At some point during late adolescence, I began to recognize a subtle difference between the general population and me when it came to movie & tv show preferences.
While I enjoyed light-hearted comedies as much as anyone else, I rarely ever added them to my list of “favorite movies” (unless they were damn good). Toward the end of high school, I began to spend more and more time in the Drama section of Blockbuster (for those born long after me, “Blockbuster” was a store where you could browse hard copies of movies and then check them out as rentals. This was the *only* way you could “legally” pick out a movie or TV show and watch it at your house).
Don’t get me wrong—I wasn’t a fan of tragedies, especially if they were theatrical ones. (I’m not a fan of most theater in general, but I’ll write more on that later). I didn’t enjoy watching people suffer for the sake of a romantic storyline, like in Moulin Rouge, Titantic, or Tristan & Isolde.
What I enjoyed were movies with characters who forced you to confront your darker thoughts and experiences, and then helped you deal with them. For example, some of my favorite movies back then were (and still are, in some cases) Good Will Hunting, Little Miss Sunshine, Stranger than Fiction, and Girl, Interrupted. I remember family members and friends saying, “The world is already depressing enough. Why would you want to watch something that makes you cry?” or “I only like moves that make me feel good…”
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this. Sometimes, you are just dealing with too much to add someone else’s fictional drama on top of it all.
But I strongly believe that there is an appropriate time to face your darker thoughts and allow yourself to feel what they make you feel. Chasing instant gratification and doing whatever it takes to avoid being alone with your thoughts will only lead to running away from part of yourself for the rest of your life.
With that super long intro out of the way, we can get to the good stuff!
“Feel Something” is a series where I recommend something that I love which is intended to hit you right in the feels, even if it hurts, but always for the better. The purpose of this is to encourage you to face your thoughts, accept them, and feel what you feel. None of these things exist just to jettison you into depression (that wouldn’t have any point—I wouldn’t do that to you!) but rather, they are stories or topics that are meaningful and important, but that may be difficult to get through.
AFTER THAT. I include a kabillion happy or funny things to pick you back up and help you feel better so as not to completely ruin your day.
Without further adieu, it’s time to feel something.
This movie was recommended to me via Netflix algorithm.
And lemme tell ya. Good freaking job, Netflix-Mathematician-AIProgrammer-Man.
Why are you so nice to me?”
“You being serious now? Well, it’s easy. It’s because you are the weirdest, most beautiful person that I’ve ever met in my whole entire life.”
It’s about the kids and the counselors at a “short term” foster care center. It’s beautifully directed, well-paced, and both touching and funny.
My favorite aspect of this movie is that it includes two parallel coming-of-age stories, one dealing with a young teenage girl, and the other with chick who is 20-something, and the movie ends with both transitions still in progress.
The part of the movie that struck me hardest was the story about the octopus. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I literally had to pause the movie and let it sink in before moving on. It’s one of those simple, haunting, metaphorical ideas that will never, ever leave me, thus changing the way I see certain things forever.
Look it up on Netflix and watch it! Gogogogogo.
Pick-me-up time. ONWARD.