From 'Clerks' to 'The Big Lebowski': Here are the 5 best movies about doing absolutely nothing

What's better than binge-watching movies after a big Thanksgiving binge? Chilling out with classic movies that are basically about doing absolutely nothing. Here are five of our editors' top picks.

Clerks (1994)

Clerks was our easiest, chillest pick because it's the ultimate slacker film. The titular clerks, Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), spend an entire day hanging at the Quick Stop while coming up with new excuses to get out of the work they're supposed to be doing. This film launched Kevin Smith's career, and it also introduced viewers to Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith), the fan-favorite duo who have gone on to appear in almost all of Smith's movies.

According to the filmmaker, he drew upon his own life at the time to craft the hilarious conversations that became his calling card.

"When I watch Clerks, it's a biopic. It's like, 'Oh, that was my life, that was my thing, that's what my girlfriend said to me at the time. That's what my friend said to me,'" Smith told Yahoo Entertainment in 2021.

Last year, Smith revisited the characters in Clerks III, with Randal and Dante coming full circle and, taking a cue from Smith's life, deciding to make a movie about their own lives. And if Smith has his way, he'll never stop makingClerks films.

"As long as I'm alive, there's a chance there's another Clerks coming," Smith told us. "Look, [George] Lucas has Star Wars … this is all I got in life. I got my Clerks ... I'll never stop with the Clerks characters because I've found that Dante and Randal are my secret heart. That's the best way into a personal story for me."

My Dinner With Andre (1981)

My Dinner With Andre doesn't get enough credit for being one of the most chill movies ever made. It gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of a dinner between two old friends, Andre (André Gregory) and Wally Shawn (Wallace Shawn). We're basically the third wheel at the table who can't get in a word edgewise as these two talk for almost the full length of the film. Their conversation is spellbinding; it's easy to get swept away in their words as they discuss a variety of topics that reveal the depth of their knowledge — and how dramatically they've both changed since the last time they spoke.

There's no forced drama here, or even much in the way of conflict. It's just two men getting to know each other again after a long time apart. My Dinner With Andre is almost more of a theatrical play than a movie. And yet it's hard not to feel like the entire experience is an affirmation of living life to the fullest, no matter how you define it.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

John Hughes's The Breakfast Club is about five very different high school students forced to spend a lazy Saturday in detention. While most of the films we've chosen maintain their chill throughout, there are some tense moments in this movie. But these kids also bond with each other as they open up about who they really are and what they want.

The Brat Pack's Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy co-headlined the film as a bunch of disparate kids who come to realize they have more in common than they originally believed. While speaking to Yahoo Entertainment in 2022, Hall recalled that Hughes treated the film as if it were a theatrical play.

“It was kind of like filming a play, because every day we do about 10 pages, and everybody had to have a close-up,” Hall told us. “So it was pretty intensive work in terms of filming a drama, but at the same time, there was always joy at work because John was great. He was very flexible, very collaborative and really open to suggestions.”

Lost in Translation (2003)

If there's such a thing as semi-tragic chill, it's Lost in Translation, because viewers get to watch a beautiful friendship form from nothing — only to be left wondering if it will continue in any form beyond the end of the movie. Sofia Coppola's terrific film is about the unlikely friendship between two Americans in Tokyo: Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). Most of the "action" involves Bob and Charlotte hanging out and enjoying each other's company while their respective partners are off doing other things. They find themselves to be kindred spirits, and that creates a powerful bond between them. But ultimately, their personal lives intrude and force them to go their separate ways.

The film resists the urge to make Bob and Charlotte’s connection romantic, which makes the conclusion even more bittersweet, since the audience will never know what their final words were, or if they will ever see each other again.

"I think the relationship — the way those two characters affect one another — is really profound," Johansson told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year. "You watch it and you don't judge it. It's just two people that come together in this circumstance that's sort of foreign. ... They're out of their body. They're out of what's familiar to them, and it's because of that they connect with one another. Like feel like if they met any other place or any other time, they wouldn't be as vulnerable to connecting in that way."

The Big Lebowski (1998)

There's never been a more chill leading man than Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) in Joel and Ethan Coen's masterpiece The Big Lebowski. With that pedigree, there's no way we could have left Lebowski off this list. No matter what life throws at the Dude, he almost always seems to take it in stride. Chaotic hilarity ensues when the Dude gets roped into delivering a ransom for the allegedly missing Bunny (Tara Reid) — when all the Dude wanted to do was get someone to replace his soiled carpet.

In the 25 years since The Big Lebowski was released, the Dude's remarkable outlook on life has even inspired the Church of the Latter Day Dude, which celebrates the Dude's simple ethos: "taking 'er easy."

"Dudeism is a philosophy, so any person, religious or not, can apply the ideology of 'taking it easy' into their own belief system," the religion's founder, Phillip Kopp, told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year. "I find that the 'golden rule' is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you — or as Dudeists say, 'Be cool to each other.' Dudeists fully believe in having an open mind, listening to one another and having fun together."

To paraphrase the last line of the movie, “The Dude abides” ... and so can you.

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