8 Great Midlife Movies

8 Great Midlife Movies

4 MINUTE READ

Rom Coms leave me cold. It’s the predictability that bores the ass off me…slightly spotty, wildly intelligent (and beautiful…when she takes her specs off) gal meets popular jock (who has a brain and compassion hidden under those biceps). There’s a misunderstanding about the Prom. They argue. They hate each other. It’s New Year’s Eve. She gets the ‘flu. He brings her Lemsip. They get married.  Yawn.

Up their ages 30 years and I’m glued to the screen, throwing popcorn in the general direction of my mouth…widowed mother of 2 meets recovering alcoholic, who is trying, unsuccessfully, to reconnect with his estranged son. She struggles to cope with her stressful job and difficult kids (one of whom has a drug habit) and hits the bottle. He takes her to AA. They fall in love, but don’t get married because it’ll affect her pension Now, that’s altogether more interesting.

Midlife movies often feature characters in a process of change, who are reinventing themselves, who are struggling with life –  and rarely come with a sugar-coated ending all tied up neatly in ribbon. Which is why I love them.

 8 Great Midlife Movies

Here are 8 great midlife movies

The OCD one – As Good As It Gets

Jack Nicholson is at his most grumpy as the OCD New Yorker and Helen Hunt her most sassy as the waitress with the less-than-perfect life. It all comes together when Greg Kinnear, the gay neighbor, accompanies them on a road trip.

I want the dog and the SAAB convertible and to be Helen Hunt’s friend.

When the credits roll you just know the relationship is doomed to failure but you wish them well because it’s just so right, right now. 

The Get the Kleenex Out One – Manchester By The Sea

Long story…but basically, Lee Chandler’s (Casey Affleck) life is rubbish. He is a loner, consumed by guilt over the death of his children and when his brother dies he is made guardian to his teenage nephew. Not an easy watch but blimey it’s brilliant. Michelle Williams (the ex-wife) is spellbinding in a 3-minute scene when she tells Lee that she forgives him. Man-sized tissue time.

8 Great Midlife Movies

The Independent British One – Le Weekend

Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) are off to Pairs to celebrate their 30th anniversary. He hasn’t fulfilled his potential and has become dull, while she’s miserable and snipey. They realistically fight and argue and laugh their way around Paris as the backstory unfolds.

You make my blood boil like no one else,” Meg says; “That’s the sign of a deep connection!” Nick retorts.

Do they hate each other? Yes.

Do they love each other? Yes.

The Girl Power One – Thelma and Louise

Long before the Spice Girls told us What We Want. What We Really Really Want, Thelma and Louise showed us how to dump the life you hate and go on a wild ride to look for the life you want. Another Road Trip but this time it’s the gals that are firmly in the driving seat. Funny. Feminist. Fiesty.  And before it’s time. Also worth watching for a very young Brad Pitt as Thelma’s one nightstand cowboy. Yee Haw!

The Other Girl Power One – Under the Tuscan Sun

Oh, I just love this. It satisfies every woman’s secret reinvention fantasy.

It tells the tale (based on a true story) of newly divorced Frances Mayes’ (Diane Lane) impulsive decision to dump her life in San Francisco and buy then renovate a dilapidated house in Tuscany. Our plucky heroine encounters endless problems, a bit of mysticism, lots of unusual but gentle souls and a smattering of romance. It’s the perfect movie a rainy Saturday afternoon when it’s just you, the sofa and tea and chocolate.

The On The Edge of a Divorce One – Hope Springs

Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) have been married forever. He’s indifferent and she’s bored so she persuades him to attend a weekend retreat with a renowned marriage counsellor (Steve Carell) who is based in the aptly named town of Great Hope Springs.

This one does end neatly tied in ribbon but it’s a fun getting there. And it is much better than It’s Complicated.

The Guy’s One – About Schmidt

Jack Nicholson is being grumpy again when he plays recently widowed and recently retired Warren Schmidt.

Warren is feeling useless and decides to take a road trip (I think I might like Road Trip movies!) to visit his daughter and persuade her not to marry Randall, a loser. During the trip, Warren starts to question everything – his life, marriage, the past and what the future holds. The movie ends with Warren getting in touch with his feelings, with the help of a letter from Ndugua, a 6-year old Tanzanian boy that he sponsors.

Sounds grim but is very funny.

The Really Really Good One You Might Not Have Heard Of Living Out Loud

Judith Nelson (Holly Hunter) thought she had the perfect marriage, until her husband walked out. Depressed and lonely she holes up in her apartment, drinking wine and nursing revenge fantasies. One evening, after drinking too many martinis in a nightclub she forms a connection with Pat, (Danny DeVito), the elevator operator in her building who is just as lonely as she is.

Pat falls in love with Judith but we all know that ain’t gonna work but what does work is their friendship and mutual support as they help each get on their feet and find their own individual Happy Ever After.

Any favourites that I‘ve missed?

THE END

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32 Comments

  1. 4 November 2017 / 9:09 am

    Thelma and Louise is my absolute favourite!!

