Ten Stories That Inspire Us

By Christa A. Banister | senior editor, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:01

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Now that we’re nearly three weeks into 2012, chances are, a few of those resolutions you’ve made for the new year may have already fallen by the wayside.

And considering how ambitious most people get with their respective lists, well, it’s not really that surprising, is it? After all, it’s challenging enough to tackle one thing, let alone an entire list.

But in the interest of staying positive (and really, who couldn’t use a double shot of encouragement from time to time?), why not get inspired by other people’s stories – real, fictional and otherwise?

Whether you’re aiming for a healthier lifestyle, hoping to write the great American novel or cutting out the lattes so you can save up for your dream vacation to Italy, well, here are 10 movies worth adding to your Netflix queue – instances where ordinary people attempt the extraordinary – definitely something worth shooting for, even if you’ve already had a couple of slip-ups.

A Mile In His Shoes, starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder
A Mile In His Shoes is the heartwarming story of Mickey Tussler, a sheltered farm boy with Aspergers Syndrome (a high-functioning form of Autism) and a killer fast-ball, who is recruited by minor league manager Murph to play for his struggling minor league baseball team. Catch it this Sunday on gmc at 10 am et.

Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank and Patrick Dempsey
These days, it’s practically a miracle just to have a job. But what if you used your platform, whatever it was, to make a difference in the lives of so many? Well, that’s exactly what a young idealistic woman does with her first teaching job in Freedom Writers. Instead of just accepting that a group of at-risk students aren’t going to ever amount to much, she decides it’s worth the trouble to inspire her class to apply themselves in ways that’ll benefit them for many years to come.

Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Deviating from his usual role of the man-boy who simply refusing to grow up, Will Ferrell shows incredible range as Harold Crick, a by-the-numbers IRS agent who learns that death may be greeting him sooner rather than later. So instead of living the same, ho-hum existence he’s resigned himself to, he starts doing everything he’s ever wanted to – learning to play the guitar, loosening up on things that don’t really matter, even pursuing a relationship, something he’d been scared of in the past.

The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx and Catherine Keener
While in search for a story for his column in the Los Angeles Times, a man named Steve Lopez meets someone he’ll never forget – a homeless man with an extraordinary musical talent. Naturally, this has a rather dramatic impact on normally self-centered approach to living.

The 5th Quarter, starring Andie McDowell and Aidan Quinn
With a tugging-at-the-heartstrings storyline, The 5th Quarter is the story of the unexpected death of a 16-year-old athlete that ends up being a godsend for five other people who end up being the recipients of the organs that Luke’s family donates. See it this Sunday on gmc at 12 noon et.

Up, starring the voices of Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer and Jordan Nagai
After you've dried your eyes from the sweetest, saddest portrait of a marriage that ends too soon after his wife gets sick, Up is a sweet, sweet story of a curmudgeon who learns that you're never too old to embark on wonderfully exciting adventures. As a bonus, he also realizes that even the most unexpected people (like a young kid who drives him thoroughly crazy in the beginning) can be some of the best friends on the planet.

Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci
Looking for a creative outlet, a 30-year-old government worker decides to attempt a rather ambitious feat – cooking through the entire Julia Child cookbook, 524 recipes in all, and blogging about it.

Chariots of Fire, starring Ben Cross, Ian Charleson and Nicholas Farrell
Even if you’re not a runner, one still can’t help being inspired by the story of two men who will sacrifice anything for the goals. Plus, the soundtrack really rocks, even if it does take place in 1981.

We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church
When he senses that his job is becoming a pity gig, a newly widowed father longs to give his two children a different life by moving from the city to the country where all kinds of new joys and challenges await.

The Help, starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer
During a time when it wasn’t exactly fashionable to do so, a young aspiring author gives a voice to people who’ve never had one – the black maids who work for white families in Jackson, Miss. in the 1960s.

Copyright 2012, www.watchgmctv.com. For permission to repost or reprint, click here.


About the Writer

After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities as an editor, columnist and website guru for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own Dallas-based freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including Salem Publishing, Crosswalk.com (she reviews movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media, Songs4Worship.com, PassAlong.com and also helped kickstart the first Christian music blog for MTV. In addition, she also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers for NavPress.

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