7 Films That Taught Us The Meaning Of Life

In this month's mag, FHM went on a mission to discover the purpose of our very existence.

It's a tough job, but someone had to do it. And if you buy our June issue (complete with our 100 Sexiest Women In The World supplement), you'll get to see what some of the greatest thinkers, biggest celebs and most influential men think the answer to the world's most burning question is.

Films, when they're not mindlessly entertaining us, can also teach important life lessons. Here are the top seven films which taught us the meaning of life...

Up (2009)

If you make it through the first 15 minutes of this film without weeping, you’ll find the tale of a grumpy old man life-affirming. After strapping balloons to his house, our testy pensioner heads off into the unknown, and with the help of a curious boy scout, sheds his bitter old skin and learns to let go.

What we learned: “Adventure is out there.”

Trainspotting (1996)

Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. The advice of a heroin addict may not be the most trustworthy, but Ewan McGregor’s opening speech sums up everything you need for a normal existence. Watching his character Renton trying to make the big time at the expense of his ?so-called mates teaches a valuable lesson.

What we learned: “Choose life.”

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

The clue is in the name, and what better way to learn what life’s about than witnessing one where you don’t exist? A suicidal Jimmy Stewart being shown he has something to live for by a fallen angel may sound like the stuff of a bad trip, but it does the job.

What we learned: “No man is a failure who has friends.”

Fight Club (1999)

Sometimes in life you have to roll with the punches. Sometimes you have to deal with said punches in an secret club for misfits craving an escape from life. Just don’t talk about it. Edward Norton is one such misfit, who learns to shirk his duties and live for ?the now. By being smacked in the face.

What we learned: “This is your life, and ?it’s ending one minute at a time.”

Re-Animator (1985)

Borrowed from the mind of horror legend HP Lovecraft, Re-Animator doesn’t so much teach us the meaning of life, but what happens when you’re given it back. This grisly comedy depicts life at its most basic: angry, violent and sex-driven, shown through the eyes of a horny decapitated professor and a mad scientist with a taste for glory.

What we learned: “It’s really quite simple. All life is a chemical and physical process.”

The Goonies (1985)

This rowdy bunch of kids are the unlikely champions of life lessons, teaching us a thing or two by showing fierce loyalty, bravery and sacrifice in a world where they are constantly reminded that they are just children. This unfaltering courage works in their favour; Brand gets the girl, Mikey keeps his house and Chunk proves that there’s more to life than the truffle shuffle.

What we learned: “Goonies never say die.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Matthew Broderick reminds us to seize the day as only a teenager could: by stealing a Ferrari, hijacking a parade float and leading the biggest singalong to Twist And Shout ever. Living out our fantasy of ditching the daily routine and getting away with it, Bueller is the poster boy for misbehaving.

What we learned: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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