We all accept getting older in different ways. Some believe age is simply a number, and that you are only as old as you feel. Others believe in aging gracefully, accepting the changes to their bodies as a natural part of life. Still, others fight it tooth and nail, continuing to do everything just the way they used to, regardless of how difficult, ungainly, or ridiculous it might be.
Getting older can bring a lot of emotions our way – fear, anger, regret, sadness, loneliness, etc. But at the end of the day, we are all human, and all share common bonds. That’s one of the most powerful things about the film industry is its ability to take our common emotions and portray them in ways that make us smile, make us laugh, give us hope, and encourage us that we are not alone, and that even things like getting older bring with them opportunities and possibilities that we never knew existed.
While a healthy majority of movies released these days seem to trend towards superheroes, dinosaurs, lightsabers, and car chases, over time there have been plenty who have touched the absolute essence of what it means to get older and do so in ways that continue to satisfy our souls and remind us what it means to be alive.
Whether you’re making a transition to our Hidden Meadows On The Ridge senior living community in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, moving to a smaller living space, moving on without a spouse, or simply blowing out the candles for a birthday past 50, 60, 70, or beyond, embrace the emotions that come with change. And if you need a pick-me-up, a laugh, or even a good cry, here’s a list of our favorite senior-centric movies that will be a perfect remedy for what ails you.
Movies About Aging to Enjoy
- Up – The first 15 minutes of this Pixar classic are absolutely heartbreaking. We watch the first 70 years or so of a man’s life play out without a single word of dialogue – he dreams big, falls in love, gets married, but his wife is infertile and dies of an illness before they can take their big trip. Instead, he decides to go it alone, with about 1,000 balloons as a liftoff system for his home. With a young stowaway on board for the ride, the old man, voiced by Ed Asner, learns how to live again.
- Driving Miss Daisy – Not being able to drive anymore is one of the biggest fears and biggest fights most people face as they get older. Our cars represent our freedom and our ability to not rely on others more than we want to, but for almost all of us, it someday turns into a reality. And so it goes for Jessica Tandy’s Miss Daisy in this film set in the 1940s in the South. When she gets in a wreck, her son hires a driver, played by Morgan Freeman, and the battle is on as Miss Daisy’s in-born prejudices play out, only to gradually turn to respect and genuine friendship. An excellent tale about putting aside your lifetime prejudices and continuing to grow as a person in your later years.
- Saving Private Ryan – For the current crop of retirees, World War II was their parents’ greatest battle. Something they were aware of, but didn’t really understand until they were adults. This film, with its amazing combination of actors (including Tom Hanks and Matt Damon) and director (Steven Spielberg), gives as accurate a picture as most of us have ever seen of the pain, struggle, and sheer horror of the fight in Europe starting on D-Day and continuing through war-torn France. The film’s end is something we can all learn from, when Damon’s character, now aged into his 80s, returns to the site of a final battle, then tearfully asks his wife if he has indeed lived a good life, as he promised a dying comrade he would.
- The Bucket List – Morgan Freeman shows up on our list for a second time, this time paired with Jack Nicholson as two cancer patients who meet at the hospital. Freeman is a middle-class guy with a wife; Nicholson a billionaire with a lot of requests, but the two decide to team up using Nicholson’s virtually unlimited resources and fulfill the items on their bucket lists – the things they want to see and do before they kick the bucket. Fun and sweet, the movie will bring you to tears near the end when Nicholson is able to scratch “Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world” off his list.
This is just a small sample of the movies out there that can help us transition into our golden years. They are a perfect way to showcase that emotions, good and bad, are a healthy part of getting older.