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Movie Night With Your Teenager

A big bowl of popcorn, dimmed lights and two hours of being away from the world. There is nothing like a family movie night to have some fun and bond with your kids. As kids get older and enter the tweens and teens period, gone are the days when Elsa casting her icy spells or Nemo going on his adventures can hold their attention. As they get older they are ready to explore more, question more and understand more and films can be a good starting point for conversations and sharing experiences

Every family will have their own recommendations, these are some of my personal favourites:

Credit: GR Stocks


A big bowl of popcorn, dimmed lights and two hours of being away from the world. There is nothing like a family movie night to have some fun and bond with your kids. As kids get older and enter the tweens and teens period, gone are the days when Elsa casting her icy spells or Nemo going on his adventures can hold their attention. As they get older they are ready to explore more, question more and understand more and films can be a good starting point for conversations and sharing experiences

Every family will have their own recommendations, these are some of my personal favourites:


Life Is Beautiful

It is the story of a father’s heart wrenching attempt to keep the horrors of being in a concentration camp from his son. He uses his humor and imagination to make his son think of the Holocaust as a game with a grand prize at the end of it. This is one of my all time favorites and is a beautiful tale of strength and humanity and how parents will do absolutely anything to protect their children.




Stand By Me

Four friends begin a quest to find the body of a local missing boy. As they hike through the woods they discover things about themselves and about friendship. The takeaway from this movie is how friends can become family and how one must stand up for the right thing.




Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants

Based on the popular book and one of my favorite movies, the film sees four friends sharing the same pair of jeans which happens to fit them all. The themes of friendship, loyalty and love are beautifully depicted as the girls experience their first adventures including family woes and first loves.



Dead Poet’s Society

This is a must watch movie for everyone. ‘’Poetry, beauty, romance, love .. this is what we stay alive for.’’ Life is not only about work, earning money and buying things. The movie has invaluable lessons related to sexism, friendship, youth and education and pursuing your dreams. It encourages everyone to explore poetry as a way for introspection and positive expression.




Mean Girls

As the main character Cady leaves behind the jungles of Africa to start her new life in the big city she learns about the jungle that is high school. Learning about the popular girls and the never ending complexities of high school this movie is a great example of what not to do. Most teenagers will relate to the movie and will identify underlying patterns of socialization and friendships in their lives. The movie reinforces how revenge is not always worth it or how demeaning others doesn’t really make you better.




Taare Zameen Par

This movie should be seen by all parents and children to understand how we need to look beyond set boundaries. The movie revolves around an 8 year old boy who struggles in academics and is bothered by his parent’s complaints. A new teacher in school identifies that he has dyslexia and his special talent in art. He helps him overcome the handicap while also creating awareness about dyslexia and other challenges kids can be facing.




Chak De india

My all time favorite movie is the perfect blend of being entertaining and teaching invaluable life lessons. As the girls Indian hockey team wins in the perfect underdog story, the movie teaches us the importance of breaking stereotypes and overcoming your weaknesses. The key lesson is how diversity can be blended to make a super strong and united team and how an effective leader can single handedly achieve this.




Stepmom

A divorced terminally ill mother has to learn to accept her former husband’s new lover who is set to become her children’s stepmother. The film conveys many of the complexities involved in the step family arrangement and breaks the stereotypical notion of the evil stepmother. The entire family deal with the new configuration in their own way and learns to deal with love, loss and grief together.




The Help

This book based in Mississippi in the 1960s is a story of black women working in white Southern homes. It strongly reinforces that racism is horrible and one should not use their privilege and power in this world to maintain this status of power. It is an important lesson on equality and how one should stand up for themselves and others.




Enola Holmes

Watch this Netflix movie for fun as Sherlock Holmes’s sister Enola searches for her missing mother in this crime caper. Enola is a feminist and extremely smart and likeable and uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart her big brother Sherlock.




Amelie

Is a charming French movie about a young woman which teaches values of love, compassion, persistence and bravery without being preachy and in your face.




The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

This movie is the story of a shy and introvert 15 year boy who has gone through a lot in his young life, his best friend’s suicide, his mental illness and first love. In his new school his seniors lead him to the real world. It is a must watch movie as it champions and celebrates inclusivity and tolerance as it shows how people blossom when they are accepted for who they are and lonely and painful life is when someone is ignored or mistreated. Most families will relate to this movie and its underlying themes of relations and intimacy, mental health and trauma and adolescence and transformation.




Juno

This movie maybe a controversial choice as the movie talks about unwanted teen pregnancies. Smart, funny Juno gets pregnant and initially considers abortion but soon rejects the idea and begins looking for a perfect couple to give the baby to. Her parents are supportive and are a part of this journey. This movie highlights that casual sex can lead to unwanted pregnancies and can be a great starting point for parents to talk about this sensitive topic.




Bend It Like Beckham

Watch this movie for a fun Sunday afternoon as it explores the differences in British and Asian cultures and the troubles faced by teenagers trying to fit in. It is a sports underdog, coming of age story that also explores themes of culture, family, racism and sexism but in a light hearted way.




Rang De Basanti

Is one of the best Hindi movies about friendship and patriotism. A student accidentally sparks patriotism in a few students by casting them as freedom fighters in her film. They become rebels for a cause and fight injustice. The core message of the film is that youth should get involved in the country’s politics and administration and fight against injustice and corruption.




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