5 Good-Bad Movies and Their Life Lessons

Snooty film critics, this one ain’t for you.

After surviving six long years of working in retail (yes, six- hold the applause) I have been fortunate enough to land myself my dream job here at Nasty Gal; which comes with the added bonus of being a Monday-Friday situation. And now I’m adulting, I can actually experience the glory of the sacred ‘weekend’- perks of which include being able to plan your life around that ‘Friday feeling’. I’m a traditional (and unapologetic) millennial who likes to reserve Sundays for rest and hangover recovery; involving lots of food, lying down, and (obviously) Netflix. Since I spend a lot of time on Netflix and flicking through TV channels, you can imagine I’ve watched a lot of good, bad, and good-bad movies. You know, those movies that are super nostalgic and enjoyable, but don’t necessarily have a great deal of depth or creativity–those are the good-bad movies that are perfect for Sunday viewing from my pillow cave. But even though these aren’t the movies you would watch for deep meaning or profound thoughts, I found myself taking away some major life lessons. Could it have just been my hangover? I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s a run-down of my top five good-bad movies (in no particular order) which (somehow) taught me a lil a something.

1. Mystic Pizza

Is this a cult classic or have I just made that up? Well it’s definitely one of those films that people have either never heard of and think is about a psychic pizza, or that people are really obsessed with. I, as a diehard Julia Roberts fan, am now obsessed with it. Without any spoilers, two sisters and their loveable bestie are journeying through their late teens/early twenties, finding their own, very different paths in life, from the base of a small fishing town whilst also working at a pizza restaurant. Feel-good from start to finish, but not as cliché as you might think, the film essentially taught me that everybody’s life is different, and that’s ok. Just do you. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t, you just have to take a chance and go for it. Urgh, I’m going to have to watch it again.

2. Pretty in Pink

Some people may argue that this is just a straight-up good film, some people… otherwise. I for one, see its bizarre appeal through the mediocrity of its narrative. Full of the most out-there, 80’s fashion you will ever see; lead actress Molly Ringwald really took me on a journey in this movie with her misfit ways and killer fashion. It reaffirmed my belief that you should always just be true to yourself and just be one hundred percent you; because money, your background, and all those other things don’t define people. And sometimes, just being unapologetically you is the greatest act of defiance in the face of your haters.

3. Meet Joe Black

This one is a bit of an opinion-divider—myself included. Featuring a very young Brad Pitt, this movie full of second chances and love, has a very questionable and confusing ending. But I know the other half of the split consensus loves the ending. Anyway, the overriding message of the true meaning of love and beauty of life, is just the pick me up you need sometimes. And with a run time of three hours, it’s a day-filler…so get cozy.

4. 13 Going on 30

If you’ve haven’t seen this—cancel everything you are doing and watch it immediately. Well, ok, maybe just multitask the other stuff you’ve gotta do while you watch because the plot isn’t that deep that it requires full focus. The basics: lead character Jenna (Jennifer Garner) is flung from her 13 year-old self to her dream life at 30. As well as, this movie being a ball of straight up chick-flick fun, it also made me realize that even if you get everything you want in life; dream job, dream boyfriend, dream bod–if you haven’t got friends, family, and genuine love around you, then what does it all matter anyway?! Also, a silk nightie and a trench coat is a viable (and actually pretty killer) outfit option.

5. Beaches

This is the film that shook me to my core. I was not expecting to embark on such an emotional rollercoaster of a journey as I was flicking through the TV channels on one particularly dark and dreary Sunday. The movie focuses on the tale of two best friends from very different worlds and their tumultuous lives. With wonderfully heart-warming, and often heart breaking moments, this film is nothing what you expect, even after the movie begins. The lead characters, C.C. and Hilary, are flawed, stubborn, and independent, but still admirable and relatable in so many ways. Just like real people we all know. For me, this movie served as a reminder that sometimes you’ll be lucky and sometimes you will encounter the hardest of times, but you have to live your life your way, with no regrets, and surround yourself with people who will catch you when you fall. Definitely one to watch with your best beach, and FYI…prep your tissues in advance.

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