Family watching TV movies together

Feels Just Like the Classics: New Movies for Seniors

Classic movies have proven to stand the test of time, that’s why they’re called the classics. With over 600 movies being made a year, it’s easy to fall into a trap of just watching the films that you know you’ll enjoy or be comfortable with. However, among this sea of films produced are gems that strike similar chords as your favorite movie.

“Watching the movies of the past helps us understand the future and vice versa,” says Manny Dela Rosa, also known as Manny The Movie Guy to thousands of TV viewers in the Palm Springs, California area. The film critic — with one of several degrees including from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago — can also be seen interviewing movie stars and giving his four-kiss ratings (he gives kisses rather than stars because he loves movies so much) on The Filipino Channel.

For senior audiences, seeing the similarities between classic films and modern movies can be a great way to bridge the gap with loved ones from younger generations — and that includes the grandkids and great grandkids. So, pop that bag of popcorn, get cozy in your community’s lounge with a big-screen TV (or in the privacy of your well-appointed apartment home) and check out some of these suggestions from Manny The Movie Guy, a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA).

  • Few movies can make your heart flutter and your insides chuckle like the classic Roman Holiday. With Audrey Hepburn’s performance, comedic dialogue and a storyline that makes you smile from ear to ear, Roman Holiday brings out our inner romantic and traveler. Seniors can find these similar notes of love, comedy and travel in the 2009 movie Up with voiceovers from Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer and John Ratzenberger. Manny says this animated film is ultimately about love and offers characters that seniors will be able to identify with. Plus, the film resonates well with young kids. If you’re looking for stories about love that have a touch of comedy, you may want also want to watch The Holiday, My Best Friend’s Wedding and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
  • The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s timeless story of Don Vito Corleone, is often regarded as the perfect movie thanks to its cast, quotable dialogue and unforgettable scenes. If you enjoy crime dramas that pull you in, you may want to watch American Gangster. Denzel Washington’s performance shines throughout the film, just as Marlon Brando and Al Pacino’s do in The Godfather. Other recommendations include Killing Them Softly and The Departed. These films offer gripping gangster stories and memorable scenes that resonate with audiences young and more mature.
  • Chances are, the stylish dance moves and catchy tunes have made Singing In The Rain a favorite in your movie collection. Few films from the modern era feature the style and grace that Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly brought to the screen. But 2016’s La La Land definitely gets close. With various references to classic musical movies, La La Land is the perfect film for music lovers of all ages. Whether watching with the family or your fellow neighbors, this film will have you humming long after the movie has ended.
  • The hustle and bustle of a newsroom creates great drama. When you blend that with political intrigue, you get a memorable film like All The President’s Men. If you love the dramatic re-telling of real-world events from the point of view from people who broke the story, Spotlight might be the perfect film for you. The actors in this award-winning movie portray complex characters who are on par with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford’s Woodward and Bernstein.

In the same way your favorite movies inspired you, these modern films do the same for today’s generation. It can be satisfying to know that the themes and stories you hold dear stand the test of time and are often re-told in new and exciting ways.

Manny The Movie Guy notes that you can only tell so many stories in life, so today’s movies take plenty of inspiration from the classics. “Without Star Wars, we wouldn’t have Avatar!” he says followed by his famous giggle. “Most filmmakers these days take influences from the past and offer a new refreshing take.”

The next time your senior living community — be it The Waterford at Thousand Oaks or The Waterford on Cooper — hosts a movie night with snacks, suggest a classic and modern film double feature.