    • 4 November 2017 / 9:10 am

      Me too, Shelley. I love it. I must dig it out and have another watch. Thanks for reading x

  2. 4 November 2017 / 9:20 am

    Schmidt is brill. And Hope springs cute. If you want a current gem try The Party. Saw it last night. Tim Spall and Kirsten Scott T are perfect. And every Christmas my daughter and I have to watch Love Actually. It’s a thing. It just is…

    • 4 November 2017 / 9:25 am

      Hey Geoff. I will defo go see The Party. I LOVE Love Actually. Every Christmas I watch Some Like It Hot – weird as it is so not-Christmassy! Thanks for reading and commenting Jill

  3. Shannon
    4 November 2017 / 10:46 am

    The Last Holiday is an awesome one as well.

    • 4 November 2017 / 10:50 am

      Hi Shannon I’ve not heard of that. Will be a-googling it ! Thanks for reading and commenting. Jill x

    • 22 March 2018 / 4:38 pm

      I love The Last Holiday!

      • 22 March 2018 / 5:19 pm

        Oh I don’t know that either. Will check it out. I do love a good movie. Thanks for popping on.JIll

  4. Shannon
    4 November 2017 / 10:48 am

    I mean “Last Holiday.”

  5. 4 November 2017 / 4:01 pm

    These sound great films to watch. I haven’t even seen ‘Thelma and Louise’ yet! Lots of catching up to do. 🙂

  6. 4 November 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Ooh this is fab! Thanks for sharing 😀

    • 4 November 2017 / 9:01 pm

      Hey Juliane thanx for reading and commenting. Delighted you enjoyed x

  7. 14 November 2017 / 11:50 am

    I have seen half these movies. Thanks for giving me more to watch!

    • 14 November 2017 / 11:57 am

      Hey Keith thanks for reading. Some cracking movies there. JIll

  8. 30 November 2017 / 9:30 am

    I love As good as it gets and Thelma and Louise.

    I’ll he sure to check out the other films on the list too.

    • 30 November 2017 / 9:34 am

      Thanks for popping by and commenting
      🙂

  9. 30 November 2017 / 3:59 pm

    So many good films. I especially love As Good As It Gets, Manchester By the Sea & About Schmidt. Jack Nicholson is my favourite actor though.

    • 30 November 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Yes me too. Love Jack. Thanx for popping by.

  10. 30 November 2017 / 4:15 pm

    OMG! I love all these films. And yes, I also HATE RomComs. Whenever I get sad, I just pop in Thelma and Louise and all is well with my world.

    • 30 November 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Oh hey thanks for popping by and commenting. Those are my favourite movies – great to hear you agree. JIll

  11. 30 November 2017 / 5:20 pm

    I absolutely love lists like this because I’m a Netflix junkie and I’m always looking for something to watch that’s more age appropriate for my, er, 47 years of age. I loved As Good As It Gets, as well as Thelma & Louise, but I haven’t seen any of the others. Two of my favorites, though, are The Bridges of Madison County and Out of Africa! Thanks for sharing…I’ve added these to my must-see list!

    • 30 November 2017 / 5:24 pm

      Hey Kristi thanks for popping over and commenting. The others are great especially Under the Tuscan Sun. I love Bridges of Madison County and one of my friend’s has watched Out of Africa tons of times. She loves the hair-washing scene !! JIll

  12. 7 December 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Ok, now I want a whole weekend of nothing but watching movies and eating.
    🙂 gwingal

    • 8 December 2017 / 9:40 am

      Sounds like the perfect weekend ! Thanks for swinging by. JIll

  13. 22 March 2018 / 9:28 am

    Really love As Good as it Gets! Will have to give the other a try though. Great suggestions thank you 🙂

    • 22 March 2018 / 9:31 am

      All perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon x

    • 22 March 2018 / 9:45 am

      Glad you approve. The guy’s one About Schmidt is one of my favs!

  14. 22 March 2018 / 10:27 am

    I LOVE As Good As it Gets! I really want to see Manchester by the Sea.

    • 22 March 2018 / 5:17 pm

      Manchester By The Sea is really amazing. Love a good movie ! Thanks for popping on.

  15. 22 March 2018 / 11:24 am

    I love, love, love Under the Tuscan Sun! That one in your list is my favorite. Another one that I absolutely love is Devine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. Have you seen it? It’s about a very strained relationship between an adult daughter (Sandra Bullock) and her mother (Ellen Burstyn). Little does the daughter know why her mother is bat-$hit crazy b/c of what she went through in her life along with mental illness. The mother’s friends kidnap the daughter to tell her the story with flashbacks. A ton of great actors are in this and I don’t think it got the props it should have gotten.

    • 22 March 2018 / 5:19 pm

      Oh – I haven’t even heard of that. I’ll defo check it out. Love Sandra Bullock one of my guilty pleasure movies is Miss Congeniality !! Under Tuscan Sun is just brilliant. Thanks for swinging my Jillx

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