I love stories in many formats, genres and time periods. The hubs and I especially love watching movies together (I even worked at Blockbuster Canada for the 10 free rentals a week). Over the years, I’ve watched a lot of movies, but some moments, some scenes, some characters – they stay with you and sometimes even change you.
Here are a few of my very favorite movie moments that I could watch over and over or taught me a life lesson I’ll never forget.
Dead Poet’s Society
The first time I ever heard the phrase Carpe Diem was in this movie…and it also got me in some trouble. I love when Mr. Keating finally gets Todd to compose the impromptu poem in front of the class, you can see the revelation on Todd’s face. That moment when he realized he’s stronger than he thought, that the limits he’s imposed on himself – imposed on him by his parents – don’t have to define him.
And the O Captain my Captain scene. As Mr. Keating is leaving, Todd stands up on his desk first and then many classmates join him in a show of solidarity for Mr. Keating. That scene taught me how powerful the influence of a teacher can be, and I realized how much I wanted to be one.
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Oh – ladies how do you not smile every time Johnny says that to Baby? To have a guy risk everything to stand up for you, to redeem your tarnished reputation and to tell the world he’s proud to be your guy. I think what I learned from Baby and Johnny is that sometimes you need that other person to help you see the real you – to help you find the real you and give you the confidence to be the kind of person you want to be.
The Family Stone
“You have a freak flag, you just don’t wave it.” I love that bar scene. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character is trying so hard to keep her lid screwed on tight, and the reason she has to work so hard at it is because that’s not who she really is. Not really. Trying to be someone you’re not never works out, and it’s so much work. But we’re so afraid no one will like the real person inside us, so we hide. And then, to have someone see past that facade and affirm the real you – what a moment!
While You Were Sleeping
Lucy comes off as such a tragic character – she sits in a booth all day like a veal, she drops Christmas trees through windows, and she’s even nice to the pervert downstairs. And she’s so lonely she adopts someone else’s family knowing that it won’t last, that it can’t last, and it won’t end well – but desperate to be included, wanted, missed even if it’s only for a short time. She keeps her passport up to date, just in case the impossible happens and she can take that dream trip to Italy.
Have you ever been that lonely? I know I have. Squeezed your eyes shut on reality and pretended just a minute longer that it was real so you can wring every last drop of joy from it – however contrived – to relive it later.
Yeah – confession, I enjoy vampire movies. Seline is a character I can relate to because she’s a truth seeker. She is desperate for the truth to come out no matter what it costs her, no matter what the implications are. And the truth is messy, and it hurts, but there’s healing there too. And hope.
“Tomorrow is a new day.” The movie is a little silly, but Chicken Little’s unsinkable optimism has gotten me through many tough parenting moments.
Tomorrow is a new day has become somewhat of a mantra for me. At the end of a bad mommy day, when I was quite sure I’d single-handedly ruined my children because I was too busy with something that wasn’t important, because I’d gotten frustrated at their slow pace, because I’d let my kiddos watch what I considered too much TV — Chicken Little reminded me that tomorrow is a new day. Just make tomorrow better than today.
Lord Of The Rings
Samwise Gamgee is my most favoritist of Hobbits. His loyalty and love for Frodo inspires me, and makes me long for such a friend. This is my favorite line of Sam’s:
“It’s like in the Great Stories, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those are the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too young to understand why. But I think I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something–that there’s some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for!”
Hector has to be one of my favorite classical characters. He lives with so much dignity, wisdom, respect, and strength. The good son who always steps up to do the right thing–even when it sucks–to protect those he loves. To me, Hector is the hero of that story, and I just want to smack Paris. I think in Hector I see one word personified: nobility. Makes me smile.
Do you have a favorite movie moment – a scene, a character, a story that’s stuck with you or taught you a life lesson? I’d love to hear it!
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