Last week, I was talking about the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” type character and how it resonated with me. I’d started thinking about it because a friend of mine in our goals group told us about how every month, she watches one of her “foundational” movies.

These are movies that have particular meaning for her, and that she finds grounding to watch them. And several of her favorite movies were my favorite movies, which may be one of the reasons why we get along so well.

This got all of us thinking about what movies mean a lot to us.

As I started making my own list, I realized that movies can express your aesthetics, your values, and your hopes. Stress, tedium, the expectations of others, and straight-up heartbreak can make us think, speak, and act in ways we hardly recognize. Movies, like books and like spiritual practice, can remind us again of who we really are.



Of course, we do the same thing for ourselves when we write or create, which is why creativity is so important.

In the order that I plan to watch them throughout the calendar year, here are my 13 “core movies” (I decided I get one extra for Christmas.)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This movie reminds to make the most of any age I happen to be.

Groundhog Day

As it happens, I was born on Groundhog Day, so this one has special meaning for me.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

I can’t really pick just one. I first read the books when I was nine years old, and I can’t overstate the impact they had on me.


The “carpe diem” message of this one couldn’t be any stronger.

Bringing Up Baby

I love how the Katharine Hepburn character takes life so lightly.

The Avengers

Stories about a band of warriors coming together mean so much to me.

Mad Max: Fury Road

This might be my favorite movie. Furiosa is one of those rare heroes who doesn’t just rise to the occasion…she’s the one who kicks things into motion with her daring action.


I almost didn’t put this on my list, because as I say, I have so many in common with my friend that I feel like I’m copying. But the kind of magic the main character creates in others’ lives is irresistible.

Dead Poets Society

A beautiful movie about the power of words and the importance of encouraging others to follow their dreams.

Shakespeare in Love

Such a beautiful and funny romance, with a lot to say about the life of a writer.

The Princess Bride

It’s one of a kind.

Beauty and the Beast

I love both the animated and the live action versions.


Buddy’s pure heart, high energy, and enthusiasm for life inspire me.


I bet your favorites are very different! What are they? And do you ever re-watch a favorite movie to ground yourself? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and happy writing!