Start an "Old School Film Club" this Winter.
The night is endless this time of the year, right? It's time for curling up on the couch and letting Hollywood have her way with us. Unfortunately, there can often be a paradox of choice given all the ways we digest film content at home these days: Netflix, Hulu, ApplePlus, HBO Max.
Fortunately, there's a way to edit your choices using a modern elder lens.
First off, there’s a new website called "Movies About Aging" with two gerontologists who review films, many of which you’ve never heard of. Additionally, AARP has a "Movies for Grown-Ups" section on their website with their annual award winners. Or, you could Google "Movies like fill in your favorite" and see what comes up. But, be careful about what's delivered to you. I did that with the classic cult film "Harold and Maude." The next thing I knew, I was going down a rabbit hole which led me to a steamy German film called "Secret Love: The Schoolboy and the Mailwoman." Now, I keep getting promos for the sitcom "Cougar Town" in my social media feed.
Lastly, just like Book Clubs have an enduring appeal, why not create a Monthly Film Club with friends? It's a whole lot easier. A film can be digested in two hours or one sitting. Whether your group watches separately or together, you could gather (or Zoom) once a month and talk through some of the key themes and lessons.
You might start with Shirley MacLaine's 2017 film, "The Last Word," as it mirrors an MEA exercise on having to write your own obituary as a means of making sense of your life. For those of you who don't know this film, MacLaine plays a retired, controlling, cranky businesswoman who knows she has little time left due to a medical condition. She decides to craft her obituary, so she hires a young obituary writer to work with her to ensure her life story is told her way. But, in the process, MacLaine realizes that her seemingly successful life has been missing so much, which leads her to mentor a young kid while also starting a new job as a disc jockey. There's a lot to learn about intergenerational collaboration and what's truly meaningful in life.
Of course, if that isn't your cup of tea, what about "The Intern," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," or "The Farewell." And, of course, there's always "Secret Love: The Schoolboy and the Mailwoman."