fantasy movies

Have You Lost Your Taste for Adventure?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien with Bilbo BagginsBy Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

As The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens, Bilbo Baggins has no desire for adventure. The curious child he once was is gone, leaving only a hobbit who enjoys his food, and pipe, and comfortable home.

The wizard Gandalf and a pack of zealous dwarves invade his house and offer him the opportunity for riches and excitement, along with the risk of death and dismemberment, for which they, of course, won’t be held responsible.

“Can you promise that I will come back?” Bilbo asks Gandalf when Gandalf tries to convince him to help the dwarves take back their home from the dragon.

“No,” Gandalf replies. “And if you do, you will not be the same.”

The same is true of every adventure we take.

No, we won’t face fire-breathing dragons that will very likely incinerate us. We won’t face trolls who want to eat us. We won’t need to outrun orcs who want to cut off our heads.

But the real life adventures can be just as terrifying. Our emotional lives, our very selves, are at stake. And adventures, in fantasies and in real life, are never easy.

His first night on the road with the dwarves, Bilbo can’t sleep for their snoring. The rain drenches him, and he regrets coming. It would have been easy for him to turn back. In fact, Thorin (leader of the dwarves) frequently goads him to, telling him he never should have come.

If we’re brave enough to take an adventure this year, we’ve going to face tests to our resolve as well.

Marriage. Parenthood. Leaving an abusive relationship. A move across the country. A change in jobs. Launching our own business. All the things that are really worth doing. We put ourselves in danger of broken hearts, lost sleep, separation from family, financial tragedy, and humiliation.

Part way in, we’ll probably wish we could turn back. We’ll regret the adventure we’ve started. We’ll be afraid that we won’t make it, and that if we do, we won’t know the person we’ve become.

And if we only look at the risks, we probably will turn back. We need to look at the benefits instead.

Because Bilbo didn’t run away, the dwarves accepted him as one of them, and he, in turn, was ready to give his life for them. Any spouse or parent would do the same for their family. Friendship, loyalty, love, and courage are worth the risk.  

Bilbo learned his own strengths, like his intelligence. In our safety zones, we don’t always know what our strengths are. Sometimes discovering them takes risk.

What’s more, like Bilbo, we’ll prove the people wrong who said we’d never make it. We’ll learn what we’re truly capable of.

What adventure have you taken in the past that you’re glad you took? What adventure are you going to take this year?

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Related Posts:
Do You Believe in Second Chances? What Frodo and Gollum Can Teach Us About Forgiveness
What Lord of the Rings Character Are You?
Beorn’s Honey Cake

Source Code: Does What You Do Matter?

Source CodeBy Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

Do you ever wonder how many people could have made a difference in the world, could have changed things for the better, but didn’t…because they stopped believing they could?

In Source Code, Army helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up as Sean, a history teacher on a commuter train. Eight minutes later a bomb on the train explodes, killing everyone.

Colter wakes up again, this time in a strange capsule. He finds out that he’s part of an experimental crime fighting program known as source code. A complex computer program writes a code from the last eight minutes of a person’s life and allows Colter to re-live them in order to find the bad guy.

Colter goes back again and again into the last eight minutes of Sean’s life, and falls in love with Sean’s friend Christina, also killed in the explosion. He starts to think if he can just stop the bomb from exploding and catch the bomber, he can save Christina.

The source code creator tells him he can’t change the past. Christina and all the others on the train are already dead.

Though Colter manages to identify the bomber, in the process he’s found out the truth—he was killed in Afghanistan. All that remains of him is, essentially, his brain hooked up to a computer. He can never have a normal life again. He can either continue to live through the last eight minutes of other people’s lives or he can insist they disconnect him from the computer and allow what remains of him to die.

The problem is Colter can’t accept he can’t first save Christina. He asks his handler to violate orders and send him back in one last time and then to disconnect his brain from the computer at the exact moment the eight minutes end. Even if he can’t really save Christina, he wants his last memories, his final moments, to be spent trying.

His handler takes pity on him and agrees, even though source code’s creator wants to simply wipe Colter’s memory and keep using his brain against Colter’s wishes.

Colter goes back into Sean’s final minutes. He’s learned from his mistakes. This time he disables both the bomb’s main detonator and its back-up detonator. He catches the bomber, handcuffs him, and calls the police to tell them exactly where he is and what he planned to do.

