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.

I think all of us could benefit from a healthy dose of Hollywood-induced pleasure-pain, and the following five titles are favorites that set off the waterworks like nobody's business every time – and there have been many times – I've watched them. Be forewarned that mild, hopefully not-detrimental spoilers abound … and because the most recent included title is 27 years old, I'm feeling little guilt about including them.

The only reviews I wish I could truly erase from existence are the pans of movies that I wound up loving down the line. Thankfully, there aren't many of them, partly because I feel, as I've written before, that life is too short to sit through crap movies twice. But the following five titles are all works that I was initially leaning on the fence about and chose to diss, those first opinions – having had at most two days, at the time of their composition, to mull over the experiences – not being opinions I currently hold in the slightest.

The following five, all boasting film scripts by the plays' original authors, are previously unreviewed titles that combine my adoration for cinema and theatre so effectively that they give me the charge of both artistic mediums for the price of one. I restricted my options to movies released in the last 36 years, and if that seems like an odd numeric point from which to jump, it did at least give me the chance to finally talk about …

It takes a truly special work of comedic art to keep me cackling more than two decades after the initial surprise of their jokes. Here are five home-viewing options that, through their promise of always delivering sustained vocal pleasure, have routinely kept me from, ya know, reading War & Peace or something … .

If you're a documentary hound, you're no doubt aware – and are most likely a fan – of the IFC comedy series Documentary Now! Created by a team of wildly funny, intensely knowledgeable talents including Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Myers, the show's premise finds each stand-alone episode simultaneously honoring and making glorious comic mincemeat out of a celebrated documentary in the visual style of that documentary … and in a mere 30 minutes (minus commercial breaks), to boot.