Everything I Know, I Learned From The Movies

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Everything I Know, I Learned From The Movies

Your parents probably told you at least once or twice that they only way to really learn life skills to to live life on your own in the real world. While their advice is spot on (and because parents are often right), there are a lot of life skills you can learn from watching movies. Why not learn and be entertained at the same time? It beats living a life of trial and error.


An important part of life is having the ability to cook. Sure, you could attempt to live a life of takeout, but cooking is healthier, less expensive, and can even impress your future life partner. While there are countless documentaries on food preparation, they can be somewhat dry (not something you want when cooking). Some popular choices for picking up some culinary tips include watching Jon Favreau making Cuban sandwiches on his food truck in Chef (2014), Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in Julia & Julia (2009) or even a basic, yet delicious, soup in Pixar’s Ratatouille (2007).

Animal Companionship

Having a pet when you’re a kid is one thing because there’s a good chance your parents did a lot more of the caring for your beloved dog than you did, but if you’re living alone and trying to decide if you’re ready for an animal companion, consider watching a movie first. It seems that every film ever made about dogs will make you cry, such as Old Yeller or Marley & Me, but there are some that can make you think long, hard, and responsibly about pet ownership. For instance, if you were a child of the 1980’s or ‘90s, remember the big, drooly and lovable St. Bernard, Beethoven? Watch Beethoven (1992) again as an adult and you may think twice to getting a dog of any size, once you see the destruction.


Being employed is one of those important life skills that often seems overrated, but it pays the bills and allows you to be able to have a hobby or two. If you have a job you love, consider yourself lucky. If you hate what you do, you should start browsing the classifieds, but if you’re just having a stressful day at work, like all of us do sometimes, you may find some inspiration from Peter’s laissez-faire attitude in the ever-popular workplace comedy, Office Space (1999), avoid seeking inspiration from Horrible Bosses (2011) and if you need to feel a little bit better about your own job, watch Clerks (1994).

In Your Free Time

Work is important, but so is having free time. If you make no room in your life for hobbies or things you enjoy, it’s time to reassess what you’re doing (or not doing). Like to play poker with friends on a Friday night? If you need some gambling tutorials, check out Rounders (1998) or The Gambler (2014) for a few winning tips.

If you love the idea of spending the day fishing, these movies may inspire you and offer a few angling tips: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Salmon Fishing in Yemen (2011), and A River Runs Through It (1992).

Finally, if you’d rather celebrate your inner artist, regardless of your preferred medium, Butter (2011) can teach you a few things about sculpting, in general, and American Splendor (2003) may inspire you to tell your life story in the form of a graphic novel.

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