Then he asks Christina, “If you knew you only had one minute left to live, how would you spend it?”

He kisses her.

And expects that to be his last moment.

But the moment when the memory should have ended passes. Colter can barely believe it, but he walks off the commuter train with Christina. He sends his handler a text…

“At some point today, you’re going to hear about a failed terrorist attack on a commuter train near Chicago. You and I kept that bomb from going off. If you’re reading this email, then Source Code works even better than you imagined.”

Against all odds, Colter made a difference because he refused to give up and refused to stop believing he could.

The refusal to stop believing is a quality shared by all the people who’ve changed the world. (Click to tweet.)

Some of them were leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King.

Some of them were normal people like Rosa Parks who simply did the right thing and believed it would make a difference.

Some of them didn’t change the world, but they did change the world for someone. Colter didn’t save the world, but he did do something amazing for every person on that train.

None of that would have happened if they’d stopped believing what they did mattered.

Never stop believing you can make a difference.

Do you ever feel insignificant and wonder if what you do matters?

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Real Steel: Some Things Are Worth Fighting For

Real SteelBy Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

So often we hear the advice that, if you love something (or someone), you should let them go. But part of the reason I fell in love with my husband was his willingness to fight for me. His willingness to fight gave me the invaluable gift of knowing I was worth fighting for. And I hope my willingness to fight for him has done the same.

In Real Steel, a movie set in 2020, when robot boxing has replaced human boxing, Charlie (Hugh Jackman) has forgotten what it means to fight for anything.

Charlie is an absentee father who ends up taking care of his eleven-year-old son during the worst time of Charlie’s life, when his last robot has been destroyed and he’s in enough debt that people want to kill him. The woman he loves won’t have anything to do with him because he’s immature and irresponsible, and Charlie doesn’t want anything to do with his son, Max. In fact, he “sells” Max to the aunt and uncle who want custody. Charlie only takes Max for the summer because Max’s uncle pays Charlie to care for the boy while the aunt and uncle travel to Italy.

And then Charlie loses the money in a single boxing match.

Desperate, Charlie and Max pull a sparring bot from the junk yard and restore it just to earn a few hundred dollars in throwaway matches. At least, that’s Charlie’s plan. Max has a different idea. Their sparring bot starts winning. They move from illegal, unsanctioned matches to a professional match. And they win.

After their big win, the man Charlie owes money to beats up both Max and Charlie and takes all their winnings.

The next day, Charlie returns Max to his aunt and uncle early. Max is furious.

“What do you want me to say?” Charlie yells at him. “I’m sorry? No, you knew. You knew from day one what this was. You decided to take the ride. What? You actually thought me, you, and the little robot from the junk heap were gonna ride off into the sunset? Come on! No, you forgot who I was. I mean, what do you want from me?”

Max turns on him, eyes filling with tears. “I want you to fight for me. That’s all I ever wanted.

I think that’s what we all want in some way, because the person who will fight for us is telling us we’re valuable. We’re worth the trouble. We’re something special.

Fighting for someone means you have their back. My career choice isn’t popular with everyone, but my husband refuses to allow anyone to criticize the choice I’ve made. Whatever private disagreements we might have, we’re a united front in public. You attack one of us, you attack both of us.

Fighting for someone means you prioritize your relationship above everything else. I love my job, but I think it’s foolish to “make whatever sacrifices it takes” to succeed. I won’t sacrifice my relationship with my husband, and that means setting aside inviolable time for him (and recognizing when I’m working too hard).

Fighting for someone means you cut them some slack when they’re hurting. Sometimes hurting people will shove us away as hard as they can, trying to prove themselves right that they can’t count on anyone but themselves, but secretly, desperately, hoping you’ll finally be the one to prove them wrong.

Fighting for someone means you compromise and value their happiness equally with your own. Putting someone else’s happiness above your own is a fast track to resentment. However, valuing their happiness equally to our own means we’re always looking for win-win situations rather than trying to be the martyr or walking all over the one we claim to love.

Fighting for someone means you don’t give up on them when trouble comes. Traditional wedding vows talk about “in sickness and health, for richer or poorer.” In our time together, my husband and I have weathered specialist visits, wisdom teeth removal, and torn hamstrings. We’re still in the penny-pinching stage. We’ve even dealt with border and immigration hassles. But those problems are minor to us compared to what being together gives us.

