You don’t have to set aside your brain when you watch a movie. In fact, movies could be some of the most educational media in our world today. You just have to choose the right movies to watch.
Bucket List was the biggest box office hit of 2008 that surely made a hit in millions of people’s hearts. It’s the story of two men with terminal illnesses (Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson), who strike up a friendship in the hospital, and decide to make a list of things to do before they die. The movie strikes a chord in the viewer’s heart, as he starts to understand that life should be lived on the edge, fulfilling one’s dreams and not putting them off for tomorrow.
Seven Pounds is Bucket List with a dark, tear-jerking twist. Join Will Smith as he gives deserving people the things that they need the most. Just brace yourself for a lot of tragedy and heartache. Keep a roll of tissue beside you.
Pay It Forward was one movie that made quite an impact on the real world. Haley Joel Osment’s character is a young boy bent on changing the world through good deeds and having the recipient of the good deed do to another person a favor, to “Pay It (the good deed) Forward,” and pass the peace, love and joy on and on, in a ripple effect phenomenon. What was just a concept for a school project became the crux of the movie, and sparked a phenomenon even beyond the silver screen. Truly a tearjerker and a heartwarmer, taking Pay It Forward’s lessons on to real life surely makes a difference.
When it comes to family relationships, the biggest and the most difficult really involve the relationship between a child and his or her father. If you have these hard issues in your life, these six movies would help you put things into perspective.
Pursuit of Happyness is the adapted story of prominent millionaire stockbroker Chris Gardner. From a life in shambles, watch Will Smith crawl his way from the gutter in order to bring his life -and his son’s- back on track.
I Am Sam is the story of a girl and her autistic father: their journey as they battle through legal proceedings as American state authorities get in the way of their family relationship.
Big Fish explores a son’s doubts towards his father who had a penchant for tall tales. What were, in his estimation, lies, turns out to be embellished truth, and he gains a newfound appreciation for his dad.
And When Did You Last See Your Father? A similar movie with a harder edge, this movie explores the more intense tensions between critical love and life choice disagreements between a man who was a doctor, and his son, who became a successful writer. Explore your own heartaches and allow yourself to be nudged by the movie, as life steers you to make peace with your own father.
Life is Beautiful is the story of a father who helps his son survive the Nazi-led Holocaust by making believe that their life in the concentration camp is a game. Expect to cry and be crushed as you witness this father’s great love for his son, which he wraps in humor and play.
The Bridge, or “Most,” is the story of one father’s sacrifice to save people riding the commuter train: in a crucial choice to save the people or sacrifice his son, we see the analogy of Jesus Christ being offered by the Father/Creator to Himself, in order to save human souls. If you’re a Christian, expect to be broken up in tears by this movie. If you don’t believe in God, your heart will still melt, as you witness the father’s extreme love for his son, and yet a mind-blowing paradox of the level of his altruism.
This movie list is designed to tug at your heart. But beyond the tears and the bucket load of wasted tissue paper (and trees killed), we hope that these movies’ lessons would truly sink in. A lot of these life lessons will be learned the hard way, but trust a movie to give it to you in pill form. Kinda like vitamins for living.