While it’s true that not every movie tells an enchanting story, good characters can often make us forget the lack of or the predictability of a film’s plot. In fact, the beauty of the ‘big screen’ is that it can inspire and teach us how to behave in the right way. Men of principles, honour and loyalty tend to become characters that viewers idolise through the years and use as a basis for their own empowerment.
It’s therefore little wonder that movies depicting characters who battle against all odds are more likely to resonate with mainstream audiences than others. Can you think of any movie idols off the top of your head that have inspired you to be a better version of yourself? Here are five of the most popular movie idols that men tend to list first:
1. Rocky Balboa in Rocky (Sylvester Stallone)
Is there a more fitting movie idol for the everyday man than Rocky Balboa? The Italian-born boxer is blessed with only modest boxing talent, but arguably the biggest heart in professional boxing. For a fighter that was never destined for the bright lights of heavyweight world title fights, Rocky showed true grit and determination to secure a fight with the world champion, Apollo Creed. Rocky took the blows in a gruelling 15-round fight, becoming the first boxer to take Creed the full 15 rounds. Balboa is dream advert for triumph in adversity.
2. Chris Garner in The Pursuit of Happiness (Will Smith)
If you’re looking for films that motivate you to change an aspect of your everyday life, look no further than Chris Garner. After Garner’s wife leaves him and his five-year-old son in search of a better life, Chris strives to overcome life’s injustices and earn an income to put a roof over his son’s head. Garner is the epitome of what it takes to be a loving father, taking the knocks to try and build a better future for his child.
3. Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell)
British movie, Billy Elliot is another heart-warming tale of why young teenagers should never feel that they have to conform to society. Billy’s father was a keen boxer and was very much a “man’s man”. When he discovered that his son had taken up ballet dancing, he hit the roof. Despite being patronized and mocked – even by his family – Billy pursued his dream career and walked down his own path in life in spite of his loved ones rather than because of them. This storyline proved so inspirational that it eventually made its way on stage in London’s West End.
4. Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)
Forrest Gump had never considered himself to be lacking intelligence. But despite others in his social circle acknowledging his simple nature, this kind-hearted young man from Alabama ignores all stereotypes and focuses on having the time of his life.
5. Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption (Tim Robbins)
Andy Dufresne is another shining example of what we are capable of when there is never-ending hope. This man was sent to Shawshank Prison, where he would experience the most inhumane living conditions. Whilst hatching a plan to escape Shawshank for good, Andy made it his goal to improve life for his fellow prisoners, setting up libraries to improve their literacy and education. All of Andy’s energy was focused on one goal: to protest his genuine innocence and break free from the shackles of jail.
Is your favourite motivational movie not listed above? Be sure to tell us about your very own movie idols that have inspired you when growing up!