The idea of using non-documentary movies to explore the world of mindfulness and present-day living might seem a bit far-fetched. However, I want you to suspend your disbelief (after all, we’re talking movies, here!) for a moment and hear me out. There are several fictional movies across just as many genres that can help us in our quest for mindfulness and keeping ourselves rooted in the now. I’d like to discuss three of them with you today.
I Heart Huckabees
While I Heart Huckabees is a satirical movie that dabbles heavily in absurdity, it also allows us to view the potential that living “in the now” gives to us—as well as the difficulties that can arise when staying too much in the present becomes our solitary focus. While you’re wiping away tears from watching the slapstick-ish antics of Mark Wahlberg smacking himself in the face with a ball, take a moment to think about how much his character—and all the film’s characters—are able to grow beyond the stagnation of themselves by embracing “existentialism.” It’s a worthy watch for anyone who wants to ponder present-focused living while having a chuckle or two.
On the other end of the spectrum, the first “Rambo” movie, First Blood, which was based off a rather dismal and fatalistic book of the same title by David Morrell, can help us to see the consequences that can arise when we become too mired in the past and are faced with adversity. Although the film ends with John Rambo living to fight another day (or movie—several of them, to be exact), the novel ends with Rambo’s death. A lesson we can all learn from the plight of John Rambo in First Blood is to never let the past drag us out of our current reality, lest it lead to dire consequences.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is a classic “Brat Pack” movie with a heartfelt message: we can begin the day as judgmental, cliquish creatures and end it as aware, open-minded individuals. When several students from disparate backgrounds and lifestyles are forced into several hours of togetherness during a day of Saturday detention, they start out wary of one another—until conversation (at times quite heartfelt) ensues and mindful learning about themselves and one another takes place, bringing about an epiphany for all.