Credit: Hot Doc Film Festival via Variety
Movies can serve several purposes, but one of their greatest powers can be to motivate and inspire. In the spirit of motivation, here are three movies that will inspire you to work hard and do better no matter what the challenge:
Legally Blonde: This may be one one of my favorite movies of all times and one that I come back frequently to as a source of motivation. Elle Woods’ journey to make it into Harvard Law School and prove she is a force to be reckoned with can connect with anyone that has ever had to reach for a goal. Even fifteen years later, this movie is still relevant because it taps into the idea that you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough. The underlying theme of believing in yourself and pressing on despite what others may say is something any generation can identify with. Not to mention, it includes one of the best motivational movie montages that inspires self-improvement and overall girl power. I’m pretty sure that I watched Legally Blonde every night for a year to keep me motivated through my professional accounting exams. I’m sure my husband still twitches with anxiety when he hears the music from the opening credits.
The Intern: The Intern is not a movie that is motivational in a traditional sense, but somehow I always feel inspired after watching it. It chronicles two inspiring stories, that of Ben Whittaker, a retired septuagenarian looking for a purpose after losing his wife, and Jules Ostin, a budding entrepreneur struggling to balance a family and a growing company. Ben’s zest for life, hard work ethic, and geniality is infectious in a way that will make you want to be a better person or at least adopt him as your grandfather. On the other hand, Jules’ struggles as CEO of her company are grand, but still relatable. Everyone has had a time at work where they have struggled to feel in control of their destiny or lacked confidence in their abilities. This is magnified in her situation, but seeing someone else slog through their issues can help us feel less alone in our own professional struggles.
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young: This incredible documentary will make you want to get up and get moving (literally). The film profiles the grueling Barkley Marathons founded by the eccentric Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell who dared to dream up a nearly 130 mile race through the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Every year, 40 runners are accepted to attempt the brutal five loop race in 60 hours, and in many years not a single person will complete the race. It is inspiring on so many levels and it’s hard to fathom that anyone would think to attempt this race, let alone finish. It makes you realize just how far the human body and mind can be pushed, and it will inspire you to push your own body a little further. While I have no interest in ever attempting even one loop of the Barkley Marathons, it does motivate me to go for a run. I figure if these runners can complete 130 miles in 60 hours, surely I can make it through a 5K. Best of all, the film is well made, incredibly entertaining, and available to stream on Netflix.