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It’s that dreaded time again: exam season. When the cold weather starts to really set in and exams become a lot closer on the calendar, I can practically feel the motivation start to slip from my body. While I’m in no way suggesting full-time hibernation (or avoiding exams completely), sometimes you need a break. Here are my top six suggestions for those nights when curling up and watching a good movie (or a few) are simply unavoidable.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

What’s more motivating than a movie about skipping school? Okay… maybe not the best for self-motivating but hey, the point of this is for when you need a day off anyway. So, curl up, and try not to fall for the young Matthew Broderick’s character as the popular, charismatic and nothing short of likeable, Ferris Bueller. It’s seriously the day off escape we all dream of.

13 going on 30 (2004)

Imagine a rom-com classic about a teenager who wishes her way into the future where all her dreams and wants have come true. Only to discover that just maybe wishing away your teenage years and the hard parts of life don’t solve all your issues? Alright, I’m sold. Personally, I love Jennifer Garner, so maybe I’m biased, but not only does this movie explore the uncomfortable parts of growing up, it teaches us that they’re unavoidable and better to live through than ignore. Not to mention this is one of the first films that didn’t oversell the ‘glory days’ of being 20, and painted adulthood as something to be excited for, not dread.

The Parent Trap (1998)

Maybe it’s because I practically grew up at summer camp… or maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a good romance, but The Parent Trap will forever be an all-time favourite of mine. It gives just the right amount of childhood nostalgia, an equal amount of loveable characters and heart-warming moments that will leave you dreaming of sunshine and romance.

mamma mia (2008)

If you’re not a musical lover, I don’t want to hear it. This movie is unarguably one of the best of all time. There’s no way you can feel sad while watching two independent women discover their dreams on a remote island while singing ‘Dancing Queen’. Maybe it’s the colour scheme, maybe it’s the bond between mother-daughter relationships or maybe it’s Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep being in almost every shot. Regardless, I am a die-hard fan of this movie and the positive vibes and amazing musical numbers it can bring to any night.

Little women (2019)

This depiction of the 1868 coming-of-age novel remains like its paperback origins: timeless. I found myself in awe and in tears all throughout this film. I think the beautiful thing about it is it paints people, as people. Each of the main characters very clearly has flaws as well as amazing characteristics that leave you relating to them on a very personal level. This movie is not necessarily the sunshine-and-rainbows feel-good film; however, it is humbling, relatable (well as relatable as a film based in the 1800s can be) and reminds you how truly awesome women are.

Grown ups (2010)

How could you not love this movie? Honestly, I love everything about the concept of this film. Five high school friends that grew up to have totally different lives, still connecting for good old summer fun. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade are outright hilarious in this family film that reminds us that fun doesn’t have an age limit. This movie will always be my go-to for days when I need a pick me up. Lake house, water parks, the summer sun and Adam Sandler’s classic shenanigans; what could be better?

Exam season can be extremely stressful, so it’s very important to take breaks. Hopefully you’ll find the above movies good stress relievers for when you need some time off studying. I also hope you’ll enjoy these movies as much as I do!

Belle O’Neill

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Belle is a third year Communications and Environmental Studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University.
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