Top 10 Mid Life Crisis Movies

Script written by Sean Harris Life begins at 40, but for some of us it really drags its heels! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 mid-life crisis movies! For this list, we're looking at any movie that tackles the tricky period experienced by most people sometime during their late 30s and 40s. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Sean Harris

Top 10 Mid Life Crisis Movies


Life begins at 40, but for some of us it really drags its heels! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Mid-Life Crisis Movies!

For this list, we’re looking at any movie that tackles the tricky period experienced by most people sometime during their late 30s and 40s. Quarter-life crisis movies such as “Office Space” haven’t been included because, although the characters in them are clearly stressed out, they’re just not old enough to qualify.

#10: “The Family Man” (2000)

If you’ve made it to middle age, chances are you’ve clocked up countless ‘what if’ moments. And, it’s probable that at least one of those is linked to your love life. In “The Family Man”, Nicolas Cage has an opportunity to live the life he might’ve had if he’d stayed with his former girlfriend, rather than pursuing a successful career. What follows has him rethinking infidelity, uncharacteristically playing with his food, and cringing-nay-crying over home videos of a past he sadly never actually had. Suspend your disbelief for this, and it’ll reaffirm your love for life.

#9: “JCVD” (2008)

A semi-fictionalised biopic of action movie icon Jean-Claude Van Damme, “JCVD” sees the actor play himself caught amid a post office heist in Brussels. In the movie, Van Damme’s in the twilight years of his career; roles are no longer available, his popularity is waning, and he has plenty of other off-screen problems as well. In short, Van Damme’s not the icon he once was, and is struggling to adjust. A film that hinges especially on an incredibly emotive, fourth wall-breaking monologue scene, “JCVD” shows ‘the muscles’ in a whole new light.

#8: “The Incredibles” (2004)

A mid-life crisis can be inspired by a longing for the glory days. With “The Incredibles,” Pixar shows this mentality through the eyes of a retired superhero. The fame and adoration of times gone by has former superhero Mr. Incredible desperate to escape the monotony of a settled life and an office job. But considering his wife and kids also happen to have amazing powers, this not so ordinary family finds themselves called back to their crime fighting past and saving the world from danger once again. Even if the suits of yesteryear are a little tighter than they once were, Pixar entertainingly shows us that even a mundane life filled with love can be its own adventure!

#7: “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009)

In another animated portrayal of middle-aged problems, Wes Anderson takes the director’s chair for this stop-motion effort of the Roald Dahl adaptation. Mr. and Mrs. Fox were once the finest thieves around, but with the birth of their son they’re forced to lead more responsible lives. However, for Mr. Fox, the romance of the raid and thrill of the chase are just too tempting to ignore. His escapades land the family in hot water though (or should that be cider?), as this movie shows how far a fox will go to avenge its tail!

#6: “City Slickers” (1991)

Disillusioned with what life has given him, Billy Crystal stars as Mitch Robbins, and as demonstrated by his classroom ‘pep-talk’, Mitch’s outlook on life is about as bleak as it’s possible to be. But when he and two friends leave the city for two weeks to work a cattle drive, they’re all forced into a change of perspective. The wizened cowboy Curly Washburn claims to know the secret to life, and it’s just up to Mitch to locate the reason for his.

#5: “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)

Who says love has to make sense? Boasting an ensemble cast intrinsically linked by Steve Carell’s hapless middle-ager, Cal Weaver, this movie is definitely ‘crazy’ and at times even ‘stupid.’ In the beginning, Cal must come to terms with his newfound status as a single man, after his wife reveals that she’s been unfaithful. By forming an unlikely friendship with a relentless womanizer, Cal does begin to build a new life. But even so, he still loves the mother of his children. What follows is a monumental mix-up, and a laugh-out-loud look at relationships.

#4: “Manhattan” (1979)

Woody Allen has a habit of bringing at least a little beauty out of a mid-life crisis, with the magical realism of “Midnight in Paris” being a prime example. But we’ve gone further back in the Allen archive, and selected “Manhattan” as an especially memorable tale of middle age. Allen stars as Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced forty-something writer of comedy. Intent on finding at least a little focus for his existence, Davis frequents art galleries and discusses world literature, while all the while looking for love against a dazzling New York backdrop.

#3: “Falling Down” (1993)

While most mid-life crisis movies offer some hope of a positive resolution, “Falling Down” sees Michael Douglas play an estranged parent, ex-husband and formerly employed down-and-out, who’s reached rock bottom and is staying there. As his frustration at life gets the better of him, he sets off on a city-wide rampage, acquiring greater weapons as he goes. William Foster isn’t exactly a bad person, he’s just been pushed to do bad things, and woe betide anyone who gets in his way!

#2: “Lost in Translation” (2003)

In this comedy drama, Bill Murray shines as Bob Harris, an aging American movie star stuck filming a whisky commercial in Tokyo, Japan. Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte is a recent graduate following her photographer husband to the city, with no clear idea of what she wants to do in life. The pair forms an unexpected friendship thanks to their shared insomnia, and helps each other through both the fears of youth, and the dissatisfaction of experience. “Lost in Translation” leaves its audience deep in thought, whether they’re middle-aged or otherwise.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.
“A Single Man” (2009)
“This Is 40” (2012)
“Young Adult” (2011)
“Enough Said” (2013)
“The Descendants” (2011)

#1: “American Beauty” (1999)

With five Academy Awards under its belt, “American Beauty” follows the story of Lester Burnham and his infatuation with Angela, a high-school classmate of his daughter’s. Needless to say, Lester undertakes the very definition of a mid-life crisis in the film; he dreams of girls half his age, he relentlessly works out, buys cars, and ruthlessly lets his family know just what he thinks of them. It can make for difficult viewing, but it’s also essential viewing. “American Beauty” is just a beautiful movie!

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie about a mid-life crisis? For more crisis-worthy top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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