There always seems to be some amount of controversy over whether or not what we are seeing on television and on the Big Screen is actually good for us, but if you look closely, you will see that movies do have a positive effect on our lives in many cases. Yes, there are some cult flicks that lead the unsuspecting astray by glorifying violence, drugs and sex, but for the most part, the really great flicks of our time have had a positive impact on 21st Century living. Here are just five examples of how movies impact our lives in ways you might never suspect.
1) Breaking through Stereotypes
If ever there was a hunky leading man it would be Johnny Depp. Adored by women around the world, Johnny has become one of the most sought after stars of our day. If you think back to the days of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, you’ll remember that practically every leading man, at one point or another, had a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Even the commercials glorified smoking and any ‘manly man’ would do at least one flick in which he smoked. Johnny Depp, in The Tourist, meets Angelina Jolie on a train and what is he doing when she walks up? Vaping! While this may not have led millions of people to go out and buy box mod vapes, it certainly did a lot to bring forward an image of a sexy man vaping in lieu of smoking. A great stereotype to break away from, for sure!
2) Bridging Cross-Cultural Boundaries
Altogether too often we are unable to see other cultures with the same amount of acceptance as our own. Without naming any one particular film, as there are so many, it’s easy to see how all those indies that are so popular these days have had a huge impact on bridging that cross-cultural gap. Some are subtitled and some are in English, but many are filmed in developing nations, giving us a better acceptance of cultures so dissimilar yet similar to ours.
3) Addressing Geopolitical Concerns
On the same token, those indies are often a way to address geopolitical concerns. While Hollywood may not want to take on yet another movie about espionage in Iraq or avoiding nuclear war with Russia, indies are great for addressing these concerns. Many seek to highlight the rampant pillaging of natural resources while others give us a deeper view of the plight of others in third world countries. Perhaps one of the greatest films of our times that gives us a better look at global geopolitical concerns due to militant warfare would be the box office hit and award winning Hotel Rwanda.
4) Greater Tolerance for Alternative Lifestyles
Then there’s Brokeback Mountain, perhaps the first and greatest film to bring an alternative lifestyle to the Big Screen. As a neo western, this film depicted two cowboys who would traditionally have been the rugged ladies’ men but in this film they are star crossed gay lovers, bringing to light an alternative worldview and perhaps one of the biggest ‘advocates’ for gay and lesbian lifestyles. There was a huge amount of controversy at the time, 2005, but this one flick will go down in history as being a prelude to greater acceptance in our culture.
5) That’s Entertainment!
And finally, movies are simply entertaining. With all of the problems life throws at you day after day, it’s nice to get away from it all, even if only for a couple hours. Movies help you relax and unwind and comedies do much to repair broken spirits. Sometimes we just need a good laugh or to immerse ourselves into the life of others, however fictional, to get away from all the struggles we face on a day to day basis. Life can be hard and films help to transport us away from all those worries that get us down. What better way than to forget your own woes than by facing the troubles of others. Your problems aren’t so bad after all, are they?
There are countless other ways in which movies impact our lives, but these are just five examples of why this is a multibillion dollar industry year after year. Yes, it may be a bit costly to pay for a ticket at your local theater but the benefits to be gained by getting away from it all just might be money well spent. While you may not always be happy with the impact movies have on our lives and those of our children, the one thing everyone can agree on is that they definitely do impact our lives.