In honor and celebration of my college-senior theatre-major friends who are now graduating yet were denied the opportunity to enjoy one final send-off performance, allow me to guide you to five of my personal favorite film performances from the years in which I attended Augustana College.

I've expended a lot of wordage over the past several (hundred?) weeks guiding you to home-viewing options in the wake of closed cineplexes. So for a refreshing change of pace, what say I let others do it for me?

It's not the anniversary of his birth, or even his death, and he didn't pass away recently. But more and more lately, I find myself missing Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actor who finally lost his long battle against drug addiction on February 2, 2014. These days, of course, I miss everyone – even people, like Hoffman, who I only saw on-screen. I've been feeling his absence more acutely than usual, though, over the past several weeks, and for reasons that are only partly professional.

I guess you know you've been self-quarantining for a long time when you realize you're now writing sequels to articles you wrote when the self-quarantining began. But I also didn't come nearly close to praising all the comedies I wanted to five weeks back, so a sequel we all get! Besides, you can either spend eight hours reading about and then watching these five excellent titles from 1985 to 1994 or watch Tiger King for the seventh time, so … .

Where's everybody going … ?

Last fall, I saw Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, and Pedro Almodóvar's Pain & Glory on the same weekend, which was unbelievable. Yet not long after autumn's launch in '94, five infinitely re-watchable films, all of which I saw in theatres, hit this area over 15 days – a collection of titles that went on to earn 27 Oscar nominations (a third of them for acting) and four wins, and that I recently returned to pre-pandemic just because they're like potato chips for me: If I'm having one, I'm probably having five.

Here are 20 excellent home-viewing options from the last two decades that are finally getting their official Reader props. I've restricted every write-up to 50 words or fewer in deference to your patience. And also to give myself an extra writing challenge. 'Cause we gotta find ways to pass the time somehow … .

My dad, who lives with my mom in Crystal Lake, Illinois, turned 80 last week. As with many other recent celebrations – all of ours, everywhere – our family's planned-for birthday party never took place, and we're going to have to wait a while before we can officially convene in Dad's favorite Brazilian restaurant. (Which might actually be the rest of the family's favorite Brazilian restaurant, but hey – Pop likes it, too.) In the meantime, this one's for you, Dad – I'm finally reviewing Evil Under the Sun!

Recently, while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post from a 20-something friend of mine who said he'd just watched 1982's Tootsie for the first time, probably as a result of the film finally streaming through Netflix. (He also said he was wearing a Chewbacca onesie while watching it, but I don't judge.) And I thought, yes! You should watch Tootsie, dude! It's amazing! And then, of course, I had to watch Tootsie again.

Not that any of you need to be told this, but self-quarantining can play really weird tricks with your mind and emotions, even in regard to entertainment. The other night, in preparation for this article, I re-watched Barry Levinson's Diner – an all-time favorite since I was 15, and a comedy that never ceases to amuse me. But when, during one of the film's most memorable squabbles, Daniel Stern grabbed half of Steve Guttenberg's roast-beef sandwich and started to eat it, I flinched. Fer chrissakes, I instinctively thought, what are you thinking?! Isn't is bad enough that you guys are sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in public?!?”

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was seventeen. Jesus, does anyone?

The film-savvy among you will recognize that as a slight bastardization of Richard Dreyfuss' concluding sentiment as he types those words – with “twelve” replacing “seventeen” – on a now-ancient PC at the end of Stand by Me. But in the summer of that film's release, right before I left Crystal Lake, Illinois, to begin my freshman year at Rock Island's Augustana College, I felt I did indeed have the best friends imaginable … partly because I saw most of them, nearly every day, at the best job imaginable.

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