View Full Version : What movie has changed your life???

04-04-2005, 04:11 AM
By the way... I believe this is my 300th post.... did anyone buy a cake? No? :smack:

Anyways... American Beauty, Good Will Hunting, Meet Joe Black and I'll throw Donnie Darko in there as well.

What are the movies that were lifechanging for you.... you got out of the theater or took the vhs/dvd out of the player and said, "Damn, that really changed me."?

04-04-2005, 04:32 AM
American Beauty, definitely.

04-04-2005, 04:35 AM
No offence to anyone here, but what exactly do you mean by life-changing? I know the feeling you mean, when you come out of a cinema (or switch the TV off) and think 'Wow! that was amazing', but I can't think of a film that has made me change the way I behave, or the way I see the world, except perhaps for a few hours.


04-04-2005, 04:44 AM
Maybe Cremaster 3 in that for months after watching it, I found myself looking at completely arbitrary things as having amazing potential for artistic imagery - like a deformedstyrofoam cup or an unblemished tub of vaseline.

Banquet Bear
04-04-2005, 04:48 AM
...Fellowship of the Rings.

Back in 2001, life wasn't so good. I don't know if it was just the movie, as such, or the effort behind it, and the knowledge that the whole thing was filmed literally on my back doorstep (Stone Street Studios is only five minutes walk from my house! ) , but after seeing it, my life was oddly, just a little bit better... :)

Critical Mass
04-04-2005, 05:20 AM
Natural Born Killers

Just wanted to kill people for a few days

04-04-2005, 05:42 AM
I've said this before but I doubt anyone was paying attention. :)

Bringing Out the Dead is meant to be a harrowing movie about how hellish it is to be an EMT in New York. Or so I read in every review. To me, it painted the picture of an interesting, exciting and meaningful job.

It's one reason (though not the main!) that instead of working at an IT helpdesk somewhere I'm a second year Nursing student.

Peter Morris
04-04-2005, 05:55 AM
A Clockwork Orange.
After watching it I developed an interest in Classical music, especially Ludwig Von.

Pulp fiction.
I now put mayonaise on my chips (fries) instead of ketchup. I never thought of that before.

Those are the only two life changing movies I can think of.

04-04-2005, 06:12 AM
Amelie (re)opened my eyes to the nice little details that pass us by every day, although, in case you're wondering, the glove thing preceded my first watching of the movie.

04-04-2005, 11:17 AM
Remains of the Day- I resolved not to not tell a woman if I was interested in her.
Telling them has never gotten me anywhere but now I don't wonder anymore "What if I'd told her..."

Plus, I got my poetry-mojo going writing volumes to two of them!

04-04-2005, 11:57 AM
Star Wars. I was two and a half when it came out and going to see Star Wars is my oldest memory. Helped me shape my views on good and evil.

04-04-2005, 12:41 PM
Many years ago, after observing the characters played by Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep and To Have and Have Not, I resolved to always be as honest and direct as practical when dealing with others, preferably through terse expressions of sardonic wit.

Hasn't worked out all that well, but hey, I keep tryin'.

04-04-2005, 12:43 PM
Star Wars - I can't imagine my childhood without the trilogy.
Almost Famous - I left the theatre and quit my thankless dead-end job.
Lord of the Rings trilogy - got me back to my bookworm self after my stroke
Donnie Darko - totally encapsulated the post 9/11 despair and irrational hope rattling through my mind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - warmed my cold spinster heart enough that I took another stab at love
I Heart Huckabees - made me realize that I'm an atheist. There is no big blanket.

04-04-2005, 12:44 PM
There's Something About Mary taught be to be nice to retards and always use a button-fly.

04-04-2005, 12:57 PM
Field of Dreams. Maybe this is too sappy, but after watching this for about the tenth time a few years back, I realized I should have the courage to live my life to the fullest, completely disregarding what others might think of my choices.

04-04-2005, 01:48 PM
Star Wars: Made me move to California and get a job for the Evil Empire.

Adaptation: Made me re-consider everything I've thought about passion, obsession, fear of failure, and playing it safe.