The advice to let something go if you love it gives us an out to quit too soon, when if we hung on, we’d find that the struggle, the fight, brought us to something greater than we could have had if we’d walked away. I know it did for me.

Who (or what) have you been willing to fight for?

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Megamind: Is Praise More Powerful than Criticism?

MegamindBy Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

There’s an old joke that women marry men expecting they can change them, and men marry women thinking they’ll never change. Both end up disappointed.

Change is a tricky subject. How do we know if someone has truly changed? And how many times should we give a “second” chance? Should we even bother trying to help someone change?

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: We can’t change anyone, but we can be the catalyst for them wanting to change. (Click here to tweet this.)

This is exactly what happened to Megamind.

Megamind is a blue-headed alien who lands on earth as a baby after his planet is destroyed. Megamind crashes in a prison and is raised by criminals, while his nemesis (another alien baby sent from a different planet in the same destroyed galaxy) grows up in a wealthy home.

“No matter how hard I tried,” Megamind says about his school years, “I was always the odd man out. The screw-up. The black sheep. The bad boy.”

Even when he tries to do nice things for the other children, it backfires and he ends up in the corner. He decides that being bad is the one thing he’s good at.

He becomes a super-villain, and his nemesis becomes a superhero named Metro Man.

After years of battling each other, and completely by accident, Megamind manages to kill Metro Man. He takes over the city, and then…he’s bored. Without anyone to oppose him, where’s the fun in being a super-villain?

He comes up with a plan to give Metro Man’s powers to someone else and create a new hero to battle. In the process, reporter Roxanne Ritchie mistakes him for a museum curator named Bernard (thanks to a watch Megamind wears that allows him to disguise his appearance).

Roxanne and “Bernard” fall in love. As Bernard, Megamind gets told how inspiring he is, how strong and brave and funny.

Throughout his life, people lectured him about how bad he was and how he needed to change.

But he never had a chance to learn the rewards of good actions.

By loving him and showing him what life could be like if he changed, Roxanne gave Megamind the push he needed to want something different.

Megamind starts to clean up the city because he knows it will make Roxanne happy. He returns the works of art he stole. When the hero Megamind creates turns evil, Megamind finally steps up to stop him and becomes the hero himself.

Sometimes we don’t change because of the consequences of our actions. We change because we finally realize what we’re missing, and we want it more than we want to avoid the pain and struggle of changing.

I’ve been around Great Danes since I was seven years old. Danes are gluttons for attention, especially as puppies, which means that if you scold them for a bad behavior—giving them attention—they’re going to repeat that behavior any time they want your attention. If a bad behavior earns a reaction, it becomes a game for them.

So when you’re raising a Dane puppy, you have to do something that seems counterintuitive to most people. You ignore all bad behavior. No punishment. If they jump on you, you stand still, cross your arms, and turn your face away. If they chew something they shouldn’t, you distract them and hide the chewed object.

And you praise the stuffing out of them for the smallest good behavior.

Doing this hasn’t failed yet to turn out a well-behaved dog.

Dogs are very different from spouses, but perhaps the same principle applies.

What if, instead of griping and lecturing and criticizing our spouse for the things they do that we don’t like, we gave them praise and affection whenever they did something right?

Maybe you’re all better at the marriage thing than I am yet, but I know I tend to take the things my husband does right for granted. Why should I have to thank him, hug him, or praise him for doing something around the house? Isn’t that just what he’s supposed to do? So what happens is, more often than I want to admit, he only hears the negative.

Perhaps the power of praise to bring about change is highly underestimated.

Have you ever consciously or unconsciously changed your actions because of positive feedback? Parents, do you find this idea works with your children? Couples, does this work with your significant other?

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In Time: Does Death Serve a Purpose?

In TimeDoes death serve a purpose?

The movie In Time is set in a world where time is the currency instead of money. Everyone is genetically engineered to look 25 years old forever, but once you hit 25, you only have one year left to live unless you earn more time. Not surprisingly, the poor live day to day and minute to minute. The rich live forever.

Will Salas lives in the poorest time zone. He saves the life of a rich man, with over a century on his arm, who wants to die.

“The day comes when you’ve had enough,” the rich man says after revealing he’s lived 105 years already. “Your mind can be spent, even if your body’s not. We want to die. We need to.”

While Will sleeps, the rich man gives him all his time and dies. Will ends up accused of his murder and runs for it. He travels to the richest time zone, where he wins almost 1,000 years in a poker game. The man he loses to doesn’t need that time, but his pride is wounded, so he invites Will to a dinner party where he hopes to win it back in another game.

