Different films have different effects on us. Having a laugh at a comedy or being scared out of your brains at horror, it’s great to mix it up and try a bit of everything now and then. Whenever I’m in a sad mood and need uplifting or want a film with some actual substance behind it, I always turn to one of these films listed below.This is a list of films that have a deeper plot than most ordinary films. It’s not just a funny family on vacation or typical teenage struggles. These films tackle situations that are deep and meaningful, and whenever I watch them I come away feeling so many emotions, such as I need to ring my mum and tell her I love her or need to volunteer more of my time to help others.
1. Little Miss Sunshine
This film features a mixture of important situations melded into one family, revolving around Olive who has been accepted into a beauty pageant. Her family have to drive to the pageant and take along her gay uncle, who has recently attempted suicide and her grandfather who has been kicked out of where he lives for doing drugs, as well as her brother who is taking a vow of silence (a lot to take in, I know!).
Throughout the film, things turn sour for each character in their personal journey, but Olive, as a child, does not understand when her family try talking her out of the beauty pageant because she isn’t a “good enough” contestant. However, through all of this the family learn that all they need is each other to get through things. The whole family join Olive on stage at the pageant as people are shunning her. It didn’t matter what their own personal problems were, they all wanted to come together and make the dreams come true for Olive.Main Message: Support those around you and they will support you back, and there’s no such thing as a perfect beauty pageant contestant, they come in all shapes, sizes and looks!
2. My Sister’s Keeper
The story in this film is unbelievable but yet still somehow believable… The story is about a child, Kate, who has cancer. Her parents have another child, whose purpose is purely to give organs, body parts, you name it, to aid in her sister's recovery of cancer. Within the story, the child finds out the true meaning of why she was brought into this world and decides, along with her ill sister, that she is not going to do it anymore.
This is a story of sisterhood and parental love, and sometimes realizing that you have to step back and realize how much you can be hurting one person for another person’s gain. The kid did not stop doing this because she hated her sister or because she hated what her parents did to her, she did it because this is her body and she is human, so she should decide what happens to her. Her ill sister is the one that pushes her to legal action to stop this as she knows that this is wrong.Main Message: Take time to re-evaluate the decisions that you make on a daily basis to make sure you’re not taking advantage or hurting others, and to make sure you know your self worth
3. The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
A Nazi family has recently moved house nearby to a concentration camp. The young boy in the family becomes friends with a Jewish boy who he meets at the outer fence of the concentration camp. The boy ends up getting himself into a scary situation when he sneaks into the camp. When you look back at the film, it’s crazy to think how the boy’s family and the Nazi leaders of the camp go frantically looking for him to make sure nothing bad had happened to him, yet thousands and thousands of children exactly like him were being marched into gas chambers or starving, and the only difference was because they were Jewish.
It makes you think why do they care so much for him yet not many others who are dying. The film is based off the true concentration camp crisis happening during World War Two and is a stark look at what happened, but from an innocent child’s point of view, showing a very different side to everything wrong that was happening.Main Message: Everybody in this world is equal, whether you are the richest or poorest person, different races, disabilities, we are all human beings and deserve to be treated the same
This film is lighter in story (as of course, it’s a Disney film) and is also in animation. However, this didn’t stop the creators from putting a deeper meaning to the film in there. On the surface you see a lonely old man who goes on an adventure with a young boy to find the place he and his wife always dreamed of.
In the film, the old man struggles to keep up with having the boy around and is annoyed by having any company at all, however when looked into deeper, this is all because his wife died and he couldn’t cope with the fact that she was gone. He began living a sad and lonely life, not doing anything with himself and grieving, until he made that first move and flew his house away, which changed everything!Main Message: Don’t struggle through things on your own, it is okay to look to others for help and friendship. Moving forward from things that have happened in the past is hard, but the only way for you to live a fulfilling life is to let some things go and focus on yourself
5. The Fault In Our Stars
This story revolves around two teenagers who both have/had cancer. One is reluctant to attend support groups, the other wanting to make the most out of life and not be defined by his illness. They have a whirlwind romance and travel to Amsterdam. He teaches her to enjoy life even when she is at her lowest in health.Main Message: Make the most out of every day as you never know when something may happen to you that can stop you from doing things you love and to make the most of the time you have with your loved ones
Some of these films (if not all) are tearjerkers and really make you think twice about some decisions you make and the meaning of your life. Some of these films also have a book version, which are great reads, and sometimes have more information in than the film versions do. Either way, I’m sure you’ll end up crying!