Friendly encounters with strangers lift my spirits. Such as when a woman in Italy showed me how to work the laundromat washer, and a gentleman who observed me gazing at a scenic landscape, stood beside me and expressed, "Bellissimo. Bellissimo."
I am grateful for friendly tall grocery shoppers who hand me items from the top shelf. And for the woman on the hospital elevator who held the door for me, suspecting, in my distraught state, I had gotten off on the wrong floor. She was right. And kind.
So, I feel a tender spot for friendly movie characters who reach out to strangers in their time of need. Often, their kindness has far reaching effects like when little Jenny offers Forrest a seat next to her on the school bus (Forrest Gump, 1994), or when Sister Husband (Stockard Channing) invites Novalee (Natalie Portman), a teenager with a newborn, to stay with her (Where the Heart Is, 2000).
But not all friendliness or kindness are the grand acts. Sometimes there's a friendly character in a minor role, like Marshall (Ossie Davis), a chauffeur who helps Joe (Tom Hanks) select clothes (Joe Versus the Volcano, 1990), or Sara's (Eva Mendes) nice boss, Max (Adam Arkin) in Hitch (2005).
Let's not forget the background extras, either... the waitress, cab driver, doorman, passenger on the train, pedestrian. Since the camera's focus is on the main action, it's easy to overlook what's going on around the main characters.
And therein lies the challenge. As I tried to think of specific examples to include in this post, I came up blank. So I've challenged myself to look for friendly acts in the background of the movies I watch in the next few weeks, and report back to this blog post.
Can you recall friendly background character action? Please share!
Writing prompt from: