Wondering what movies to watch? View The Vibe’s Sarah Botelho fills up your queue with these 12 inspirational flicks.
If you’re more of reader than a cinematic connoisseur, you may want to check out our list of books to change your life first. But if you’re a film junkie looking to watch some flicks that’ll give you a different perspective on some of life’s most pivotal moments (not to mention give you good feelings when you need them most), then you’ve come to the right place.
Here is our list of movies that may change your outlook on life – or at the very least, give you something to do on a rainy day when you’re perusing Netflix.
Before you shake your head at this rom-com, don’t. If you were absent during all of 2006, this movie tells the story of a 20-something college graduate (Anne Hathaway) who’s ready for the real world of journalism. She takes a job working for the (devil) fashion editor, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep!), who basically makes her life a living hell. Among the comic relief and envy-worthy fashion scenes, this movie might be the reality check you need. Watch this to realize that making a zillion dollars is glamorous and maybe even fun, but those hundred dolla’ bills aren’t going to keep you warm at night.
This indie film by Greta Gerwig (and speaking of, honorable mention goes to another film that Gerwig starred in: Lola Versus – even when the world falls apart to the nth degree, you can still put it back together) is a little more on the obscure side. Fair warning to those who love Technicolor: it’s entirely in beautiful black and white. The titular Frances is a dancer, except not really. She lives with her best friend, but they’re not really friends anymore. She wants a bunch of things, but she doesn’t really do anything about it. In short, we’re all her at one time or another. Watch this movie to realize that sometimes you’re not a real adult yet, and sometimes you’re not going to know what it means to be that. And even when you don’t, it doesn’t matter, because it’ll all be okay.
We’ve all been there. You just went through the shittiest breakup of all time and all you want to do is forget that any of it even happened. Well, in this film, Kate Winslet’s character actually undergoes that very procedure after her bad split from Jim Carrey (don’t worry, he doesn’t make jokes in this movie). Her hair is also a different colour of the rainbow in every scene. This wonderfully orchestrated film really gives you some perspective on relationships and the true meaning of the phrase “t’is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” Watch this movie to realize it’s okay to be sad. Cry with Jim Carrey as he sits alone in his car. And then cry harder when the film teaches you that just because the memories are sad right now, doesn’t mean that you should let them go forever.
If you ever went through a classic rock phase in your angsty years, you need to see this. This semi-autobiographical film mirrors the life of Cameron Crowe (the director) when he was a teenage writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. The main character, William Miller, tours with the almost-famous band, Stillwater, all over the country. He’s surrounded by famous people, famous parties, temptation, and love. Watch this movie to realize you might not want to meet your idols. You might not even want to idolize them as much as you do, because people are people. And people mess up. And even the most unlikely of us can end up being someone our idols would be proud of. Also, Kate Hudson’s character sports some epic boho fashion.
They tell you within the first 30 seconds of this film that what you’re about to watch is not a love story. Yet, time and time again, you still expect Summer and Tom to ride off into the sunset together. This movie outlines the relationship between these two young people in a rather mediocre, unexciting world and shows how sometimes you just see what you want to see. The expertly crafted expectation vs. reality scene is probably something all of us can relate to. Watch this movie to realize that just because somebody likes the same bizarre crap you do, it doesn’t make him or her your soul mate.
You might say that this is a Christmas film, but it holds a year round message. If you’ve managed to make it this far in your life without seeing it, It’s A Wonderful Life tells the story of George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams to help others. His suicide on Christmas Eve brings about an intervention by his guardian angel to show him what the world would look like if he had never been born. Watch this movie to realize how fleeting and special life really is, to learn that every day matters, and even the smallest of gestures can create a ripple effect for the better.
This film is a whimsical depiction of Parisian life set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress (born to very eccentric parents) who tries to change the lives of those around her, while dealing with her own isolation. She carefully tries to manage everyone’s happiness, creating a world entirely of her own making, but often forgets to help herself because of introverted nature. Watch this movie to realize that while it feels great to help other people achieve their dreams, ultimately, you need to make time for yourself and your own dreams, because nobody else is going to do that. If you’re always scared of failure, you’ll never have it in you to try; but if you try, something great could happen.
If you’re a sports movie fan, this one’s for you. In this film, Sandra Bullock’s character and her family adopt Michael Oher, a homeless teen who has drifted in and out of the school system for years. He ends up discovering his love of football (and being quite good at it), but more than that, he discovers what it feels like to have people be there when he needs them. Apart from all the game-winning football euphoria, this movie is about a lot more than just a suburban family bringing in a troubled teen. Watch this movie to realize that life is meant to be a cohesive system – we all need each other at some point to make it through the day, and helping others when they need it is a magical thing.
This is a new Disney/Pixar movie, but it’s generated enough buzz that you’ve probably heard of it. Yes, it’s marketed as a children’s movie, but the themes are really more for an older audience. The cartoon follows the story of 11-year-old Riley and all of the emotions in her head as she deals with the ups and downs of everyday life. Fear, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, and Anger all try to cope with her family moving across the country and what happens when she starts to lose her sense of self. Watch this movie to realize that Sadness is not always the enemy – you need it to be an emotionally-balanced human. And it’s okay to admit that because there’ll always be someone there to offer a little Joy in return.
Critics are still divided on this one (probably because it’s somewhat of a spoofed religious allegory), but it poses some interesting questions. In Ricky Gervais’ comedy The Invention of Lying, we are presented with an alternate reality in which a lie has never been told. People are brutally honest with each other about everything from what they think of your outfit to how they really felt about your date. Movie theatres don’t even exist in this world – when you go to one, there’s a man sitting in chair reading you history facts since making a work of fiction would technically be a lie. Watch this movie to realize that if you had to choose a super power, you probably shouldn’t pick mind-reading. We have the ability to make stuff up for a reason; and whether it’s white lies or a fictional blockbuster, we as a society, need lies.
This movie is not a chick flick. It is a human experience flick about thinking and feeling. Consider Tokyo, the city in which the movie is set, as a scene-stealing character all its own. The director, Sofia Coppola, uses amazing cinematography and thought-provoking dialogue to great effect. It’s up to you whether or not Bill Murray’s midst-of-his-mid-life-crisis character and the confused-just-married Scarlett Johansson are entirely platonic, but the film’s really more about finding yourself through friendship. Watch this movie to realize that asking the hard questions is the most important thing you can do in your life. Even if you’re terrified of the answers you may get, at least you were strong enough to ask them in the first place.
This biographical movie stares a young Jake Gyllenhaal playing the role of Homer Hickman Jr., a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 to take up rocketry against his family’s wishes. After his brother leaves their small town on a football scholarship, he decides to build his own rocket and enter it in the science fair. This doesn’t come without a healthy dose of embarrassment, ridicule, failure, and disappointment. On the plus side, 1999 Jake is adorable. Watch this movie to realize that if you want something, you can’t let people discourage you. Because if you really believe you can do it, it won’t matter what they said – it’ll only matter that you achieved your dream.
Did we miss any life-changing movies? Let View The Vibe know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.