Nostalgia Trip: Movies through the ages

Over the long weekend, I came down with a rather heavy cold. It was miserable to say the least. While staying in bed most of the weekend was exactly what I needed insufferable, I had at least found a silver lining in my snot-encrusted Kleenexes: As I trolled the the archives of Netflix with no limitations (except for coughing fits and frequent naps, naturally), I rediscovered one of my favorite movies, Death at a Funeral. It is an extremely outrageous British (not the American remake) comedy about the troubles of an upper-class British family that has been torn apart by sibling tensions, the passing of their patriarch, and a hidden love affair with Tyrion Lannister.

You know, the norm.

While this is a plug for everyone to watch the movie—seriously, you will laugh your ass off—I also want to encourage you to hit pause on your work and press play on your favorite movies. Taking that trip down nostalgia lane is refreshing, heart-warming, and downright, well, nostalgic. Everyone loves that feeling. There’s nothing better. For me, Death at a Funeral led me from one movie to another … and then another until I had watched well over 5 10 15 movies from way back when.

So this week, take some time to watch a movie or two that you haven’t seen in a while, eat some pumpkin-flavored food, and get cozy. To help you with your planning, here is a tribute to movies from our childhood. 

Elementary school, alas, the good old days of naptime (Ed.- you had naptime in elementary school?  That’s awesome.) and personified objects. To relive this era, you can’t go wrong with any of the original Disney and Pixar movies such as:

  • The Brave Little Toaster: We all wished our toasters would come to life after we watched this classic. In a similar vein as Toy Story, this tale of abandoned appliances tugs at the heartstrings of children everywhere. How could someone possibly abandon Toaster, Blanky, and Lampy, especially after giving them such unique names? Join the gang on their adventure to reunite with the person who no longer wants them. Uh, that sounds kind of sad… Screw it, just watch Toy Story instead.
  • A Goofy Movie: A snazzy comedy about father-son troubles, is perhaps one of the best Disney movies of all time. The combination of Goofy, awesome song numbers, and moments like this one make it simply too good. This movie is where it is at. For real.
  • A Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc., and Finding Nemo: These comprise my Pixar holy trinity.  Remember when you used to burst out singing, “just keep swimming” whenever you were doing something repetitive? How many times did you hope Mike or Sulley would pay you a visit in the night?  And don’t deny that you wondered if that ant you were about to squish was related to Flik. It’s a completely valid concern.

Now it’s time to move up to the big league: middle school. During these terrible formative years of your life, you thought you understood the humor in most movies, but really you were laughing half the time just because everyone else was. Well, let’s see if you’ve caught on by now. Epic middle school movies include:

  • Mean Girls: This is perhaps one of the most accurate analyses of the psychology of teenage girls. It made girls laugh indignantly and explained so much to guys. Not only is it absurdly funny, but it’s also nice to see what Lindsay Lohan looked like in that forgettable period between The Parent Trap and her cocaine use rehab.
  • 300: What better way to brush up on ancient history than to spend an afternoon watching 300? If guts, gold, and glory don’t appeal to you, hopefully seeing the Oracle of Delphi rock out to dubstep will. It contains a plethora of corny quotable lines and a mind-numbing amount of violence—everything a teenage boy could ever need. While you’re watching, just remember that THIS. IS. SPARTA.

As you matured and found yourself entering high school, your movie tastes became more refined. Long gone were the days of Will Ferrell movies; it’s time to re-enter the age of drinking, fights, and crazy parties by watching these films:

  • Fight Club You DO NOT talk about fight club. Follow the rules, and you’ll do well. This movie inspired me and my friends from home to make a fight club of our own. It’s lifespan was about four hours long and included two bloody noses and a high-stakes boxing match between two girls while ten guys cheered them on. Yeah, we liked the movie.

Now you’re caught up. It’s college time. Don’t worry ’bout finding new films: Just break out the nostalgia and kick back. New flicks can’t possibly be better than the gems of our childhood, so rewatch movies until one day, you find yourself saying, “Ah, back in the day, they made movies like Mean Girls …”


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