Happy Endings

How Chick-Flicks and Self-Help Movies Can Make a Difference

Opinion | Anna Claessen | November 2007

I love movies with a happy ending. It just makes me feel so much better, leaving the cinema with a smile on my face, looking differently at the world. Nowadays, there are not many movies, or any, that inspire me. You can see the movies are made for the money, not the heart. That’s why I was so amazed when I came across  the movie Hairspray.

Hairspray represents most of the people that are underrepresented on TV. When you see a fat girl in a film you’re suppose to feel sorry for her or laugh at her. But this time the fat girl is the lead. The character is a person people look up to and want to look like her. She uses her popularity for good, helping outsiders, like plus-sized girls and black kids, getting accepted by the mainstream.

With her optimism and faith, in the end she gets her dream guy, helps the African American kids perform on TV and even inspires her Caucasian dream guy to dance with an African American girl on TV, which had never happened before. The message of the movie is that everything is possible, you just have to believe it to receive it, which is similar to The Secret.

The Secret is a book and a film that says: "If you want something, just ask the universe." It tells the history, message and success of The Secret. The "Law of Attraction" is based on three steps, and if you skip any of them, it doesn’t work. First, you should know what you want and ask the universe for it, second, feel and behave as if the object of your desire is on its way and third, be open to receiving it. Ask, believe and receive.

The film became a phenomenon in 2007, after being featured on two episodes of Oprah. The book reached number one on The New York Times bestseller list. There is also a strong marketing campaign going on, at least In Iceland, where the book and the film were both standing at the cashiers at all bookstores.

I believe the message of The Secret but I’m also a little skeptical. It sounds a lot like other self-help books. Since I’ve watched it, some things have improved in my life that I have asked, believed and finally received. But is that all on me or is it the work of The Secret? Isn’t The Secret that it’s your mindset that controls how your life is?

It still makes me feel better believing it, because what’s the harm in believing? Who knows, you could end up like Tracy, living your dream. If not, at least you still have faith, which is more than most people can say.

Other articles from this issue