Let's be real: you can watch most movies one time and be perfectly happy never seeing them again. It's not that they are bad movies — it just that they don't have that thing. You know what I'm talking about. It's almost an unidentifiable emotion, but some films have a certain component embedded in their DNA that makes them movies which will never get old, no matter how many times you watch them. In my mind, I think of these movies as the film equivalent of comfort food — like, macaroni and cheese for the mind. These movies may not all be classics in the traditional sense of the word, but trust me, Love Actually gets a lot more play than Citizen Kane in the long run.
A movie that never gets old is like a friend you've known since elementary school. Even though you know everything about them, somehow you never get sick of seeing them. They still make you laugh, cry, and feel warm and safe. These movies involve actual magic — I'm 90% sure that is a fact.
I am willing to concede that everyone's list of movies that never get old is probably a little bit different. That is the beauty of people — we're all unique snowflakes at heart. However, the movies on this list all have some sort of following proving that no one can get enough of them.
1. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Infinitely quotable, Dirty Dancing will never wear out its welcome. Baby and Johnny's love story is as addictive as it is improbable: From their humble beginnings to that crazy, show-stopping dance number set to an unabashedly '80s song (even though the movie was set in 1963), Baby and Johnny are legendary — and so is Dirty Dancing.
2. Jurassic Park (1993)
No offense to Jurassic World, but I doubt I will clock as many hours re-watching it as I have re-watching the movie that started it all. Jurassic Park never stops being an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride, and every single time you watch, you feel like you are eight again. That's a special kind of movie.
3. Casablanca (1942)
Oh Rick, never stop breaking my heart. Casablanca is a true masterpiece: It has managed to stay one of the most popular movies of all time for eight decades now, and that only happens when there is major quality and storytelling involved.
4. Bridesmaids (2011)
All of your favorite funny women in a heartfelt comedy about female friendship? It's no mystery why Bridesmaids holds up to repeat viewings.
5. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is one of those rare movies that truly has something for everyone. It's funny, full of action, it has fantasy elements, there's romance, and there's even a bit of drama. Plus, it doesn't matter how old you are, it's still appealing at every stage of your life.
6. Love Actually (2003)
Though Love Actually can be depressing beyond words, it is still one of the most compulsively watchable movies of all time. Whenever it is on, I forget how much of a jerk Alan Rickman's character is to Emma Thompson's, or how stalkery Andrew Lincoln's character is being toward Keira Knightley's — because in the moment, it is all heartbreaking and romantic. This movie is pure wizardry.
7. Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Any movie that combines horror and comedy as deftly as Shaun of the Dead deserves to be on this list. It is a cult classic because it's smart, wonderfully silly, and it reinvented the zombie genre. Even though I know all the jokes ("Dogs can look up!") I still laugh — and even though I know how it ends, I still tear up. Flawless movie is flawless.
8. Toy Story (1995)
The first Pixar movie is still the most memorable Pixar movie. Woody and Buzz's crazy adventure always makes me giggle, and I feel good about humanity every single time I watch it.
9. Clueless (1995)
As if there is a universe where Cher and her crew go out of style.
10. The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club has spawned countless homages, because 30 years have passed and no one is over how awesome it is. It is the perfect rainy day movie because it will take you right back to high school (but not in a traumatic way).
11. A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Holiday movies are particularly enduring because there is so much nostalgia attached to them, and A Nightmare Before Christmas basically spans the entire winter holiday season. Because it is both cynical and sincere, the movie has captured the hearts of a generation — and because Tim Burton is a genius, it will keep doing so for years to come.
12. Mean Girls (2004)
Tina Fey has given us so much, but one of her greatest gifts of all is Mean Girls. From slumber parties to grown up ladies' nights in, Mean Girls will be there for you, like a prickly hug.
It's hard to say what curious formula must be achieved to make a movie that never gets old, but all of these movies have it. (And thank goodness they do, because otherwise, I might actually have to watch something on my Netflix list.)
Images: Lionsgate; Giphy (12)