It's that time of year again...
We've made it to that point of the semester again. The time where everyone is always busy studying, finishing projects, editing papers, and pulling all-nighters to do so. Well, I am a firm believer in some down time in between those arduous study sessions, and what better activity to cool your mind off than to watch a movie! These movies are not only a fun and relaxing way to spend your precious free time, but will also motivate you to work harder once you get back to the task at hand.
1. "Legally Blonde"
When I decided to make this list, this was the first movie that came to mind. Almost no one inspires me more than Elle Woods.
For those who have not yet seen this movie (which I hope is very few), "Legally Blonde" focuses on the story of Elle Woods, who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law after he dumps her in an attempt to get him back. This may sound like a cheesy rom-com, but I promise you it is much more. Elle proves to herself and others throughout the movie what a strong, smart, and capable woman she is. If you are looking for motivation in your studies, this is the movie for you. Oh, and if you are a fan of musicals, I highly recommend checking out the musical as well - it is fantastic!
2. "Big Hero 6"
When thinking of motivational or inspirational movies, many Disney movies come to mind. However, I didn't want to overload this list with Disney movies, so I settled with just putting "Big Hero 6." I don't want to say too much about this movie because I want to avoid giving away any spoilers, but what I will say is that it is an excellent and heartwarming movie about the importance of seeking out family and friendships during hard times because nobody, not even a child prodigy like the main character, can handle everything by themselves. It's a cute flick that always gets me going. Highly recommend.
Who here remembers our queen Matilda? If there is one thing to take away from this movie, it is the importance of resilience! If a six-year-old can value her studies above everything else at the risk of suffering bullying and abuse, then you can finish that essay you are procrastinating writing. I'm not saying you need to be a genius, but much can be learned from the bright and outstanding Matilda.
4. "The Imitation Game"
Speaking of resilience, let's talk about Alan Turing. "The Imitation Game" follows the true story of mathematician Alan Turing who during World War II, worked with a team deemed with the task of decrypting the German Enigma machines. As one can imagine, this was no easy task, and the team faced many challenges throughout the way. Due to the high level of secrecy during the war, the people involved knew that their extensive efforts would go unrewarded for years, but they dedicated their lives to it anyway. Thinking about that calms me down after slaving away at a massive final paper to then get a single check mark with the comment "Ok" written next to it. Just because your work isn't always rewarding, doesn't mean it's not important.
Another movie about, you guessed it, resilience. That is pretty much the driving force of this movie. I mean, you have to be pretty resilient to handle an absolutely wild and insane conductor like the one in this movie, played by J.K. Simmons.
Something that really moves me about this movie is how dedicated the main character is to his craft. We've all had that crazy harsh professor that we hate dealing with, but in all honesty, the main reason they are so harsh on us is that they want and expect us to do better. There is always room to grow, and if a professor or mentor is harsh on you, it is because they know you can do better. I say all this, but I don't know if I'd be able to handle a professor hurling a chair at me like in the movie. But it is fun to watch.
6. "Silver Linings Playbook"
This movie always leaves me with a warm feeling after watching. This movie tells the story of Pat Solitano teaming up with recently widowed Tiffany Maxwell to try to win back his estranged wife after being released from a psychiatric hospital. This movie stresses the importance of a positive outlook on life, and that while life may not go as planned, everything will work out in the end. This message is one I definitely need to hear during finals week.
7. "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened"
So for this one, I took a 180 with the whole theme of resilience. While there are plenty of better, more motivating documentaries to watch, I prefer this one because it makes me feel better about myself. No matter how bad I screw up, it will never compare to the disaster that was the Fyre Festival. It's the kind of dumpster fire you watch and think, "How could this have turned out this badly?"
This movie motivates me to work my hardest because if I mess up, it could have a negative effect on not just me but so many other innocent parties involved, like in the case of the Fyre Festival. But at the end of the day, it's just fun to watch Billy McFarland crash and burn.
You don't always have to be good at school itself, as long as you are dedicated to something. Or many somethings, as is the case with the main character of Max "Rushmore" Fischer. While Max doesn't excel so much in his academics, he is heavily devoted to a variety of extracurriculars. When his life takes a downward spiral throughout the movie, he is able to pick it back up and throw all of his frustration into his playwriting. This isn't the main message from the movie, but it is what I am choosing to take out of it so I have an excuse for not being so good at my academics.
I don't really have much of a reason for putting this one on here besides the fact that I saw the poster for it recently and I had a flood of nostalgia wash over me. I guess there is a message to be gleaned from this movie, perseverance and upholding promises and the works. I'm not going to get into all that. All I am going to say is that it's a pretty darn good movie and a great way to waste time.
10. "Iron Man"
I've held myself back from writing any Marvel or "Endgame"-related articles lately, but if you think I wasn't going to make any mention of a Marvel movie during this list, you thought wrong.
For this entry, I am taking it all the way back to the beginning. A lot of people I know who watch Marvel movies now tell me that they don't bother with the first "Iron Man" because they don't think it's relevant. I think it's a tragedy for someone to go their whole life and not see this movie. The story of Tony Stark is truly compelling and while I have been going on and on about resilience during this list, none of the characters in those other movies hold a candle to Tony Stark when it comes to resilience. What does Tony do when captured and imprisoned by a terrorist group in a foreign country? Oh, just build an incredible suit of armor to fight his way out. This movie is the start of an unprecedented franchise and it all started with a bunch of scraps of iron. If that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will.