1. Stand By Me, 1986
In a nutshell: A group of young boys takes a journey to see a dead body and they’re brought closer together when they find it — but, in their adult lives, they don’t stick together.
What it taught me: You’ll learn more about the world and yourself when you’re 12 than at any other point in your life. Which, in theory, should mean that your dad should drive you to the mall more often to hang out with your friends.
2. My Bodyguard, 1980
In a nutshell: To protect himself against bullies, a meek kid enlists the scary school outsider to be his bodyguard. In the end, the two find they need each other.
What it taught me: FInd your inner tough guy.
3. Groundhog Day, 1993
In a nutshell: Bill Murray is a newscaster who finds himself caught in a loop where he re-lives the same day. In order to break the cycle, he has to change his ways and do things right.
What it taught me: Is this what grownup life is like? The same thing over and over again? Jeez, that sucks.
4. My Man Godfrey, 1936
In a nutshell: During the Great Depression, Irene, a ditzy socialite gives Godfrey (supposedly a homeless, “forgotten man”) a job as a butler. Godfrey, however, is in fact a learned, high society man who will eventually save Irene’s family from financial ruin.
What it taught me: Women in the ’30s sure did have talk fast and had shrill voices. Also, maybe black and white movies aren’t so bad.
5. Big, 1988
In a nutshell: Tom Hanks plays a boy in a man’s body, placed there after making a wish that he could be bigger. After getting along in the grownup world, all he wants is to return home.
What it taught me: Don’t grow up too fast.
6. Defending Your Life, 1991
In a nutshell: Before entering Heaven, Albert Brooks must prove that he lived his life on earth without fear. While in Judgement City, he falls in love with Meryl Streep and eventually faces his fears to be with her.
What it taught me: Conquer your fears!
7. Ruthless People, 1986
In a nutshell: Because Danny DeVito hates his wife, Bette Midler, he refuses to pay her ransom when she is kidnapped. She then gets back at him by screwing him over and taking all his money.
What it taught me: At least your parents don’t hate each other this much. Also, people are the worst.
8. The Man With Two Brains, 1983
In a nutshell: Steve Martin is a brilliant surgeon who falls in love with a woman’s brain (which can somehow talk whilst in formaldehyde solution). In order to be with her, he must find the perfect body. He does, except finds his love is a compulsive eater and becomes severely overweight. But they still love each other!
What it taught me: Love people for who they are, not what they look like.
9. Being There, 1979
In a nutshell: A lowly gardner is mistaken for an erudite gentleman. Because his talks of gardening are interpreted as economic metaphors, he rises the ranks, becoming a presidential advisor.
What it taught me: Anyone dumb can become president.
10. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977
In a nutshell: Weird things start happening to people thanks to the arrival of UFOs and aliens. Attempts to understand/communicate with the aliens fail until the end, which results in a mysterious, yet peaceful abduction.
What it taught me: The world is a mysterious place and what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is out there? WHY ARE WE HERE??? IS THERE A GOD?