At the party, Will meets his host’s daughter, Sylvia Weis.

“What do you do, Will?” she asks.

“I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”

“Yes, why bother?” she says in a dry voice. “What’s the hurry?”

“Right. Why do today what you can do in a century?

As they dance together, Sylvia tells him she doesn’t believe his story of “coming from time” (their way of saying old money). She saw him at a restaurant earlier in the day where he was eating a little too fast. When you don’t have much time, you try to fit as much as you can into every second.

“Sometimes I envy them,” Sylvia says, referring to the people who live in the poorest time zones.

Will frowns. “You don’t know anything.”

The clock is good for no one. The poor die, and the rich don’t live. We can all live forever as long as we don’t do anything foolish. Doesn’t that scare you? That maybe you’ll never do anything foolish, or courageous, or worth a d*mn?”

Death is terrible and sad (even if, like me, you believe in an afterlife), but perhaps facing death teaches us things we couldn’t learn otherwise.

Death imposes a deadline on us that we can’t cheat or extend. It forces us, if we’re wise, to make the most of each day.

If we want to achieve something, we’re motivated to start and work toward it rather than putting it off indefinitely.

We learn to value those we love. We cherish our time with them, celebrate each birthday. We apologize and say I love you because we never know if the words we say will be the last ones they ever hear.

We have the saying “You only live once” for a reason. It reminds us to sometimes spend a little more to go to that fancy restaurant for our anniversary. To take the trip to Europe we always talked about. To leave a lasting mark for good on the world with whatever time we have.

And I wonder if the people who do that, who live each day as if they’re not sure they’ll have another, aren’t able to meet death at the end without fear, knowing their time has been well spent.

Do you think death might serve a purpose? Are we only meant to be on this earth for a limited amount of time?

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Do Bullies Sometimes Win?

Snow White and the HuntsmanWe all fall into one of two groups—those who were bullies and those who were bullied.

In Snow White and the Huntsman, the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is the ultimate bully. She sucks all beauty from the world around her, not just from the women whose youth she steals. The once-lush countryside withers, and under her rule, people forget what it means to be good and kind and happy.

She gets pleasure from seeing other people suffer. “Do you hear that?” she asks. “It’s the sound of battles fought and lives lost. It once pained me to know that I am the cause of such despair. But now their cries give me strength.”

One of the Duke’s resistance fighters returns to the Duke (the faithful friend of Snow White’s father, the king, when he was alive) with the tale of how the fighter’s son stabbed Queen Ravenna in the gut and she didn’t even bleed. She killed him with just a touch. No one can stop her. No one can beat her.

Or at least that’s what she wants everyone to think. It’s what all bullies want, because they know that bullies only win if we let them.

For all the one-dimensionality of the Snow White character, and despite Kristen Stewart’s acting, Snow White got that one thing right.

The evil Queen can be killed. She can be stopped. But they won’t do it by hiding from her.

And neither will we.

When my husband was in high school, he was the scrawny, nerdy kid. (He didn’t fill out until he was deployed to Iraq.) In high school, he weighed no more than 125 pounds, and was regularly shoved around and intimidated by a guy at least 30 pounds heavier and four inches taller. And he took it—until one day he didn’t.

One day, he punched his bully in the face. No one bullied him again.

I’m not saying the right solution is always to physically punch your bully any more than the right solution is for us to all draw swords and storm a castle, but there are many ways to stand up and say “Enough!”

Bullies lose when we don’t let them change us. Last week, August McLaughlin interviewed ESPN executive Keri Potts, who was brutally assaulted and nearly raped by a bully of the worst kind while traveling alone in Italy. After the attack, she thought she’d never enjoy traveling alone again. She did it anyway, and kept doing it until her joy came back. Her father said, “That’s my girl. Don’t ever let somebody change you. Because that’s what you love to do.”

Bullies lose when we refuse to let them hide their bullying. When you report your abuser, when you testify against the person who attacked you, when you tell your story about what happened behind closed doors or in the shadows, you’re helping to make sure they can’t hurt someone else in the future. You’re standing as a shield between the bully and their next victim. You’re giving someone else the courage to stand up and say, “No, that’s not alright.” You win, and the bully loses.

