One of the greatest, yet most underrated feelings in the world is when the lights slowly turn on in the movie theatre as a film’s credits roll. Depending on the genre, a lot of people are in a daze when this happens. They are either trying to process the movie, or they are searching for the right words to articulate their thoughts on it to their friends or family. That is often the case when a movie inspires us to try something new or change our lifestyles.

Movies Inspire Life

Movies make us think. They make us compassionate, help us understand others’ struggles, and they help put various situations into perspective. They can also be wonderful muses for someone that needs a dose of motivation. Films like Rocky and Coach Carter inspired a new generation of athletes, and dramas like Good Will Hunting and It’s A Wonderful Life have helped provide an incredible perspective on self-discovery and development. Blockbuster hits like Crazy Rich Asians also inspired hundreds of people to be more confident in their skin and culture: the film helped Asian-Americans feel more seen and more normalized in Hollywood. Yet, as much as movies inspire life, the same is true the other way around.

Life Inspires Movies

From a creative standpoint, it is a film director or screenwriter’s life aspiration to create a movie. Everything that has happened in their life up until the film is made is reflected in their story and the way they chose to tell it. There could be a metaphorical takeaway to the movie or not, but either way, life, in some way, inspired the art they created.

That said, more often, the answer to the question of “does life inspire movies?” can be seen in the hundreds of films out there that are based on true stories. Some are more emotional, such as The Pursuit of Happiness, which is about the true story of the San Francisco salesman and father, Chris Gardner. The movie, which was released in 2006, teaches us that we are not alone in dealing with the hardships of life and that there isn’t any shame in asking for help. Movies based on true stories can be inspirational for other reasons, such as the 2011 sports drama Moneyball. The film stars Brad Pitt, and it’s another true story that shows viewers how going against the curve is not always a bad thing and that change has to start somewhere.

For some people, movies are purely for entertainment purposes, and that’s okay. Others, however, look to them for inspiration. That is not surprising, though, as several forms of entertainment, such as books and art, are used in the same way, helping change the way people view the world and themselves. So, there is no right answer to the question of “do movies inspire life or does life inspire movies,” because the truth is, it works both ways. Films like It’s A Wonderful Life, Good Will Hunting, and The Pursuit of Happiness are examples of this.

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