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50 Greatest Mid-Life Crisis Movies

Thelma & Louise (1991)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Sick of being married to a buffoon, Thelma (Geena Davis) goes on a road trip with Louise (Susan Sarandon).

Except they see a little more action than they were expecting when Louise shoots a man who sexually assaulted Thelma, and the duo take off across America to evade the authorities.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: You got to spend some quality time with your best friend – and you both got laid (one of you by a fresh-faced Brad Pitt).

Seven Year Itch (1955)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Pretty much one of the biggest nerds you could ever hope (not) to meet, Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is middle-aged, middle-of-the-road and in the midst of a middle-life crisis.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: Marilyn Monroe seems to be around a lot, and looking particularly lovely.

Which is always nice.

Fatal Attraction (1987)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Alex (Glenn Close) is at the wrong end of 30 and despite her success in business, doesn’t seem to have had much luck in love.

Until she meets Dan (Michael Douglas), with whom she shares an idyllic weekend.

Shame he’s married…

Reasons To Be Cheerful: It all goes very wrong for Alex, who won’t give Dan up without a fight.

But she can rest easy in the knowledge that her rather violent actions result in the coining of a brilliant phrase: bunny boiler.

The Wrestler (2008)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Robin Ramzinski (Mickey Rourke) used to be a pro wrestler.

Now, though, his life’s a shambles. He’s working in a supermarket, forced to wear a hairnet, and he hasn’t been in the ring for years.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: On the bright side, Robin does meet charming stripper Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), who seems to understand his lot.

Sure, he makes a mess of that as well, but for a moment there, things are good.

Last Tango In Paris (1973)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Lonely and miserable after his wife committed suicide, Paul (Marlon Brando) embarks on a torrid affair with Jeanne (Maria Schneider).

However, when Paul decides he wants to make the affair into something more, Jeanne disagrees.

There’s tragedy on the horizon…

Reasons To Be Cheerful: *Spoilers* Depending on your belief system, you could argue that in the end, Paul’s reunited with his wife.

Yeah, we know, it’s a stretch…

Young Adult (2011)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) has made a living out of writing young adult fiction. Which is fitting considering she’s barely evolved since graduating high school.

An alcoholic mess who hates her life, she decides salvation lies in her high school boyfriend, and heads back to her home town to reclaim him. Only her ex (Patrick Wilson) is already happily married with kids…

Reasons To Be Cheerful: Sure, your hair’s falling out in patches and you wake up drunk most mornings, but at least you still look like Charlize Theron.

Raging Bull (1980)

The Mid-Life Crisis: What happens to boxers after they’ve hung up the gloves? Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) finds out in Martin Scorsese’s unflinching drama.

Overweight and over the hill, he’s bitter, twisted and generally somebody you wouldn’t want to spend any time with.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: LaMotta’s a really gifted fighter.

It’s his own fault he wastes that talent. Hm, that didn't come out as positive as we'd intended...

Lost Highway (1997)

The Mid-Life Crisis: A typically mind-bending crisis from David Lynch, as saxophonist Fred Madison (Bill Pullman) becomes the target of a strange, pale old man who seems hell bent on destroying Fred’s life.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: Fred’s unfortunate (and growing) list of queasy encounters could all just be a fever dream.

Couldn’t they? We’re not sure what to believe anymore.

City Slickers (1991)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Not only is a nearing-40 Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal) having a full-fledged mid-life crisis, so are his buddies Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern) and Ed Furillo (Bruno Kirby).

Which is why this miserable trio decide to go on a South-western cattle drive. To, y’know, remind themselves why life is worth living and all that.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: At least Mitch doesn’t have to go through his pain alone. Also, naw, what a cute calf.

The Descendants (2011)

The Mid-Life Crisis: Matt King (George Clooney) is in a bit of a twist after his wife falls into a coma following a boating accident.

With his missus indisposed, Matt struggles to look after his two teenage daughters, while also discovering that his wife was having an affair.

Reasons To Be Cheerful:
Sure, Matt’s adulterous wife is in a coma, but that gives him a great opportunity to get to know his daughters better.