The Untouchables: I'm hesitant to call this movie "life-changing," since I still would just classify it as good but not great. But, it did totally change my perception of guns and violence. That was the first movie I ever saw that did more than just "Bang! You're dead!" but showed people getting really torn apart by guns (and baseball bats).

04-06-2005, 08:18 PM
The Defiant Ones

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Judgement at Nuremberg

The Diary of Anne Frank

(in their first theatre runs)

04-06-2005, 08:28 PM
Saving Private Ryan. My father fought in WWII and I had always had this foolish, unrealistic image of that war drawn from the old black and white movies we used to watch together, where the suffering seemed somehow unreal, the wounds bloodless. Then I saw SPR and it gave me a true appreciation of what my father and his whole generation went through.

04-06-2005, 09:43 PM
Two, both of which have already been mentioned:

American Beauty - I was in college when I saw this, and it played a strong role in formulating a few of the goals I have for myself in life: Avoid the suburbs at all cost, and avoid a vague, formless, soul-crushing career. Since I'm in journalism, it's not like I'm going to have some vague "Dilbert" job, but the goals I got from watching American Beauty are part of the reason I'm not a night cops reporter at a midsize paper in Michigan.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I had gotten out of a bad relationship a few months before seeing this (I had been cheated on) and this movie allowed me to again cherish the good things that happened during that relationship and it made me want to fall in love again (With someone else, of course.) That hasn't gotten me into a loving relationship yet, but ever since I saw that movie, I've had the right attitude about it all and I've learned to not let bad memories (of anything, not just women) overwhelm the good ones. That's no way to walk through life.

I walked out of both thinking that I was a better person for having seen them.

04-06-2005, 10:29 PM
To Kill A Mockingbird. The book has always been a favorite of mine, but I didn't see the movie until I was an adult. Seeing Atticus Finch come to life exactly as I pictured him made me realize that acting is a craft, not just grown-ups playing make-believe. You almost can't NOT be touched in some way by the story, but seeing it onscreen, so beautifully done, just etched its messages into my brain.

Lots of movies have impressed me or "spoken" to me in some way, but this is probably the only one that made an impression I'll carry to my grave.

04-08-2005, 03:15 PM
Stardust Memories. Clarified for me the notion that the only difference between comedy and tragedy is timing.

04-08-2005, 05:09 PM
Ed Wood--I just find it so inspirational. I mean, Ed Wood had no talent and no concept of what it took to make a movie, but he was so goddamned passionate (I have no idea if the Ed Wood of reality is like the one in the film. Doesn't really matter). When I'm feeling down about myself and writing, I watch Ed Wood, because, hey, it could always be worse.

Dead Man--I don't even know how to describe it. I was just a different person after viewing that film.

Adaptation--Made me view the world, my future, my goals, and my beliefs in a completely different way.

04-08-2005, 05:33 PM
American Beauty. It made me hope to keep my love for life forever.

I have to admit I'm wondering how Donnie Darko could change someone's life...do you mind sharing?

04-08-2005, 06:03 PM
Richard Roeper, a film critic and Ebert's partner on his show, wrote a book called 'Ten Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed' containing humorous categories and subcategories of films. In the intro, he admits that a movie is just a movie, but he names three or four that changed the way he, I believe he says, 'looks at the world.' The first three I know he wrote, the fourth might just be one he thinks is one of the best ever:

Pulp Fiction

Maltese Falcon


(Minority Report?)

If you own the book, please quote the exact words he uses- I know it seems silly, but it has significance to me, and I haven't found it at Barnes and Noble or been able to read it online since I read it more than a year ago. Unless that's copyright infringement on this site.

Anyway, I respect his opinion, and he has seen just about all the movies, but I disagree on Pulp Fiction and he doesn't give detail on the Maltese Falcon.

I do my best to deduct that PF changed his perspective by showing that perhaps in a universe of 'evil men,' there may be a god-like figure, or just plain fortune, that allows some to become 'shepherds (of) the weak through the valley of darkness' that is our world. Some of you who read are rolling your eyes, but try to see past the gimp - there's some deep stuff in the movie. Yet I disagree, 'cause I see PF as taking place in a seedy universe of pulp stories, homages to many crime and great films, and tarantino's own ideas, but not as having so much relevance to our world.

