Gizmodo Movie Night: New Year, New (Self Love For) You

Gizmodo Movie Night: New Year, New (Self Love For) You
Silver Linings Playbook. Image: IMDB
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Although we are well and truly into the throws of 2022, it is never too late to start making some new changes in your life. We aren’t talking about making goals that set you up for failure. We are talking about making changes to your mindset that will have you screaming, “New year, new (self love) me!”

The concept of New Year’s resolutions is a bit outdated and can be caught up in gross standards of eating and body perception.

As a result, I wanted to give you movies that broke away from the cliche conventions about changing yourself. A lot of these types of reinvention movies base themselves around getting hotter, getting skinnier or getting richer. That’s demeaning and I’m not going to put you through that.

So, the characters in the movies I have chosen for this week are based more on reality and go through changes to their mindsets that help them push past whatever challenges them.

Yes, dear friends, I am back after a little break (thanks Zac for taking up the mantle) to give you the newest Gizmodo Movie Night. As you probably already guess, this week’s theme is aimed at helping you let go of 2021 and push you on your self love journey.

Wild (2014)

Wild. Image: IMDB

I think Wild perfectly captures what I’m trying to do with this movie list, hence why it’s first.

Reese Witherspoon plays wayward Cheryl Strayed (the last name is a bit heavy on the metaphor but I’ll let it slide) who is recently divorced and going on a bit of a downward spiral.

The premise of the film sounds simple, and it is. A lost person going out to search for themselves? I call that Friday night at Oxford Street.

But there’s something in this that feels different. Everything feels stripped back and at its core, you see a woman coming to terms with the fact that she’s been through a lot.

As you follow Cheryl through her adventure, you follow her through her life and through her journey to self-acceptance and self love.

This film can teach you a lot about how tragic situations can take ahold of your life and that you can always find your feet again, no matter how wild the road.

You can watch the trailer here.

Wild is now streaming on Disney+

Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight. Image: IMDB

This movie is incredible. If you are going to watch any movie from this list, make sure it’s this one.

Whilst this movie isn’t as heavy handed on the self-discovery as Wild is, it still shows the importance of finding your own path and supporting kids to figure out who they are.

It follows Chiron, a young African-American boy who finds guidance in Juan, a drug dealer. Juan teaches Chiron to carve out his own authentic path and leaves a lasting impression on the young boy.

The movie follows three defining chapters in Chiron’s life as he grows up in Miami.

No, this movie isn’t about reinventing yourself but rather letting yourself take a breath and remind yourself that no matter how grim life can seem, there are still people who will support you.

Perhaps this movie can teach you that you are not defined by what you may appear to be on the outside, or to others. Juan is a drug dealer who, on the outside, is feared and probably not considered a good person. But this film allows us to break away from that and see how caring he is to Chiron.

The film also portrays the beauty of a young black man expressing self love.

The scene where Juan holds Chiron in the ocean is beautiful it makes me cry every time.

There’s a lot of lessons to be learned in this film.

You can watch the trailer here.

Moonlight is currently streaming on Stan.

The Greatest Showman (2017)

self love movies
The Greatest Showman. Image: IMDB

This one is a curveball because the characters realise they don’t need to change who they are. They are beautiful just as is. The Greatest Showman urges us all to celebrate our differences.

The plot of the musical film is about P.T. Barnum on his journey to create the Barnum & Bailey circus which soon becomes known as the greatest show on Earth. That’s not necessarily what’s important here.

To me, what the film is about is how each character finds the courage to be themselves, no matter how unusual or away from the norm they are.

As a queer person, I feel this deep in my soul. Everyday is a fight to find courage amidst the threat of homophobia and yet queer people still wake up everyday. We still go to school, university or work. We still go out and have fun, we still wear what we want and love who we love.

This New Year’s, make your resolution to find the courage to be true to yourself and let others do the same. It’s also a great lesson of embracing the practice of self love.

You obviously don’t have to be part of the LGBTQIA+ to resonate with the message of being yourself and celebrating what makes you unique.

Stop comparing yourself to what is considered to be normal. This year, let your freak flag fly.

You can watch the trailer here.

The Greatest Showman is currently streaming on Disney+

Silver Linings Playbook (2013)

Silver Linings Playbook. Image: IMDB

As with the other recommendations in the list, Silver Linings Playbook offers you the chance to see how life can be if you allow yourself to let go of the rage and anger within you.

I say that not as a way to detract from whatever anger you feel, however you feel it. All anger is valid, but it’s what you do with it that matters.

As we see in the film, Pat (Bradley Cooper) is sent to a mental health facility after he brutally attacks his wife’s lover. He then meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who offers to help him rebuild his relationship with his wife.

Both Pat and Tiffany have a lot of rage, and rightly so, but we are given the chance to see how the way you handle it can drastically alter your life.

Pat used his rage to hurt others whereas Tiffany used hers to self destruct. And yet, they both find a way to creatively find an outlet in dancing.

I think this film can teach us that we don’t have to let anger take over our lives but trying to ignore it doesn’t work either. So in the honour of “New year, new you”, this movie guides us on a path of accepting our rage and finding useful ways to channel it.

You can watch the trailer here.

Silver Linings Playbook is currently streaming on Netflix

Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one: Send Off 2021 With These Feel-Good Flicks