Bullies lose when we stop making excuses for them. “She had an unhappy childhood, so she doesn’t realize how much her words hurt other people.” “He hits me because I’m disrespectful.” “He bullies other children because his parents tell him he’s worthless and he needs to feel better about himself.” There might be good reasons why a person is a bully, and it’s important for us to try to understand those reasons.

Having a reason for something, though, doesn’t mean we excuse their actions. When we excuse them, we enable them to keep being a bully. Excusing their actions is the same as saying what they did isn’t wrong because of some other factor. Until we’re willing to say “This is wrong, regardless of the reason for it,” the bullying will never stop and the bully will never have to face the consequences of their actions.

Bullies never have to win. They only win when we stop fighting.

Have you faced a bully before? How did you handle it? Do you agree that bullies only win when we let them?

If you’re looking for a more traditional review of Snow White and the Huntsman, some of my blogger friends have done an amazing job:

Tameri Etherton

Ellie Soderstrom

Melinda VanLone (my opinion is closest to Melinda’s)

Jillian Dodd’s daughter, Kenzie Dodd

And my co-writer Lisa Hall-Wilson asks “Is Snow White a Leader or a Hero?

Update: I had to add in this hilarious review by Kait Nolan on The 10 Most Mockable Moments in Snow White and the Huntsman.

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Do We Need to Be A Little More Old-Fashioned?

The Avengers' Captain America and Iron ManIf you woke up one day to find that 70 years had passed, would you be excited or would you mourn for lost friends and family and the way of life you’d known?

When we meet Steve Rogers again in The Avengers, he’s still struggling with this very thing. Back in 1942, a special serum turned him into Captain America, and in the middle of fighting a rogue group of Nazis known as Hydra, he accidentally ended up in suspended animation. He wakes up in the “present day.” The world has changed a lot since 1942.

Not surprisingly, Steve feels like he and his values are obsolete. He doesn’t understand Tony Stark’s cavalier attitude or circumvention of the rules, or Bruce Banner’s scientific mumbo jumbo, or any of the pop references the others make (except for one about flying monkeys—and he’s almost pathetically excited about finally “getting one”).

It doesn’t look like there’s much that can break up the gloom surrounding what should be a golden boy character. But on their way to the flying ship, Agent Coulson tells Steve that they’ve updated his Captain America costume.

“Aren’t the stars and stripes a little old fashioned?” Steve asks.

Agent Coulson looks him straight in the eyes. “With all that’s going on in the world, people might want a little old fashioned.”

Throughout the movie, Steve comes to realize that Coulson was right. People are starting to not only want a little old-fashioned, we’re starting to need it.

And it’s not about the evils of technology. Technology isn’t evil. It’s not about needing to reconnect with nature and unplug. It’s not about retro becoming the latest fashion trend or collecting records or bottle caps.

It’s about reviving some old-fashioned values. I suspect that, like me, a lot of people long for the return of some of the things we’ve lost.

I’m only 30, but when I was a child, stores in my town were closed on Sundays. Was it an inconvenience if you wanted to buy something? Yes. But didn’t we always manage to survive until Monday? And wasn’t that a small price to pay to give everyone a day of rest, a day focused on friends and family?

I miss the idea of a day of rest. And a 40-hour work week that gave you enough income to live off of. Not only live off of, but raise a family on.

I miss when a handshake meant something, people did what they promised, and you could leave your doors unlocked.

I miss teamwork. Days when it wasn’t about getting ahead as an individual by stepping on others, but rather about working together to make sure everyone achieved their goals. We didn’t feel the need to shout to be heard. We didn’t feel the need to sing our own praises because we knew that if we did a good job, someone else would sing them for us.

Those are the type of things that made the good old days good. Those are the things that are now old-fashioned, and those are the things I think we need to fight to get back.

I’m an optimist, but even I know that I can’t turn back time. I can’t change society to make stores close on Sundays again, and we can’t safely leave our doors unlocked even in small towns anymore.

Captain America couldn’t force Tony Stark or any of the others to accept his values either, but he chose to act on what he believed, and by the end of the movie, however subtly, it was his example they followed, even Stark. The man who “didn’t play well with others” worked as part of a team, and even risked sacrificing himself to save the world.

While I can’t change the world, I can change me. Like Captain America, I can still live by those old-fashioned values.

I can refuse to work seven days a week because my body and my relationships need that day of rest. My handshake and my word can still mean something. And I can support others and let my actions speak for themselves. I have control over me.

