5 Films That Taught Us Life Lessons


Most of us watch them to escape life’s problems yet films can hold the very answers we’ve been looking for. Here are 5 films that taught us a thing or two about life:


Jaws (1975)

Just like the great white shark in the film, fear will almost certainly keep coming back if you don’t confront it head on. The memorable film (mostly because it was responsible for paralysing us with a fear of sharks) saw the people of Amity Island being slowly killed off by a persistent wide-toothed shark. However, the island’s police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) and fish expert Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), end its tirade in a jaw-clenching finale. As well as teaching us to never go skinny-dipping in shark-infested waters, the film’s characters Brody and Hooper also illustrated to us to never become a victim of your fears. Instead, we should stand up to the menace before we give it any more power to wreck us any further.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The feeling of rejection is none more so powerful than being in prison as told through Darabont’s film, The Shawshank Redemption. After wrongly being sent to prison for the murders of his wife and her lover, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) must find a way to survive against his brutal future and does so with the help of inmate Red (Morgan Freeman). Lead character Andy Dufresne’s resilience and calm composure is enough to inspire even the most dejected. Instead of succumbing to prison life, he acts smart and has hope, exactly what we should all have if we’re ever going to pick ourselves up again. Granted we don’t all have Morgan Freeman as our buddy but at least we can learn that while people may tear us down on the outside, they can’t in the inside.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

For every time life doesn’t seem to be going your way, spare a thought for Will Smith’s character in this film. He plays the broke single father Chris Gardner, who along with his young son (Jaden Smith), must find a way to live in an unforgiving world. His hopes lie in securing a job at a prominent brokerage firm that has 10 other people competing for it. The film is a beautiful tale of how not to get frustrated when life gives you lemons and instead, do all you can to make it a hell of a lot better.

Legally Blonde (2001)

 So what if you prefer Grand Theft Auto to golf or you’re more about the selfies than being selfless? Legally Blonde is an example of how misconceptions can totally be turned around. Reese Witherspoon stars as blonde bombshell Elle Woods, whose only future goal is to become Mrs. Warner Huntington III, but he on the other hand has bigger ambitions, one that doesn’t involve his future wife coming as a playboy bunny to a party. What starts as a mission to get him to propose, ends in something even greater for Elle, a dream she never knew she had. Elle Woods taught us you can do you and subvert people’s expectations if you’re willing to work hard for it. That, and to check twice about the dress code before going to a party.

The Bucket List (2007)

Whether you find it diving 7000ft above air or at the bottom of a packet of crisps, happiness deserves to be felt. The Bucket List tells the story of two different men (a mechanic and a billionaire) who find themselves sharing a room in a hospital after being given life changing news. While most of us may not meet a very generous stranger who is willing to finance a worldwide trip, it teaches us happiness can be found in the most unusual places. Instead of trying to place our happiness in a pair of overpriced shoes, maybe hanging out with friends who will probably berate you about wanting those shoes is better. Or as the characters Carter (Morgan Freeman) and Edward (Jack Nicholson) found, a breath-taking view is all it takes.

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