Not Your Typical Break-Up Movies
Posted by Maggie McGee for BounceBack.com
Instead of eating a carton of Ben &Jerry's ice cream and popping a cliché love story into your DVD player, try these five movies that will make you want to get back into the swing of things. Each film mixes action and inspiration for a combination that is perfect if you are feeling down. Avoid cheesy romance movies that might remind you of your ex and watch these five empowering movies instead.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Based on the popular book series, this film is a cleverly crafted adaptation from the novel. Set in a futuristic dystopia called Panem, children and teenagers are randomly picked annually from each of the 12 Districts to compete and fight to the death in a competition called The Hunger Games. When Katnis' (Jennifer Lawrence) younger sister, Primrose is picked, she volunteers herself to play the deadly game. The male chosen from District 12 is Peeta Mellark who fights alongside Katnis.
The film is enjoyable whether you have read the books or not. The main character, Katnis, is strong, clever and a true survivor. Seeing what these characters go through in this strange world in the District is enough to make anyone thankful for what they have. There is a love-story interwoven throughout the film, but not enough to take away from the action and intensity of the plot. The strong female lead inspires women viewers to stay strong and not give up, while the action and suspense throughout the film makes it an attention-grabbing edge-of-your-seat flick.
The Blind Side (2009):
Based on the true story of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenager Michael "Big Mike" Oher. Michael has barely any formal schooling and has virtually no home. When Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock) sees Michael walking to the school gym, where he spends his nights, she brings Michael into her own home and hopes to give him every opportunity he may need to succeed. Leigh Anne and her husband (Tim McGraw) not only provide Michael with a loving home, but also hire a tutor to help improve his grades and support his interest in football and an athletic scholarship.
Bullock's character truly inspires, as she opens her home to a boy that few others would. Her adoration for Michael shines on screen and may cause a few tears to drop down your cheeks. In the end, as well as in real life, Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft; a true success story. Michael Oher's success story is compelling and forces its viewers to realize we can all succeed, even when times seem rough.
You may see that this movie is a Disney Pixar's animated movie and may think that it a movie just for kids, but it's also full of energy and humor to please adults as well. If you are looking for a movie for your children to enjoy, or even to watch just for yourself, Brave is gorgeously animated and an exciting journey.
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Brave follows the heroic journey of Princess Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. She is a princess, but not your typical damsel in distress. In fact, what is so great about Brave is that Merida wants to take control of her life and is determined to change her fate. Merida defies an age-old custom in hopes to take control of her own life and inadvertently causes uproar throughout the kingdoms. When she turns to a Witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to find a way to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery. Even though Merida makes mistakes throughout the flick, her take-control attitude is a lesson that both children and adults can learn from.
Soul Surfer (2011):
This movie is similar to Brave in that it is a great movie for both kids and adults. Soul Surfer is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a young surfer who lost her arm during a shark attack when she was 13 years old. She tries to keep competing, but is unable to perform as well as she used to. She gives up but throughout the moving finds other ways she can use her surfing talents to help others. The fact that this movie is based on a true story makes it extremely inspiring and Hamilton's story is remarkable. The movie itself focuses heavily around Hamilton's family and her struggle. It is definitely worth watching if you are feeling down and need some motivation or inspiration.
Crazy Stupid Love (2012):
Even though I tried to avoid romance flicks on this list, Crazy Stupid Love is a treat for all. The movie starts with a break-up between Steven Carrel's character, Cal, and his wife and high school sweetheart Emily (Julianne Moore). The reason that I listed Crazy Stupid Love in the category of empowering movies is because despite the messy situations that many of the characters find themselves in throughout the movie, the majority of the relationships are mended at the end of the movie.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling give stellar performances, as Gosling's character, Jacob, finds a helpless Cal alone at the bar drowning his sorrows in liquor. Jacob is a wealthy womanizer who has perfected the craft of picking up women at the bar and takes Cal under his wing, prompting Cal's expensive makeover and teaching him how to bring home the ladies. Many other characters are introduced in the movie, such as Kevin Bacon, who plays Emily's co-worker that she sleeps with and Cal's likeable 13 year-old son, who also finds himself in a love triangle.
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The movie is full of laughs (especially in regard to Gosling's performance) but also sends us home with the message that even when times seem rough, things have a quirky and chaotic way of working itself out. Ultimately, this movie made me want to get up and go find a guy who resembles Ryan Gosling.
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