The Maltese Falcon? I suppose that maybe, by being the first noir film that sets the stage for all the great films of the genre to come, it introduces us to a universe of 'the stuff that dreams are made of:' femme fatales who deceive and lead into a trap, the macguffin of the falcon, the seedy characters, all held together in the aforementioned universe of its own, which at the end brings bitter justice to its characters. But I would say the same as for PF: it's a film world, not our world, and therefore would not change my life. But I would love to hear what Roeper has to say about this.

Memento I totally get, how it's all about how we all lie to ourselves to be happy, that life is simply an illusion of our own lies just so we can get on with the charade.

Minority Report? Well, what it says about crime prevention is one thing, but what it says about avoiding your fate- well, all it says when you get past the Spielberg candy-coated action and melodrama is that you can avoid your fate if someone who knows the future tells you what's gonna happen. Pffttt... I have gotta start reading Philip K. Dick, not let Hollywood alone tell me these stories.

I'm surprised no one's listed The Matrix yet, but then again, I hope no ONE DOES. :p

04-08-2005, 06:30 PM
Apocalypse Now... my Dad took me to see it in the theatre when it came out. I was around 15 at the time. I had never seen anything like that before. All my movie experiences up to that date had been kid's movies, adolescent's movies and some grown up action and/or comedy movies. I had never seen a movie that challenged my concepts of good/evil, right/wrong or madness/sanity before. I remember coming out of the movie somewhat stunned, I hadn't merely "seen a movie", I'd had an experience. This will sound somewhat melodramatic, but what the hell... while I can't say I stopped being a child at that point, I can say that's when I started not being a child anymore.

04-08-2005, 06:34 PM
My Name is Bill W.

Goodfellas. Took the romance out of the mafia at an age I could have gone either way.

04-08-2005, 11:12 PM
I could mention the movies I love, or those that shocked me, but I really couldn't point out none that "changed my life".

Anyway......movies that have impressed me:

"2001: A Space Odyssey"
"Natural Born Killers"

There are many movies that I don't remeber and have probably shocked me. It's a bit like when you remeber some dreams and not others.

PD: Caligula (yeah, it's the ULTIMATE porn movie)

Elmer MuD/PhuD
04-09-2005, 02:39 AM
Almost Famous - I left the theatre and quit my thankless dead-end job.
I had the exact same reaction, but, since I'm tethered to my job for insurance purposes, I couldn't quit. It's also more of an open ended job. Flexible hours, self-directed, generally unsupervised. I was with you in spirit though.

Also, Jerry Seinfeld: Commedian. Watching Seinfeld fumble his way throught a new act, inspired me. I started keeping a material notebook the next day.

I saw the two relatively close together, and they each reinforced the idea: If you can make a living doing something you love, do it.

04-09-2005, 03:57 AM
2001: A space Odyssey- It changed how I think about art. It made me realize that I did not have to understand a work of art completely to enjoy it. It was also the first thing that made me question whether technology was a good thing, even if it wasn't used to make a weapon. (Yes, I was very young when I saw it.)

04-09-2005, 03:59 AM
Hm... the farther I get in life the fewer things tend to be life changing (I am a ripe 25, after all), and I can't think of any films (or any art, for that mater) that has been life changing in my adult life.

As far as life shaping goes, though, certainly The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan were pretty significant movies as far as the young Eonwe learning how to be goes.

Oregon sunshine
04-09-2005, 06:07 AM

It's what you love, not what loves you.
What a revelation. I quit therapy the next day and my life has made a complete turnaround.

04-09-2005, 10:54 AM
Local Hero
Okay, this is pretty corny: the best things in life aren't things. That movie, my personal favorite, did a good job of illustrating that little phrase, and did it with beauty, wry humor and quirkiness (well before quirkiness became trendy).

Shirley Ujest
04-09-2005, 11:09 AM
Pride & Prejudice (A&E) : Dont' judge someone by their looks and gossip. Find out for yourself.

04-09-2005, 04:04 PM
I think the movie Office Space gives people a new outlook on life sometimes. It really shows that working as a small cog in a big, meaningless machine is fairly pointless. Great movie.

