Movies to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions – Mashable
Ugh. It’s that time of winter again.
The holiday parties have long since ended, the glow of a new year has worn off, and all those resolutions you made in an optimistic haze are starting to feel like annoyances. Who wants to make dinner or go to the gym when it’s so much easier to plop down with a bowl of popcorn and fire up Netflix instead?
The bad news is that there’s nothing to do but power through. But the good news is that even your night off can help you do that.
Pick a movie that reminds you why you signed up for these self-improvement efforts in the first place, that inspires you and gives you that extra boost of inspiration, that extends you some sympathy so you know you’re not alone, and you may find yourself eager to get up and get going.
Here’s what to watch to help you stick to your New Year’s resolution for another day, or month, or year.
If your resolution is to…
Exercise more regularly: Wild
Reese Witherspoon’s harrowing emotional journey in Wild isn’t exactly uplifting stuff. But there is something inspiring about watching an ordinary person take on an extraordinary challenge. You’ll leave this movie wondering if you, too, could heal what ails you with a thousand-mile hike. Take that energy and channel it into your next workout.
Or try: The Rocky and Creed movies, with their famous workout montages; Rush, for its adrenaline-pumping race scenes; Brittany Runs a Marathon, if you need a reminder that a journey of 26.2 miles begins with a single step.
“Anyone can cook.” Those are the words that Remy in Ratatouille pins his dreams on, and they’re words you’ll want to hold close to your chest, too, if you’re trying to spend more time in your own kitchen and less time scrolling through Postmates. Work up an appetite with those loving shots of intricate French dishes, and let Remy’s passion for cooking reignite your own.
Or try: Waitress, if you’ve got a sweet tooth; The Lunchbox, for mouthwatering home cooking with a side of romance; Soul Food, as a reminder of how a home-cooked meal can bring people together.
As a story, Walter Mitty is only so-so. As travel inspiration, though, it’s spectacular. Ben Stiller’s travels by air, land, and sea through stunning mountain ranges, churning waters, and exploding volcanos, meeting colorful characters in every corner of the world and enjoying experiences beyond his wildest dreams; and at the end of it all, he returns a different man thanks to everything he’s been through. If that doesn’t get you on the next flight to Reykjavik, what will?
Or try: Before Sunrise, if you want to get swept up in the romance of travel; Eat Pray Love, if you’re hoping to find yourself on your journey; Easy Rider, if road trips are more your speed.
Spend less time on your phone: Ingrid Goes West
This pitch-black satire of social media obsession may be just the cautionary tale you need to put down your phone for once. Aubrey Plaza plays Ingrid, whose fixation on an Instagram influencer (Elizabeth Olsen) culminates in horrifying self-destruction. Surely your social media habit would never go that far… But why take the risk?
Or try: Black Mirror‘s “White Christmas” episode, which is not a movie but made me want to throw all my devices out the window; Unfriended, which will make your computer feel haunted; The Great Hack, a documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Invest in your friendships: Girls Trip
Girls Trip knows exactly how hard it can be to make room for your friendships, and how important it is to try anyway. Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith are having such a good time here that you might finally get around to scheduling that long-overdue night out — but it’s their softer moments that’ll remind you why you’re all in each other’s lives in the first place.
Or try: The Station Agent, if you’re a loner type who’s trying to change; Hot Fuzz, because some of the deepest friendships can spring from the most unexpected places; Bridesmaids, to let you know it’s worth opening up.
Call your parents more often: Lady Bird
The most pointed call-your-mom moment in Lady Bird comes at the end, when Lady Bird literally calls her mom. But what makes the scene land is the hour-plus before that, during which the movie explores both the frustration and the affection between the characters. Yeah, parents can be annoying, and yeah, they’re deeply imperfect. Call them anyway, and let them know you love them.
Or try: Other People, if you feel like laughing a lot and also crying; Soul Food, if you’ve got a larger extended family you’re dealing with; Lilo & Stitch, if the person you’ve actually been meaning to call is a sibling.
A lot has changed about the book world since You’ve Got Mail was released; these days, even the giant chain stores struggle against the likes of Amazon. What remains, though, is the romance of reading itself — the anticipation of opening a book, the joy of bonding over a shared favorite, the excitement of finding new ones. Let Joe and Kathleen’s romance sweep you up, and carry you all the way back to that book on your nightstand you’ve been meaning to crack open.
Or try: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, about a particularly interesting book club; The Princess Bride, to remind you what a thrill can be; Poetic Justice, to make you fall back in love with words.
Learning something new is hard, and perhaps no one knows that better than Eddie the Eagle. Taron Egerton plays an unlikely — but real! — Olympian who puts in the work and comes out a winner…even if he’s technically a loser. (Then, if you’re still looking for inspiration, follow up with Cool Runnings, another underdog story set at the same Olympics. Seriously, what was going on that year?)
Or try: Julie & Julia, to help you stick with it; Paterson, to reignite your passion for it; Wild Rose, to reinforce that the pleasure of doing it is the thing.
Learn a new language: Arrival
Arrival may not be the most helpful film if what you’re looking for is practice listening to Portuguese or Arabic or whatever. Think of it, instead, as motivation. It’s an exploration of the power of language — its abilities to shape our thinking, to bring us together, to drive us apart — that also gets really nerdy about linguistics. But, you know, in a cool sci-fi way.
Or try: L’Auberge Espagnole is a much lighter story of people trying to learn a new language; Lost in Translation points out how alienating not knowing the language can be; Love Actually portrays learning a new language as the ultimate grand romantic gesture.
Enough Said hinges on a wacky twist that wouldn’t be out of place on a broadcast sitcom, but grounds it in the very real, very relatable idea of two imperfect people learning to navigate each other’s quirks and flaws, building something pretty nice along the way. It’s sweet enough for the idealists, clear-eyed enough for the cynics, and warm enough to help anyone gin up the courage to get out there again.
Or try: Once, for something more swooningly romantic; Obvious Child, if your tastes run a bit more tart; Black Mirror‘s “San Junipero” (another TV episode, sorry for cheating again), because it’s never too late.
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