I’ve thought about this topic numerous times while running. Today, or yesterday, rather I was thankful for movies. I know it could be viewed as a shallow thing to be thankful for, but hear me out. Or don’t. Why do people love movies? Why do I love movies?
Some people actually like movies for the cinematic value. They enjoy the music, the graphics and the way an actor portrays a character. When I talk with those sorts of people, I hear them say things like, “I enjoyed that movie,” or, “That was a good movie,” or, “That movie was poorly written/shot/directed.” But, have you ever heard a person say, “I loooooooved that movie.” I’m one of those people. Why? Here’s my guess:
It’s all about being connected. When people who really love movies sit down and watch movies, they see who they are, who they want to be or who they wish they weren’t in those characters. Although, generally, the people portrayed in movies aren’t real, they could be. Ok, not all of them. Bella Swan could not be real. Oops, I think I just lost some readers. The characters in movies, with all their flaws and imperfections, could be real. Many times, by the end of the one, two or three hours of your life you spent entirely engrossed in this character’s experience, they are able to overcome those flaws and imperfections to rise to a better place. You see these people find the courage to kiss the girl, the bravery to run into that burning building and the intestinal fortitude to defend the weak and wronged. You wonder, I wonder, could I do that? Real people could, and they do.
I think this is what makes biographies so appealing. You find bits of yourself, or what you wish you could be, in these people who are important enough to have a movie made about them. These people, unlike the characters in fictional films, actually lived and embodied the larger than life principles depicted in these films. Who’s afraid of public speaking with an insurmountable speech impediment but brought a country through war with stirring rhetoric? A king. Who survived homelessness, avoided drugs and persevered through birth into a completely broken family? A successful NFL player. Who fought against crippling loss, financial ruin, gender prejudice and bad luck to become, arguably, the best owner/racer of all time? A little lady and her red horse. These things really happened.
Bottom line? It’s all about connectedness. I love movies because it’s just an itty bitty little way to remember that the color wheel of emotions that exists in my world, exists in other’s worlds as well. I mean, there aren’t many settings where it’s acceptable to sit in a dark room for hours with strangers. Right? It is in a theatre. There are countless instances in real life where things don’t end, “Happily Ever After,” but sometimes, on a cold rainy day, movies give you a little bit of hope that they can.