Boomer movies more than entertainment

What kind of movies would we call Baby Boomer movies - made for us by us, about us? Are they movies that we can relate to, that address issues we're facing today?

Are they movies that give us hope in what’s possible regardless of age? Do they tell stories of how our generation still has a lot of life yet to live?

That we have huge contributions to make to the world and remain a force to be reckoned with? That we have full lives of excitement, adventure and fun? Do they fulfill our expectations of all Baby Boomer media?

Are they movies that depict our modern-day hero Boomers, like Sully the pilot who landed on the Hudson?

Or are Boomer movies ones that thoroughly entertain us, sweeping us away to fantasyland for a couple of hours to keep our minds off pressing problems?

If a movie has a Boomer director or screenwriter or is based on a Boomer’s book, does that make it a movie for us?

Do Boomer movies have casts of leading Baby Boomers like George Clooney (1961), Tom Hanks (1956), Sally Field (1946) or Meryl Streep (1949)?

Or at least names we’ve grown up with and recognize even if they are a little outside the parameters – Dustin Hoffman (1937), Robert Redford (1936), Ellen Burstyn (1932) or Helen Mirren (1945)?

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It could be a combination of any of these factors. But it definitely should include a portrayal (even if not the main characters) of women and men in their 50s or 60s doing something, dealing with life in a way that makes sense to us.

'Last Vegas' one of 2013 Boomer movies

As goofy as it was, “Last Vegas” in 2013 meets the criteria of being a Boomer movie. A group of friends since childhood now in their late 60s gather to celebrate (or intervene) the last holdout’s upcoming nuptials.

Even “Captain Phillips” meets the criteria. It’s loosely based on a true story about a Baby Boomer’s harrowing experience with Somalian pirates.

The captain is an average American in his mid-50s dealing with a crisis. As viewers, we got to explore what we would do in such a situation.

'Lee Daniels' The Butler' covered much of Boomers' history

A couple of romantic comedies in 2012 qualify as Boomer movies. “Late Bloomers” is about a man and woman nearing 60 who love each other but have opposite ways of handling it.

In “Hope Springs,” a middle-age couple come to grips with a marriage that has lost its fizzle.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” has scenes in its historical storyline that resonate with Boomers including the JFK assassination, Vietnam war, Watergate and resignation of President Nixon.

Other Boomer movies

  • “The Face of Love” – 2014: A widow meets a man who looks exactly like her late husband.
  • “Gloria” – 2014: A Chilean film in which an empty nester searches for love.
  • “The Descendants” – 2011: A favorite Boomer George Clooney plays a dad who discovers while his wife is comatose that she’s been cheating and he’s trying to reconnect with his estranged daughters.
  • “Expendables,” “Expendables 2” and "Expendables 3" – 2010, 2012, 2014: Action films written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, also starring, has middle-aged men on a rescue mission. 
'Unconditional Love' resonates with Boomers
  • “Red” and “Red 2” – 2010 and 2013: Another favorite Boomer, Bruce Willis, comes out of retirement to take care of past issues with other Retired Extremely Dangerous operatives.
  • “It’s Complicated” – 2009: A divorced couple reignite the romantic spark at their son’s wedding. Problem is Dad is now married to someone else.
  • “Mamma Mia!” – 2008:  A bride-to-be searching for her real father invites her mother’s former lovers to the wedding.
  • "Mamma Mia! Here we go again" - 2018: The bride of the first movie is now pregnant - and the Boomer wannabe grandfathers gather once again
  • “Something’s Gotta Give” – 2003: Boomer mom finds love when her daughter’s lover collapses with a heart attack during a visit.
  • “Unconditional Love” – 2002:  Stellar performance by Kathy Bates, a new grandmamma scorned by her husband, who finds adventure and excitement on her own.

Classic Boomer movies

Below is a partial list of movies that have resonated with Baby Boomers as we were coming of age or reflected events that hugely impacted our lives.

Forrest Gump was a quintessential Boomer
  • “Forrest Gump” – 1994
  • “Absence of Malice” – 1994
  • “Thelma and Louise” - 1991
  • “When Harry Met Sally” – 1989
  • “Field of Dreams” – 1989
  • “Dirty Dancing” – 1987
  • “Wall Street” - 1987
  • “The Big Chill” - 1983
  • “The World According to Garp” – 1982
  • “Urban Cowboy” - 1980
  • “Norma Rae” – 1979
  • “Apocalypse Now” - 1979
  • “The Deer Hunter” – 1978
  • “Saturday Night Fever” – 1977
  • “Annie Hall” – 1977
  • “Kramer vs. Kramer” - 1976
  • “All the President’s Men” – 1976
  • “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” – 1975
  • “Jaws” – 1975
  • “American Graffiti” – 1973
  • “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” – 1974
  • “Midnight Cowboy” – 1969
  • “Goodbye, Columbus” - 1969
  • “Easy Rider” – 1969
  • “To Sir With Love” – 1967
  • “The Graduate” – 1967

This by no means covers ALL the movies about Baby Boomers. Can you add to the list? 

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