Do you remember when you were younger and just couldn’t wait to grow up? And now, here you are, a full-fledged adult with a career, commitments, and bills. It’s not quite what you hoped for, right? This whole being an adult thing is just a little overwhelming and not that exciting. In fact, it can be pretty disappointing.
You’re not alone; almost everybody goes through this phase somewhere between their late 20s and early 30s — it’s called the quarter-life crisis. You start to feel trapped by your job or your relationship, and you just want out of it all. It can be a very confusing and painful time in your life.
Below are 20 movies that are truly inspirational that can relieve the pain and even motivate you.
1. Into the Wild
“When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”
This is the true story of a young man going through a quarter-life crisis. He leaves home in search of adventure in the Alaskan wilderness.
2. The Fault in Our Stars
“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
This is the heartwarming story of two teenage cancer patients who fall in love. They bond over reading the same book and set out to meet the author.
“I’d rather die drunk, broke at 34, and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90, and nobody remembered who I was.”
Whiplash is about the struggles of a young, talented drummer who gets into a prestigious music academy. He develops a complex relationship with his aggressive instructor, who tries to push him to greatness.
4. 500 Days of Summer
“People change. Feelings change. It doesn’t mean that the love once shared wasn’t true and real. It simply just means that sometimes, when people grow, they grow apart.”
500 Days of Summer is a romantic comedy about a girl who doesn’t believe in true love and a guy who has been waiting for true love his whole life. It’s a great reminder that no matter how bad things seem in your life, they can always get better.
5. About Time
“We’re all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.”
About Time is about a 21-year-old-man who is going through his own quarter-life crisis. When he discovers that he can travel through time, he decides to improve his love life.
6. Garden State
“If you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you’d like…What do you do? You laugh, you know. I’m not saying I don’t cry, but in between, I laugh.”
Garden State is a great movie to help you with your quarter-life crisis. It revolves around two characters who are transitioning into adulthood, dealing with death, and learning from the past.
7. The Devil Wears Prada
“I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.”
This movie is great if your quarter-life crisis was brought on by career stress. The Devil Wears Prada is the story of a girl who lands her dream job but has a difficult boss.
8. Walking and Talking
“I wonder if I’ll ever know what it’s like to not break up with someone.”
Walking and Talking is the perfect movie about life changes and how close friends are not always on the same path.
9. Almost Famous
“You’ll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle.”
Almost Famous is all about taking risks to get what you want. Sixteen-year-old William sets out to become a rock-and-roll journalist. He ends up learning quite a bit about life along the way.
10. About Alex
“Judgment has a way of creeping into every relationship — even the most intimate. If we’re lucky, somewhere along the way, we meet a few people who listen to us without criticism or reproach. We call those people our friends.”
This movie is about a group of friends who come together for the weekend. They are there to support a friend after his suicide attempt. Coming together brings back a lot of old, unresolved issues.
“What will I do without a best friend?”
This movie is about two best friends who support each other through the quarter-life crisis, divorce, illness, and loss.
12. Office Space
“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”
This is another excellent movie about working in a dead-end job with a terrible boss.
13. Good Will Hunting
“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”
Matt Damon plays a math genius working as a janitor at M.I.T. who goes through a quarter-life crisis.
14. The Graduate
“It’s like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don’t make any sense to me. They’re being made up by all the wrong people.”
This movie portrays the classic quarter-life crisis. Ben finishes college at the top of his class, but what is he going to do next?
15. Reality Bites
“Welcome to the world of the emotionally mature.”
Friends graduate from college and have to face adulthood. Their quarter-life crises are all about looking for love and work.
16. Amazing Grace
“…we’re too young to realize certain things are impossible, which is why we will do them anyway.”
Amazing Grace is the story of a young man who fights against the British slave trade. It’s a reminder to anyone going through a quarter-life crisis that sometimes, it can take years of difficult, painful, and depressing work to achieve lifetime goals.
17. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
In this movie, Ben Stiller plays Walter Mitty, a man who has diligently worked at the same job for years. Unhappy and about to lose his job, he takes off on an international adventure in an attempt to find himself.
18. People Places Things
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just having a bad life. It’ll be over eventually.”
People Places Things is about a newly divorced man and how he tries to get over his ex-wife while balancing his new life, his career, and parenting.
19. Young Adult
“Sometimes, in order to heal, a few people have to get hurt.”
A newly divorced woman returns to her hometown while she is going through her quarter-life crisis. Things aren’t as she left them, however, and she must learn to deal with the changes.
20. Silver Linings Playbook
“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.”
Silver Linings Playbook is about a man who gets divorced, spends time in a mental institution, and moves back in with his parents. He has to learn to navigate his feelings about his ex-wife and a new girl he meets.
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