Growing up, I learned a lot about friendship from movies. From The Breakfast Club to Pretty in Pink and later to Thelma and Louise and Career Girls, I learned a lot about life and love. Watching movies that celebrate seemingly unlikely friends helped me understand and figure out relationships and connections. They provide insight to bullying, cliques, feeling judged, self esteem issues and patterns of behavior. Just think about Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and Clueless. They give kids a chance to talk about what’s going at school on the playground and on play dates
Netflix has films for kids of all ages that dissect friendships, from sibling bonds to classmates. Here are a few suggestions:
Stand By Me
Based on the Stephen King short story The Body, Rob Reiner’s film is about a quartet of boys, inseparable friends all, set out in search of a dead body that one of the boys overhears his brother talking about. It had a slate of actors I followed in the 1980s including the late River Phoenix.
The film teaches kids to support each other, no matter what, and stand by each other.
This coming-of-age charmer follows a summer in the life of an 11-year-old girl who learns about love and loss as she grapples with profound changes. It was about a close friendship that grappled with loss and the disillusionment of adolescence. It had some great supporting roles including Dan Aykroid, Griffin Dunne and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris convinces his entire school he’s at death’s door, then hits the streets of Chicago with his girlfriend and best friend for a day of fun. I loved Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller, the best friend anyone could have. He’ll show kids what BFF’s are made of.
When Wilbur the pig discovers he’s destined for the dinner table, kindly spider Charlotte hatches a plan to keep him around. The story, based on the book by EB White, teaches kids the true meaning of friendship, especially when they are having trouble defining the true meaning.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team and post monthly.