Continuing from our previous post, here are movies 6-10 of our Top 10 list.
6. Love Actually
8. All Of Me
9. Jillian's Vantage
10. A Cool, Dry Place
Oh, how do we count the joys of this multi-faceted heart-fest? First, you get to feast your eyes and ears on some of the greatest actors of our time: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Colin Firth. Second, there is a wildly funny turn by Bill Nighy, an aging rock star who makes an improbable promise he ultimately must make good on. Third, the movie touches on themes that everyone has confronted at one time or another: the challenges of communication, forgiveness after a betrayal, the healing power of love, even the transformation of a feisty secretary (nicknamed "Plumpy" by her father) into a Prime Minster's consort. Full of good old-fashioned cheer, this movie is a good one to watch during the holiday season.
In our opinion, the most perfect comic screenplay ever written. Then, when you add Dustin Hoffman's performance, one of the greatest in the history of film, you have a movie for the ages. The primary relationship-wisdom explored in the movie is the search for authenticity. It captures brilliantly the struggle for authenticity that happens in every close relationship. Each of us is wrapped in layers of persona, the masks we wear to get through the rigors of childhood and adolescence. When love emerges and takes us on its eternal journey, the masks are revealed as what they are: covers for the inner conflicts we fear and the inner magnificence we deeply seek to express. If we remove the masks, we set about the task of resolving our inner conflicts and expressing our true potential. If we choose to cling to our masks, fearing what lies beneath, we continue to obscure our true identity and rob ourselves of the ability to make our creative contribution to the world. Tootsie's got all that in it, plus some of the funniest, wisest dialogue ever written.
All Of Me
The Buddha taught a crucial piece of relationship wisdom that's brought to life in this comedy classic: each of us must integrate the masculine and feminine elements within us to be fully enlightened. The story is that, due to bizarre circumstances, half of Steve Martin's body is occupied by the spirit of a wealthy rage-aholic (played to mean-spirited perfection by Lily Tomlin.) This leads to many complications, many of which come to life in Steve Martin's inspired body-language throughout the movie. The relationship wisdom you gain from the movie is important, even life-changing: until we become one with all parts of ourselves, we cannot be fully present for the one we love.
One of the greatest short films ever made, this movie was in the first collection sent out by The Spiritual Cinema Circle. Made by a gifted filmmaker named Geno Andrews, Jillian's Vantage brings together a man and a woman who are dealing with their life-challenges in very different ways. This movie's "reveal," the Ah-Ha! Moment, is one of the most satisfying we've ever seen. From a relationship perspective, Jillian's Vantage touches on a crucial issue we all face in relationship, how to come to terms with the flaws we perceive in ourselves. The movie shows us, with great sensitivity and wisdom, how to shift our view of those flaws, and by doing so, heal them.
A Cool, Dry Place
This is one of the best movies ever made about the realities of commitment. The characters in this movie reveal complex layers and committed lives. We love it that the dad lives out the job loss and child-care issues that usually appear in the woman's role. We love it that the characters are intelligent and that we can learn something about deep bonding from a film that is so entertaining. We also love seeing a soft, caring relationship between a father and son. Vince Vaughn gives a stunning performance here, the best work we've seen from him.
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