New Year is a time when we all naturally make resolutions – a new year, a new beginning. Yet by the middle of January, inevitably, gyms go unvisited, diets go uncompleted and we revert to our usual ways. Here are some films that will help inspire you to keep those resolutions and make those changes.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Don’t want to “die alone, and half eaten by Alsatians”? Or turn into Glen Close in Fatal Attraction? Neither does Bridget.
Bridget Jones’s Diary is a strong contender for a New Year’s positivity film as it starts with that moment. That moment when you realize that you actually need to change something.
Bridget Jones is a 30-something singleton who lives alone and is unlucky in love. The film follows Bridget as she decides to take control of her life and start a diary. Through this, we learn of her trials and tribulations with family and relationships, with the unwavering support of her friends. Bridget forges her path through the let-downs and the obstacles placed in front of her to gain her own happy ending, via a fantastic comeuppance for a cheating boyfriend.
Bridget gives us all hope that we can get our happy ending, that a New Year and a new start may well bring with it the job, the partner and the outcome that we desire. Even if we do have to dress up as a sexy bunny rabbit and eat a turkey curry buffet.
What’s Love Got to Do with It (1993)
Whilst for most of us the desire to make changes comes from an unfulfilled career or an unhealthy lifestyle, there are others whose lives need changing for much more serious reasons. A dangerous domestic situation, for example. This brings us to the inspirational story of Tina Turner.
Tina Turner is woman enough to be an inspiration without a film. Heck, she was Aunty Entity in Beyond Thunderdome. But her story is one of pain, one of abuse and one of strength.
What’s Love Got to Do with It chronicles Tina’s rise to fame from a farm in Nutbush City to international stardom through her turbulent relationship with her husband Ike Turner, who propelled her to fame via his band the Kings of Rhythm. Through hideous mental and physical abuse, Tina (real name Anna May Bullock) found her inner strength and released herself of Ike’s oppressive hold.
If ever a film was made to inspire people to change their lives and believe in their ability to do so, this is it. Keep Rolling on the River.
Working Girl (1988)
Many people will be making career-based New Year’s resolutions in 2016, to get out of that rut and push forward to achieve goals. If you need inspiration to attain and maintain those resolutions, 1988’s Working Girl has you covered.
Melanie Griffith stars as Tess McGill, a secretary in a stock market office who has big dreams, and a talent to match. Unfortunately, she is struggling to be seen in a male-dominated world saturated with respected degrees and impressive portfolios. But Tess isn’t just over looked by men; she is disrespected by the women that have made it in the business due to her lowly status. But McGill is strong. She fights back when people try to use or abuse her and fights for what she believes in, which is herself and her abilities.
Working Girl instills self-belief in its audience, regardless of background, gender or education. With a strong enough belief in yourself and some hard work, anyone can attain their dreams.
South Paw (2015)
One film of recent years that offers encouragement and inspiration for men looking to change their lives is 2015’s South Paw. Jake Gyllenhaal plays boxer Billy Hope. When Hope is at the peak of his career everything is taken away from him in a devastating twist. He hits rock bottom and turns to a boxing trainer to help him fight his way back up to where he wants to be. Inner strength and facing up to his own bad decisions and inner demons are the name of this game.
South Paw demonstrates that no matter how bad life may get, if you tap into your strength and recognize what it is you need to do, you can accomplish extraordinary things.
North Country (2005)
Drive and ambition are two of the main components in most people’s resolutions, as are determination and strength. In North Country, Charlize Theron’s character Josey Aimes has these attributes in bucket loads and she uses them to achieve her goals.
In 1980’s America, female mine workers were rare, and those that did exist existed in a world of chauvinistic male mockery and abuse. Until Josey came along. Josey has been at the hands of an abusive man before, and she has stood up and walked away with her kids. She displays an immense amount of strength and independence. So when she sees how woman are treated in the mines, she decides to stand up and fight it, but it is lonely out on a limb on your own.
Through her grit and her will to get what is right, she keeps fighting. Her prolonged fight and determination to never give up is a story that inspires and influences those that watch it.