Movies That Inspire Life Changes

Post by Sharon

Sometimes, we contemplate making big life changes. Perhaps we want to simplify, advance a career, find a true love, or leave the city for the country. 

Let's explore some movies that inspire the wanderlust  to chase a dream, become more genuine, overcome obstacles, or find a strong sense of purpose - 

starting over

Under the Tuscan Sun 

This film based on a true-life book account, is very inspiring. When a writer has to rebuild her life after a sudden divorce, she escapes on a tour of Italy only to make an impulsive decision to buy an old villa and remain. All her dreams of wanting a home and a family seem impossible, but fate has a way of granting your wishes in the treadmill called time. 

This is a great film for those who wish to lose the landmarks of their past and make new ones. It's definitely a starting over film. 

another suggestion - "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" 

overcoming the past


This movie based on a real-life autobiography book is beautifully written, filmed, and acted by Reece Witherspoon and Laura Dern. This is about loss, grief, making bad life choices, and straying from life's path when motivation is gone. This woman who had a tough upbringing and a tender relationship with her mom, loses her role model and becomes lost in drugs and sex. Eventually, she decides to hit the hiking path from Mexico to Canada through the West Coast. She hasn't hiked and camped before. She is utterly alone on the trail. But, it gives her time with herself and to complete a task as her mother always thought she could. She purges her grief finally and gets on with her life realizing all her failures created strengths. 

If you are reevaluating your life choices or feel the need to challenge yourself and re-earn your own self-respect, this is a great film. 

another suggestion - "Pretty Woman" 

shaking up a boring life

True Lies

A suburban housewife with a boring job and boring husband daydreams about doing something crazy just once in her lifetime. When she finds out her husband is actually a secret agent, she tags along and gets more than she bargained for.

This is a great movie for those who find themselves in routines, or having not done some risky, out of character, or over the top dreams. 

another suggestion - "Captain Ron" 

having a home and family

The Secret Garden (1993) 

I could have put "It's a Wonderful Life" in this category but in that case, it was a man who was already a father, husband and homeowner. In this film, a little orphaned girl sent to a big cold relative's mansion finds her lonely life continues. When she finds a walled-in garden, she asks if she can have that little piece of land for her own. Bringing life to a dead estate and wounded family, this girl creates a home and loving family that blossoms under her influence. 

This is a great movie when you feel outcast, alone, and not trusting in love. It is my #1 favorite film for inspiration as I identified with the girl very much. It has a gorgeous soundtrack and so much cinematic beauty. If you love gardening, this will get to you as it did me. 

another suggestion - "Sound of Music" 

your own life your way 

Shirley Valentine

A neglected housewife wonders why she spends her days being ignored by her husband and children and talking to the walls. When a chance to go to Greece comes up, she makes her escape. The sassy girl she once was comes to the forefront and she finds herself again. 

This movie is great if you have felt like you don't know who you are anymore, you need a romantic retreat, hope to let down uptight walls and be more bohemian. 

another suggestion - "Flirting With Forty" 

chasing a dream against odds and naysayers who say it's impossible


This documentary covers a 14-year-old Dutch girl who wants to sail across the world - alone. There were fights in court and lots of questions about her parenting, but this determined young woman did it! It took two lonely years and a ton of confidence building, but she sailed off into her own independent future. 

If you question whether something is possible or others doubt your outcomes, this is a great film. I remind myself, if a determined 14-year-old can do this, I can't complain about my tiny obstacles as a full-grown adult. 

another suggestion - "Rudy" 

taking charge of your dreams and focusing on your needs

The Women

When one of their friends is going through a divorce, friends gather around to be supportive. They try to make sense of roles as females and the challenges they face. The divorcee realizes she had held herself back ("shrink to fit") for her husband and child's needs. When she realizes that didn't assure her marriage was happy, she begins to ask herself what makes her happy.

This is a great film for those who realize that a relationship held them back and made them too comfortable. It's about saying "what makes ME happy? What do I want?" 

another suggestion - "The Other Woman"

We would love to hear from y'all about your favorites.