If you’re feeling slumpy from the business cycle contraction, aka recession, movies have always been escapism for the masses. Hollywood dubbed itself recession-proof during the Great Depression and though not entirely true, movie theaters were still packed. We may not be forking over the dough in mass like we used to at movies, but cinema is still therapeutic.
If films were like prescription drugs, what would you prescribe as inspiration through a tough economy? Posing this question to a variety of insightful people here are some of the responses they shared with me.
Cheryl Davison, Owner of Serenity Shoppe in Lone Tree prescribed, “Secretariat and Seabiscuit. It’s people not really knowing what their doing, but turning it into something…not just anything, but something noble. Also The Greatest Game Ever Played; another true story about people who rise up above circumstances into greatness.”
Melissa Woolf, Dancer and Preschool Teacher in Parker said, “The Diary of Anne Frank: If she can persevere through the Holocaust, then I can save a little money. Jerry McGuire too, because it shows that If I put my mind to something I will succeed. Also The Pursuit of Happyness: Here is a man who had nothing and persevered.”
Donald Green, Agent at CORE Financial in Fort Collins also picked The Pursuit of Happyness adding, “Everyone is searching for happiness and it can be found with hard work, positive thinking and determination.” Jeanne Brueckner, Owner of Mainstreet Flower Market in Parker and Nicole Barry, an Executive Assistant in New York, agreed without hesitation on The Pursuit of Happyness.
Noah Steingraeber, Marketing Professional at MWH Global in Denver said; “Cinderella Man: It shows that perseverance, endurance, and determination during the toughest of times will get you through. Just maintain your focus while keeping your ethics and morals in check as well.”
Sean McCarthy, Small Business Coach in Denver recommended, “Peaceful Warrior: It focuses on the inspiration of one’s own wisdom to come through adversity.” Interestingly enough, all of the above are based on true stories; apparently superheroes and wizards aren’t going to save your back account.
Another true story pick came from Tom Blickensderfer, Policy Analyst and Educator in Denver who said; “Apollo 13…teamwork, determination, perseverance, common sense and a will to live all play a part in this one.”
Staying within the reality vein, but taking the documentary route was Lana Russell, Massage Therapist and X-Ray Tech in Denver. She said, “The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know? These films get down to the science of things to help you manifest your own.”
Tom Hanks, who starred in Apollo 13, must have an inspiring aura about him as several mentioned his movies. Ethan Besser, Real Estate Broker in Denver said, “BIG with Tom Hanks. It shows how you can be successful just being who and what you are. People will highly value those qualities enough for you to get rich off of it. Go with what you know and be how you are. Things tend to work out if you believe that they will!”
Tenille Pippenger, Screenwriter and Program Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters picked a Hanks classic, “The Burbs: Don’t spend money on fun, look out your window…there is a world of interesting for free! Plus Tom Hanks was on stay-cation, which is all the rage in these economic times.”
Sally Fields was Tom Hank’s mama in Forrest Gump, but Greta Hemsath remembered another Oscar performance from Fields, “Places in the Heart: Her husband, the sheriff, is shot and dies and her character has to find a way to keep the family afloat in the dust bowl days. She winds up putting in cotton and harvesting the crop herself. Determination, courage and faith.”
Inspiration is one thing, but vicarious living through cinema is another prescription that works for tough times. Not just the escapism we often seek, but in the metaphorical middle finger a movie character gives the world.
Kathleen Forman, Art Teacher in Brooklyn noted, “Network: This film has become even more relevant today as the greed and self-interest of corporations whittle away at our democracy and continue to be supported by a mass media that distracts the American people from the truth of what is really happening. Wake up, people! ‘I’m mad as hell, and not gonna take it anymore!”
Another insightful pick came from Chris Douglass, Graphic Designer in Denver. He said, “Falling Down with Michael Douglas, because when you’ve had it up to here, sometimes the best thing to do is go completely batshit crazy! Or at least live vicariously through Douglas on the big screen.
“When hard times hit, sometimes the creative solution works the best. That’s why I’d pick Zack and Miri Make a Porno“, said Heather Thomas, Designer at Mainstreet Flower Market. Kevin Smith’s romantic comedy surely takes the cake in creatively subverting economic pitfalls.
We can always turn to a classic that reminds us money isn’t everything like Annie Cameron, Account Executive at Trans-Trade, Inc. who put it simply, “Trading Places…enough said.”