Resonating Themes

Mrs. J and I had an interesting discussion about the movies that we like. Mrs. J pointed out that I tend to like science fiction and fantasy, but I countered with a different perspective. I mentioned that I liked all sorts of movies, but the common thread throughout all of them was a rich history.

What I mean by that is, within the movie itself, there are references to events that happen outside the scope of the movie that help give the characters depth. I happen to like rich character history. Unfortunately, not all movies do this very well.

However, on Sunday night, as I was falling asleep, I wondered if that was the prime requisite for my ability to enjoy a movie. Maybe not even just movies, but television as well…

I saw two movies this past weekend. Mrs. J and I saw Reign Over Me, and I watched 300 on my own.

Those movies are very different.

Yet, there is a common thread between the two: deep friendship.

And I wondered if this was not a bigger contributor to my enjoyment of visual entertainment than the rich tapestry of a well thought-out history.

I value my friendships a great deal. Even those that one would consider simple associations.

My joy and faith in my friends is almost child-like in nature. I am so easily excited by the idea of spending time with friends, that it’s probably overwhelming to them.

I enjoy what my friends mean to me.

I have a small circle of very close friends, each of whom I love for my own reasons. Each of them mean a great deal to me.

So when I see characters on the big (or little) screen that are written to portray strong bonds with their friends, I tend to enjoy what I am watching even more.

Here are some examples. I will try to be as spoiler-free as I can…

Reign Over Me

Alan Johnson, a dentist, runs into Charlie Fineman, his old college roommate. Charlie’s family died during 9/11, and he just doesn’t seem the same. A lot of the movie deals with they way that Alan copes with this, toeing the line between doing the right thing for his friend, and making sure he doesn’t shatter his friend’s delicate state of mind. It’s a heartwarming tale of dedication and friendship, and really makes you value who your friends are.


This movie wasn’t made to be a tear jerker. That being said, it is still an incredible story of a group of men who were more than just soldiers. They were brothers and friends who believed in each other, standing together against impossible odds to defend their homeland. It’s certainly possible to train to fight as a group, but there is an extra advantage when you are all friends. It’s almost as if unspoken communication takes over, allowing you to act as one.

While I could go on listing all of my favourite shows all day, I’ll leave it at that. It’s interesting to think about why certain stories resonate with yourself.

I’m curious as to what sorts of stories that all of you like. More importantly, why do you like them? Do you have similar reasons?