And maybe, just maybe, if enough of us change ourselves, the world will one day follow.

What old-fashioned value do you think needs to be revived? How are you helping to bring it back?

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What Groundhog Day Can Teach Us About Contentment

Groundhog DayImportant life lessons don’t usually come in the form of a large ground squirrel predicting the weather and a day that literally never ends.

But Groundhog Day, a 1993 movie starring Bill Murray, weaves three of the most important lessons for contentment around the story of a cynical weather man trapped in a time warp in Punxsutawney, PA, on February 2.

Phil Connors (Bill Murray) travels from Pittsburg with his cameraman and his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) to report on what the groundhog says about the coming of spring. The problem is that every morning he wakes up and it’s still February 2. He’s the only one who realizes they’re trapped in a time loop. 

In his attempt to keep his sanity, he—like most of us—learns the hard way the three things that will allow him to be content regardless of his circumstances.

Physical pleasures might be fun for the moment, but they often end in boredom and despair. A fulfilling life requires something more.

Once Phil’s confusion wears off, he realizes that no tomorrow means no consequences, and he can do whatever he wants. He smokes, gluts himself on coffee and pastries, steals money from the bank, and has a series of one-night stands.

And at first, he’s deliriously happy. If I’m being honest, I can relate. Imagine being able to eat all your favorite foods without gaining a pound.

It’s appealing.

And destructive.

Soon the thrill wears off for Phil. The pleasures aren’t enough, and despair takes over. He tries to kill the groundhog, thinking that might be the way out. When that fails, he tries to kill himself in every conceivable way. When that fails as well, Phil takes his first small step toward being a better person. He starts to think of others instead of just of himself.

You can’t save everyone.

One of Phil’s daily errands is trying to save an old homeless man who dies. The first night Phil finds the man collapsed, he rushes him to the hospital. The man dies anyway.

The nurse tells Phil, “Sometimes people just die.”

“Not today,” he says.

Saving the old man becomes an obsession. He feeds him, performs CPR, does everything he can think of. Nothing works. It was the man’s time to die.

It’s the saddest lesson of Groundhog Day, but one of the most important, especially for me. I take in strays. When I see someone hurting or with a problem, I want to fix it. I believe in second chances. I have a difficult time giving up on or letting go of anyone.

But sometimes you have no other choice. Sometimes you’re going to lose one. If you let that loss destroy your confidence, or cause you to stop trying, you’ll also give up the chance of helping many others. Never let losing one keep you from trying.

You can’t force or trick someone into loving you. What you can do is become the person your perfect mate would naturally fall in love with.

Early in the movie, Phil calls the woman he’s kissing by Rita’s name and figures out it’s Rita he really wants. That attraction quickly grows into love because Rita is a genuinely nice person.

Unfortunately, Phil isn’t the kind of man Rita wants. He’s the exact opposite. When the movie starts, he’s cruel and selfish and egocentric. But he doesn’t want to change, so he goes on a quest to learn everything he can about Rita in the hope of convincing her to fall in love with him (or at least sleep with him).

But no matter what tactics he tries, every evening ends with Rita slapping him. Phil eventually gives up, and not being able to win her over contributes to his depression and suicide attempts.

The turning point for him comes when he realizes he doesn’t deserve her. Instead of continuing to try to trick Rita into loving him, he works on becoming the kind of man she would fall in love with. He starts to read the classics, learns how to ice sculpt, and takes piano lessons. He spends his days running around Punxsutawney, trying to make this one day perfect for all the residents, from catching a boy who falls from a tree at the same time every day to fixing a flat tire for three old ladies. He learns to love the small town and its people.

By the end of the movie, Rita falls in love with him for who he’s become–and the time loop ends because he’s learned what it really means to love.

Have you discovered one of these lessons the hard way? The most difficult lesson of the three for me is admitting I can’t save everyone. Which is the biggest struggle for you?

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Snow White Reboots

Two reboots of the Snow White fairytale are set to release this year. And if the trailers are any indication, they couldn’t be more different.

Mirror Mirror (starring Julia Roberts) released yesterday, and while it’s a light-hearted comedic romp, Snow White and the Huntsman (starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart) has a darker, more epic feel to it. 

Check out both trailers below. Which one would you rather see? Although Mirror Mirror looks fun, Snow White and the Huntsman is more my taste when it comes to bringing a fairytale to life. I like to see it as it might have been if the fairytale truly could play out in our world.

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