A few months ago I wrote about the fact that I love movies. I’ve been doing a large amount of soul-searching lately (though I’ll spare you that), and just today I watched a movie that really got me thinking about why I actually love them. If you’re my friend on Facebook, I have a list of my favorite movies; not a list of movies that are technically amazing, but the ones that really matter to me. What sets these movies apart? They evoke a very strong emotional reaction in me. Since movies became more than a modern marvel they have been one thing above all else – an escape… and that is why I REALLY love movies.
There are times when a movie is just GOOD, like with A Bronx Tale or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but those movies aren’t something that really affect me all that much. The ones that really stand out strong with me are the ones that rustle things up inside of me: whether it’s compassion, love, strength, determination, etc.. I’ve been getting very honest with myself lately (the aforementioned soul-searching), and today was just an extension of that. My favorite movies usually make me cry at some point – but with a smile. I’m an emotional sap when it comes to movies, and they can really get to me. Why, though? I’m connected to it, that’s why. In some manner, these movies allow me to escape who or where I am, and allow me to bond with this other world. Of course, if you know me, you’ll also know that I’m not talking about some desire to be a swashbuckling pirate or an astronaut, though those can still affect me, too. I’m talking about movies that allow me to feel the beautiful humanity of the characters on a personal, and sometimes painful, level. My favorite parts of the movies I love deal with simple themes of love or sacrifice, companionship or isolation, or so many other things. I don’t love the television show “The Office” because it’s funny (and it is), but because it has some beautiful moments of great heart – moments where I am able to share these characters’ pains or triumphs. The show “Freaks and Geeks” is the same way for me, only this time it’s about the pain and joy of the high school years… and that’s also cause for some wonderful nostalgia.
As my friend Nick will often remind me, I just like “beautiful things.” Why did the recently released teaser trailer for Where the Wild Things Are almost make me cry? It looks beautiful… as if it has some wonderful things to say about childhood, life, and growing up. There are so many reasons I like movies, though. I like a movie that lifts me up and reminds me of the silent strength that rests in anyone. I like a movie about innocent love that comes to fruition in spite of the characters inability to believe it. I like a movie about people finding themselves amongst the madness of the world around them. I like movies that remind me of the beautiful things in this world, and that let me escape whatever dullness or frustration I might have in mine to embrace these beautiful things. Movies to me are hope; both for others and for myself.
So, why do I really love movies? I love the movies that can make my heart smile… because when it comes down to it, that’s all I really want out of life 🙂