about the joys and opportunities of old age and about the importance of the friends and family who care for them. Watching a movie together is the perfect way to spend a sleepy evening when your loved one doesn’t feel up to much more than lounging in their favorite chair. All of the following movies can be rented on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.
#1: Up (2009)
This one’s the perfect movie for all generations--grandchildren, kids, and grandparents—to watch together. This animated film stars a widowed man named Carl who sets out to fulfill his promise to his late wife to see South America. He ties thousands of balloons to his house, but as he flies away for his final adventure, he discovers a hitch in his plans. Russell, a young and pure-hearted Wildness Explorer, is along for the ride, and Carl reluctantly takes him on as his co-adventurer. This film features one of the most tender cross-generation friendships that I’ve seen in a movie, and the opening montage that depicts a lifetime-long love story is sure to leave you all in sentimental tears. It’s a movie that will inspire hope, laughter, and wonder (plus the animation is simply spectacular).
#2: Harold and Maude (1971)
This black comedy’s cult status has survived the test of time. Harold’s a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. He’s obsessed with death, particularly with staging his own demise in elaborate ways to frighten his family. One day, his fixation leads him to a funeral where he meets Maude, a 79-year-old free spirit who’s obsessed (and filled to the brim) with life. They become fast friends, and soon something more. Set in California, and with a wonderful soundtrack by Cat Stevens, “Harold and Maude” is a strange but heartwarming take on new love and discovering oneself. As Cat Stevens sings, “You can do what you want The opportunity’s on And if you can find a new way You can do it today.” It’s a great movie to share with your loved one to remind them that their life is not yet over and that there are still adventures to be had.
#3: Nebraska (2013)
It’s a strange premise. A father receives a scam call telling him he’s won a million-dollar prize. After being picked up by a policeman trying to walk from Montana to Nebraska, he convinces his son to accompany him on a road trip to collect his winnings. What happens along the way reveals how it’s never too late to forgive, to change, and to bond. It’s melancholy, funny, infuriating and sweet in equal measures. The black and white style adds to the stunning simplicity of the tale. Even though the elderly father is stubborn, naïve, and addled at times, his relationship with his son and his son’s wish to fulfill his father’s dreams will remind your loved one of the special connection that you share.
#4: Calendar Girls (2003)
This is a fun chick flick for a ladies’ night in. Based on a true story, this movie’s about a group of older women in Great Britain who decide to make a nude calendar for charity. Helen Mirren stars in this feel-good film that celebrates the beauty of all bodies, of female friendships, and of taking a risk. It’s no masterpiece, but a great little diversion filled with smiles, laughs, and a wonderful sense of the power of old age.
#5: Robot and Frank (2012)
Frank’s a grumpy old man who’s losing his memory and living in squalor. He refuses to go to a nursing home, so his grown children decide to buy him a robotic “butler” to keep him company. At first, the robot infuriates Frank. But then at a party, Frank comes up with a brilliant idea and enlists his robot as an accomplice. What starts as a business deal grows into a truly unique friendship. By the end, your loved one will feel deeply for the characters and be reminded that people are never too old to open their heart to new things and new people. Part love story, party comedy, part heist, this movie tells a great message about the balance between independence and reliance.
There you have it. Not a single “old person” archetype to be found. Enjoy and remember to subscribe to our newsletter for more movie recommendations, tips, and weekly video updates!