Have you ever watched a movie and felt like it was basically portraying your life? Maybe not literally, especially if there were aliens or mythical creatures involved. But perhaps you felt connected to the experience of one of the characters.
For example, when we were all on lockdown during the beginning of the pandemic, I remember people saying they felt like they were living the movie Groundhog Day. Collectively, we were waking up to the same day, same experiences, and same issues to face in our lives without a clear sense of when it would change. We could identify with the main character, Phil, as he made choices in the hopes of escaping an endless time loop. Throughout his journey, he was never sure he had control over getting back to his normal life.
Another example might be watching Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz discover that because she had the ruby slippers, she’d had the power to go home the entire time. This moment resonates with me whenever I remember that I have certain tools or skills that help me find a solution to something that at one time seemed unsolvable.
Watching how characters end up STUCK, why they stay STUCK, what they must face in order to get UNSTUCK, always stokes the flames of hope when I feel as though all is lost.
It’s also clarifying to witness a character articulating their experience of STUCK through dialogue with others. Often, I’ll hear a character say something that can bring my experience more clearly into focus. I’ll suddenly have language for my experience.
And it’s validating to see how characters are affected by STUCK. As an outsider, it’s so obvious why a character would experience certain emotions in response to their STUCK predicament. Those emotions are the same STUCK emotions I have felt.
In a lot of ways, watching STUCK themes in movies and TV shows help to normalize the experience of STUCK. And normalizing it often helps bring the experience down to size and seem manageable.
Looking back on all my STUCK experiences so far in life, I can see how STUCK has always presented me with opportunities to grow, to develop life skills, and to catapult me farther than I might have gone in my life had I not been blessed with whatever made me STUCK. I can start to feel grateful for the STUCK challenges, just as certain characters in movies give thanks to how their STUCK journeys helped them become better versions of themselves.
I thought it would be fun to list my Top 10 STUCK Movies in this episode of Growing in Uncertainty. These are all movies that illustrate the STUCK experience and show the growth for characters who undergo the challenge of STUCK. I’ll briefly describe the plot of each and why watching them could help you if you are STUCK.