Horatio Hellpop
04-09-2005, 04:43 PM
If you asked me about the best, or even my favorites, I'd have a different answer. "Changed my life"? Well, here are some that got me to look at something--anything--differently:

Hope and Glory
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Judgment at Nuremburg
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (I'm not joking)
Stand By Me
Ghost World

04-09-2005, 06:14 PM
Movies? Mabe Star Wars, which I saw when I was a year old, and permanently imprinted me with the Geek Meme. Other than that, I can't really think of anything.

If you want to talk books, now, I got a list as long as my arm.

Krokodil, do you mean this (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084556/) Q? 'Cause if seeing a movie about a prehistoric flying Mexican lizard that terrorizes Manhattan was a life changing event for you, you may just have become my new favorite poster.

04-09-2005, 06:22 PM
Can't think of a movie, but the anime series Rurouni Kenshin changed my life.

Through the entire first season and much of the second, Kenshin protects others with little regard for his own life. You get the feeling that because of guilt over what he has done in the past, he doesn't value his own life or care if he dies. But he keeps living because he has people to protect.

The process by which he discovers the will to live, apart from just living to protect others, changed my outlook on life.

Man With a Cat
04-09-2005, 06:23 PM
Local Hero
Okay, this is pretty corny: the best things in life aren't things. That movie, my personal favorite, did a good job of illustrating that little phrase, and did it with beauty, wry humor and quirkiness (well before quirkiness became trendy).

YES YES YES! Lookee here, someone else that thinks that's just the best movie ever. "Look here, the leg's clearly broken.."

Also, I don't know about life changing, but a movie that changed the way I look at death and what comes next was Defending Your Life. Judgement City. What if? Could you defend your life in a trial after it's over? Show you beat fear and stayed a good person?

Shirley Ujest
04-09-2005, 08:33 PM
I think the movie Office Space gives people a new outlook on life sometimes. It really shows that working as a small cog in a big, meaningless machine is fairly pointless. Great movie.

Red Swingline Stapler....

Two chicks at once....

Michael Bolton Sucks!

What is not to love about this movie?

04-09-2005, 08:59 PM
Have to agree on Office Space. Flat out great movie.

Personally, and this is probably the hockey geek in me showing, I have to go with Miracle. Whenever I feel like I need a little kick in the behind, I pop it in the DVD player and go straight to "Again."

04-09-2005, 09:13 PM
I know this is really pathetic, but Bridget Jones' Diary really made me realize that no matter how shitty I felt I looked, maybe there was someone out there for me, and gave me the strength to keep looking.
I also loved Eternal Sunshine, and I recommend it to people at work (I work for Blockbuster), and this woman came to me tonight and told me that it was the worst movie that she's ever seen. I was shocked, but I guess de gustibus non est disputandem.
Mr. Holland's Opus really strengthened my desire to be a teacher. :)

04-09-2005, 10:13 PM
Super-Size Me - Got me to confront my own problems with obesity and eating fast food six times a week. I'm beginning month three of my quasi-vegetarian low-carb, low-fat diet and I feel great. Granted, this change has been a long time coming but I haven't eaten at McDonalds since I saw this documentary last year. I still eat out at fast food places, but I've given up fries, eliminate cheese and mayonnaise from burgers, eat a LOT of salad with very little dressing, no desserts or sodas.

Hotel Rwanda -- Successful in getting me to critically re-examine my highly romanticized view of Africa and my views on afrocentrism in general. I still think Don Cheadle sucks ass as an actor, but truthfully, even THAT'S more knee-jerk than heartfelt these days. (sigh) I'd been happily hating Cheadle for years now. What's a man to do..? What overrated actor do I turn on now?

Horatio Hellpop
04-09-2005, 10:25 PM
Krokodil, do you mean this (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084556/) Q? 'Cause if seeing a movie about a prehistoric flying Mexican lizard that terrorizes Manhattan was a life changing event for you, you may just have become my new favorite poster.

That's the one. Before I saw that, it never occurred to me that the elements of a cheesy monster mash could tell an effective, human story.

A lot of posters have mentioned American Beauty. It's a decent film, but could someone explain to me how it's "life changing?"

04-09-2005, 11:01 PM
Good Will Hunting - It was the first movie that really burned the "do what you want to do, not what others want you to do" motto into my head, and I've been living by the creed ever since. I've pissed off a lot of people, but it's been beneficial.

