Movies That’ll Make You Feel Something If You Let Them

Caution: This is kind of serious. But I’m still going to talk like me, so you can keep reading.

I remember coming home from my mission. From Porto Alegre to Miami I cried straight for 6 out of the 8 hours. I was sad because I never learned to “love the mission,” even though I loved the people. I was sad because I couldn’t figure out to be happy, and the depression I had developed left me feeling hopeless.

And then I got home and my sister wanted to go to the movies with me. But nothing sounded appealing. The only one that sounded slightly stomach-able was “The Giver.”

That was the movie that they advertised as having Taylor Swift in it, but then she was only in one short segment of a scene and played like 10 notes on the piano and sang mediocrely. They were just trying to draw people in. It did okay (like they actually made money), but there didn’t seem to be a big hype over it, and it only got 6.5/10 star on IMDB. I doubt there will be a sequel—even though the movie ended with a cliffhanger.

But as I was watching it, I was loving it. I remember feeling so sad and seeing how Jonas (the main character, a 14-year-ish old boy) was starting to see the world in a different way. The movie started out in black-and-white, but Jonas saw colors every once in a while. As part of his “calling” as the “giver,” he saw things that other people didn’t. He lived in a world where people didn’t “feel” things, but he felt things. And it made me want to feel things. I left the theatre very thoughtful and desirous to take action. Ever since I saw that movie (which wasn’t necessarily good), I’ve been drawn to these movies that just make me feel something.

Here are the other ones that make me feel something (in the order of when I saw them):

  1. 500 Days of Summer

I first saw this movie when I was over at my friend’s apartment. I liked it because it was artistic and it didn’t end the way people would want it to. I liked it because Summer (who the movie revolves around) was not the girl that everyone wanted her to be. She wasn’t typical of a movie character. People like to watch movies because they feel like they can escape the real world and find some fantasy in a movie. But that fantasy isn’t to be found in 500 Days of Summer.

The other day my friend said that he thought Summer was crazy. His example was that she kisses Tom and then proceeds to tell him that she doesn’t want anything serious. To me, that just seems like people in real life. Aren’t real-life people complicated? Don’t real-life people just do things because they’re not really sure what they want? Aren’t real-life people just in it for the ride sometimes?

I liked this movie because it made me feel. It made me feel like the complication of real-life wasn’t being masked. And I liked it.

 

2. Ashby

I saw the trailer for this movie, and I fell in love with it. I don’t remember why. Partially, it was probably because it had Nat Wolff in it (and I was a die-hard “Naked Brothers Band” fan back in the day—I even had a locket of the Naked Brothers Band). But I don’t typically watch rated-R movies, so I didn’t rent it. Then, I found this site that is like Redbox, except that you can pay to rent a filtered version (and you choose what you filter). But they didn’t have “Ashby.” And then it came out on Netflix, so I looked up the reasons why it was rated-R. And I found this site. And I decided to watch it.

It’s the kind of movie that you feel like you should think is dumb, but then you just want to keep watching it. Nat Wolff’s character, Ed, is just so dumb, but you can’t help but love and relate to him. He’s just so dumb, but he’s also smart. Here’s my favorite interaction between him and Eloise (his love interest).

Ed: What’re you doing here? You just filming? You’re a groupie or something? (referring to her watching the football try-outs)

Eloise: As if I would let a football player touch my delicate flesh.

Ed: Then, what are ya’ doing?

Eloise: I’m uhh…studying their brains. After football hits, you know, how it jumbles up your brain? Pre-season, mid-season, post-season.

Ed: Why?

Eloise: I think it’s fascinating. Also, my dad’s a neurologist, and we actually have an MRI machine in our house.

Ed: That’s actually really cool.

Eloise: Thanks. Most people think it’s weird.

Ed: Most people are idiots.

It’s full of beautiful moments like that. And it’ll make you think about life and what your life is. If you can handle a couple F-bombs, I’d recommend it. If not, just watch the trailer and smile a little bit.

 

3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

And then I just recently watched this movie. It had great cinematography, great humor, and great sadness. And I loved every minute of it. I loved it because I wanted to feel when it was over. It was perhaps just another story of a kid in high school who learns something in the end, but a great movie isn’t terrible because it follows the same basic plot line as every other movie ever. What made this one different was that it was artistic. If you were watching it with no distractions (which I was surprisingly–I didn’t even look at my phone), then you saw how the artistic director had the room painted yellow and the angle was off-puttingly angled from below, but not too below, but just the right amount of uncomfortable below. And that made the scene worth more. It made the words worth more. It made you feel something more.

 

What makes a movie great? It’s what it does for you. But it’s up to you to decide whether or not you’ll let it do to you what it was intended to do. I think all of these movies were meant to make people think. I think all of these movies were meant to make people feel. Sure, they each had something that was used to appeal in some other way, but in the end, they were all about what it means to be human–to have loose ends and to feel. And that’s why I loved them.

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