What’s Your Favorite Movie?
“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.” –Donald Miller
What makes for a great movie? Let’s clear one thing up—it’s not the breathless action movie with scene after scene of thrills. Those may be a lot of fun, but we don’t walk away calling them great.
Great movies are stories. Stories have real characters who grow and change, who experience pain and joy. They follow a theme—there’s a reason behind the story. And the story has its ups and downs, its climax and anti-climax. There are heroes, goats and villains.
The good movies—well, they reach us down in the gut. They make us feel a little more human and allow us to see the world a bit more clearly even in our own confusion.
We cry at good movies. (Now admittedly, if we are stoics, we cry inside.) But as Donald Miller points out, no one cries when the movie is about getting a car, or a promotion. We cry at movies where we really live.
Our aim should not be Volvos, land or houses. Instead our aim ought to be to embody a truly great movie that resonates in the minds and hearts of those who live our stories with us.