Working independently from home, myriad temptations prove themselves difficult to resist. Chief among these is the temptation to laze the day away in front of a never-ending Netflix film reel.
While I’d never encourage procrastination or sloth-like behaviors, I am prone to believe that a good midday film break can prove itself quite a boon to productivity. Certain movies can really put you in that “Let’s get to work mindset!”
If you’re feeling like a lunch-time movie break is in order for your weekday, here are some of my favorite motivational movies that you can watch on Netflix right this minute.
Legally Blonde (2001)
This is a film that really doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Sure, it’s a bit silly and it’s a whole lot of pink, but this is a film about a hard working, driven gal who gets herself into Harvard Law School and works her ass off to do a great job there. She might love manicures and tiny dogs, but that’s no reason to take her any less seriously. We would all do well to channel Elle Woods more in our day to day lives.
Warner Huntington III: You got into Harvard Law?
Elle Woods: What? Like it’s hard?
“Chef” tells story of an acclaimed chef, Carl Casper (played masterfully by Jon Favreau), who loses his big-time restaurant gig and decides to start his own food-truck while trying to put his family life back together. It’s humorous and touching, but also a testament to the difficulties of starting a career over again. Casper deals with the trials and challenges of starting his own business while rediscovering the joys of truly following your passion. If this doesn’t make you want to really shoot for the stars, nothing will.
“I may not do everything great in my life, but I’m good at this. I manage to touch people’s lives with what I do and I want to share this with you.”
The Disney princesses of olden days weren’t exactly the most inspiring women. I mean, they were beautiful but I’d hardly count sleeping for a few years while you wait for some dude to kiss you as a real motivational story. The more contemporary ladies of Disney, though, have proven able to kick some serious ass. Mulan might be my favorite.
When her elderly father is called to fight for his country against the invading Hun army, Mulan decides (against his will) that she will go instead. She skillfully chops her hair off, disguises herself as a man, and joins the army. Though she faces challenges and struggles, Mulan proves to everyone around her and herself that she’s capable of doing whatever she wants, including defeating some very scary villains. Mulan always leaves me feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.
“A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.”
In a World (2013)
Speaking of women in a man’s world, this story of a woman (played by Lake Bell) who dreams of breaking into the male-dominated world of movie-trailer voiceover work is equal parts hilarious, touching and motivational. It’s a true underdog story, filled with some of the comedy scene’s funniest people right now, from Rob Cordry to Nick Offerman.
“I just want to give you my card. I’m not a vocal coach anymore, but I would make an exception for you because you sound like a squeaky toy.”
Based on the true story of legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, “Frida” is a truly gorgeous piece of film. Despite sickness, injury and heartbreak, Frida Kahlo never let life stand in the way of her creating the type of art she wanted to create. The film does a great job portraying the complicated, darkness of Kahlo’s life while still leaving you inspired in the end.
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”
9 to 5 (1980)
No roundup of motivational films would be complete without the addition of the classic, “9 to 5.” Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton (a Holy Trifecta, indeed) as three working ladies who decide they’ve had it up to here with their sexist boss, this film will have you laughing your way through the workday. Promise.
The entire song by Dolly Parton, duh.