Grits and Hard Toast
04-09-2005, 11:35 PM
Pride & Prejudice (A&E) : Dont' judge someone by their looks and gossip. Find out for yourself.

I am with Shirley on Pride and Prejudice. For the reasons Shirley mentions, and one perhaps not in line with what the OP was asking, but I will add it anyway.

I come into the living room one evening, my husband has tight grip of the remote control. He is reading the preview channel, and picks a movie. I am quite startled to discover he has chosen Pride and Prejudice, that is not the kind of movie he likes. He likes action flicks with lots of shooting and Kung Fu fighting. But it is the kind of movie I like, and he knows it, so he picked it for me. I think that is very sweet.

I am not surprised in 2 minutes he is snoring away. He snores throughout the entire movie. It doesn't bother me, I am riveted. I had read the book, but still am on the edge of my seat waiting to see it all play out. ( I don't know how to do the spoiler box, so I will be vague here) He wakes up just as the main characters discover their mistaken impressions. I tear up a bit at the emotions the characters feel.

I look over at my husband, hoping he doesn't see me cry because I feel silly, and I see he is tearing up as well. He only saw those few minutes, had no idea what had taken place for the past 2 hours, but that one conversation really got to him. And he was making no effort to hide his tears. So in an odd way that movie changed me, I realized after 10 years of marriage, I still had many wonderful sides of my husband to discover.

Other movies that I felt different after seeing were The Deer Hunter, Deliverance, and Apocalypse Now.

And in a fun way, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Having had a rather unpleasant childhood, I loved the idea that I could recreate myself. That movie gave me hope, and courage to become who I wanted to be, not who I was supposed to be.

04-09-2005, 11:45 PM
Donnie Darko--it just got under my skin and stayed there.

Master and Commander--I was already obsessed with tall ships and the Royal Navy, but this one really did me in. I've watched it eight times so far. Got the poster, the soundtrack, other souvenirs, the special edition DVD, been on the ship twice so far and met the guy who played the master at arms.

Eternal Sunshine...: reminded me of how hard we fight to hold on to memories and love no matter what.

Ed Wood: You gotta admire a person for making such efforts, despite the results.

American Beauty: At first I thought the whole thing was just nihilistic, but then realized that this was the point--these people were leading joyless lives, and they had a choice.

04-10-2005, 04:37 PM
Imitation of Life: seeing someone else be the brunt of racial prejudice, and the inevitable and terrible regret the comes with denying your own culture and heritage. It helped me learn not to be ashamed of myself and my family, and to celebrate our Cherokee heritage.

04-10-2005, 05:10 PM
Jerry Maguire. In a very literal way. I was dating a very sweet and wonderful man who was really enamored of my young son (not in an icky way), and really liked me a whole lot, but he didn't love me. We had broken up and gotten back together again several times. Once while we were broken up, I rented and watched this. As soon as the movie ended, he rang my doorbell, and I knew we were going to get back together. I opened the door and literally pressed a finger to his lips. "Wait. I want you to watch something with me first." And we watched the whole thing. When it was over, tears were streaming down both our faces. He sighed. "Yeah," he said, and left. For the last time.

Can I say we never would have broken up without that silly movie? No. Maybe we would have. Or maybe we'd still be together in a loveless marriage, trying desperately to make the best of things. As it is, I moved on and found a wonderful husband and father for my son, and last I knew he was dating a wonderful woman.

There's lots of other movies that have touched me deeply, but that's the only one I can think of that literally changed the course of my life. (And my son's, and my husband's and the ex's, and his girlfriend's...)

iggy popov
04-10-2005, 05:25 PM
Resevoir Dogs
Mad Max and Road Warrior
Rude Boy
Star Wars Trilogy
Cowboy Bebop:The Move/Knockin' on Heaven's Door
High Fidelity
Grosse Pointe Blank

04-11-2005, 12:30 AM
Citizen Kane. My dad brought me to see it at the theater where I now attend college. I was 13 years old and it completely changed the way I saw movies. It made me want to be a filmmaker (which I still want to be) and made me the film buff I am today.

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