May 31, 2015

It's Ok To Go After What You Want: Must Love Dogs (2005)

Must Love Dogs.jpgEverybody wants something. Whether we call what we want standards, goals or desires, everybody has them...and we all should.

The thing is, merely acknowledging that we should all have standards, goals or desires just isn't enough, we have to give ourselves permission to go after whatever it is that we want too. Say, for example, that you want to relocate to a different city, but your family doesn't support your decision for whatever reason(s). By not giving yourself permission to move away, you're giving your power away to others to control your life, which ultimately means that what you want doesn't matter. That's categorically untrue.

We have to be able to champion our own causes, because as much as someone may like or love you, they just can't give the 24/7 level of commitment that your standards, goals or desires actually deserve. And that's if they actually, truly mean well by you to begin with. The movie Must Love Dogs (2005) is a great reminder that not only should we have our own standards or desires, but we should also give ourselves permission to go after them. Otherwise, we'll end up living our lives according to what others think we should be doing, which can only lead to unhappiness, at the very least.


In the movie Must Love Dogs (2005), divorcee Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane) is a people pleaser who learns the hard way that pleasing everyone around her won't get her anywhere but unhappy. Though she had a great relationship model in her parents, she didn't know how to go after what she wanted in a potential partner, or even that she had that right to. Luckily for her, and despite her family meddling in her love life, Sarah learned to not only give herself permission to want fellow dog lover Jake Anderson (John Cusack), but to also pursue him in spite of what anyone else may have thought.

Although Must Love Dogs (2005) is a super cute romantic comedy about second chances, perhaps of equal importance, it reminds us all that it's ok to want what we want and go after it as well. As far as we know, we only live once which is why it's so important for you to live your life the way you want, with whomever you want, doing whatever you want. So, what do you want? When you figure it out, just know that it's ok to go after it.



May 24, 2015

Give What You Want To Receive: What Women Want (2000)

Men and women are always saying how difficult it is to understand each other. But the truth of the matter is that all relationships take a bit of understanding, and sometimes a little compromise, to make them work. Otherwise, we'll all just be fighting a losing battle, prolonging an inevitable parting of ways.

Whatwomenwant.jpgInstead of focusing so much on differences, which is likely part of the problem in the first place, we should all probably focus more on the similarities. Wouldn't you agree? Like, for example, how we all just want to be treated with respect and feel appreciated. The thing is, though, that you can't go expecting someone to treat you with respect if you don't give it. Can we say aha moment? The movie What Women Want (2000) is a great reminder of not only how we all should stop and take stock of how we're treating others,but also how if we want better relationships with others we need to give whatever it is that we want to receive. That's only fair, right?

In the movie What Women Want (2000), a chauvinistic  advertising executive named Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) learned the hard way that his habit of treating women with little to no respect didn't exactly bode well for long term relationship building, even when he wanted it. You see, Nick was the kind of guy that took full advantage of his charm over many of the women around him, that is until he met his match, professionally and romantically, in a co-worker named Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt). Luckily for him, a freak accident literally shocked him into seeing the error of his ways, but not before he took full advantage of his new found abilities to listen to women's thoughts. As it turned out, being able to listen to women's thoughts was quite eye-opening for Nick as he be began to realize just how hurtful his actions, or in some instances inaction, were affecting the women around him. This was particularly true for his relationship with his daughter, whom he developed a stronger bond with by the end.

Although this romantic comedy is light-hearted and entertaining, it also has a deeper lesson that reminds us all to be more careful about how we treat the people around us. We all shouldn't need to experience hearing the thoughts of our significant others, friends or loved ones in order to realize that we're dropping the ball somewhere and potentially really hurting someone we care about. So, let's remember to give what we want to receive, because it's only fair and because we know it's the only real way we're going to get what we want out of our relationships.




May 10, 2015

Let Your Actions Speak Louder Than Your Words: The Boy Next Door (2015)

When was the last time you said something that you meant to follow through with, but didn't? We all do it, some more than others, but don't you feel better when you actually let your actions do all the talking for you? 

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There's a saying: actions speak louder than words, and over the years, I have yet to meet someone who would rather someone saying something like "I love you" or "I've got your back" over actually expressing those sentiments. Would you? You see what I mean? Words have no bearing if the person who's saying them, doesn't back it up with actions. By the way, you may have noticed that the same is true for the exact opposite. Someone's lack of action can speak volumes as well. That's why I liked the movie The Boy Next Door (2015), because it's a great reminder to us all that we should take extra care to let our actions speak louder than our words.

In the movie The Boy Next Door (2015), a teacher named Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) ends up learning the hard way that taking the passive aggressive road with some people just doesn't bring results. From the beginning, Claire kept defending to her friend Vicky (Kristin Chenoweth) the possibility of staying with her husband Garrett (John Corbett) after he cheated, but it wasn't until she strayed from the marriage herself by sleeping with the much younger next door neighbor, that she realized just how much she really wanted to work things out with her husband and get her family back together. The only problem, of course, was the fact that she slept with a sociopath with anger issues, so saying she wanted to get her family back together and actually doing it would be two different things. And though there a casualty in the process of it all, Claire ended up proving just how much she wanted her husband back and her son to be with both of his parents in the same home again.

While this movie is certainly an entertaining thriller, it is also an obvious reminder that our actions speak louder than our words. Although we may not find ourselves in the exact same situation that Claire found herself in, at least hopefully not, we still may be presented with a situation in which we too have to step up and actually prove our words to be true. If you love someone, don't just say it, show them. If you want to go back to school for a degree, stop talking about it and enroll in a program. If you want to save more money, stop mentioning it and actually open up a saving account and put some money it. So, let your actions speak louder than your words why don't you.

May 3, 2015

Trust Your Gut: Obsessed (2009)

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Have you ever met someone who turned out to be exactly who you thought they were, for better or for worse? You know the situations I'm talking about where you had a feeling (in your gut) that someone was either a good person or not so much, then low and behold after sometime had passed, their true identity was revealed, rendering you right. As they say, the truth shall set you free, but just imagine how much faster the path to the truth could be if we all just trusted our gut initially instead of being duped into someone's alluring, or not so alluring, facade.The movie Obsessed (2009) is a great example of what can happen when you don't trust your gut. May we all be reminded of the importance of trusting our instincts about people and situations.

In the movie Obsessed (2009), on the day of his move into a new home with his wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) and son, finance executive Derek Charles (Idris Elba) meets a temporary worker with ill intentions. Despite the fact that he had an initial gut feeling that something was "off" about Lisa Sheridan (Ali Larter), Derek befriended his temporary assistant, to his regret. Lisa quickly went from being friendly to romantically pursuing her boss, insisting that her feelings were requited. Unfortunately for Lisa, by the time the situation had escalated to the point of involving Derek's wife, Sharon, she would then meet her untimely death. Derek had to learn the hard way that he should have trusted his gut, a mistake that we all can learn from.

While this movie is quite an engaging thriller, it's also a great reminder of the importance of trusting your gut. Derek had a bad feeling about Lisa from the onset, despite her pretty smile. And while he was initially successful in keeping his distance from her, it was his inaction during her most aggressive pursuits that led him down the path to the fatal confrontation between his wife and Lisa in his family home. We all should and must be careful not to get caught up in someone's facade, but rather pay more attention to our instincts upon meeting new people or engaging in new situations. Doing so will definitely keep the drama at bay in your life and help you bring more positive people into your inner circle. So, always go with your gut.