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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Friendly Movie Characters

Writing Prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word: friendly.

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:

9 comments:

  1. For some reason, all I can think of is the Good Samaritan.

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    1. I have never seen the Good Samaritan. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. A screenwriter - what a fun job that must be! The most recent example of a background character good deed, that I've seen, is in the movie Lion. When little Saroo was lost and alone and took refuge in a train station tunnel, he laid down on the cold ground. Across from him were several other abandoned or homeless kids laying on pieces of cardboard on the ground. One of the other little boys pushed a piece of cardboard towards Saroo, indicating he could have it so he wouldn't have to sleep on the cold ground. That piece of cardboard ended up being Saroo's bed for several weeks. Such a great movie!

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    1. Oh, wow, that's an excellent example! Thank you! I haven't seen Lion, but I hope to see it soon. After reading your comment, it has moved up to the top of my list.

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  3. I love this idea! Not just in movies but in real life too. My blog post was focused on the UNfriendliness of humans, but I'm going to challenge myself to look past them to those who actually are lovely!

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    1. You're right... look for it in real life too. Nice doesn't always make the news, but it's out there!

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  4. "Where the Heart" is one of my all time favorite movies. How About "With Honors" ? When some collage students learn to be friendly with a homeless man they meet because they all found ways to interfere with each others daily lives,

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    1. How did I miss seeing "With Honors" with Brendan Fraser?? Thanks for sharing that. I will add that to my list of movies I want to watch. So many movies, so little time!

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    2. It is a true family favorite here.

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