Tag Archives: quotes

5 Lessons From 5 Great Film Characters

Cosmo Brown (Singin’ in the Rain)

Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite an elite, and you could charm the critics and have nothing to eat, just slip on a banana peel the world’s at your feet! Make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh, make ’em laugh!

“Make ’em laugh” is effectively what I learnt from this character. I’ve discovered that a witty line can make a point, and a funny story can win an audience.

Maria (The Sound of Music)

Now children, Do Re Mi Fa So and so on are only the tools you use to build a song. Once you have these notes in your heads you can sing a million different tunes by mixing them up.

From Maria I learnt that there was much more to music that I previously thought. After watching this film, I listen to music in a completely different way. I appreciate music much more now, to the point of taking singing and piano lessons.

Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)

“Okay, pep talk! You can do this, but to be more accurate, you probably can’t. You’re way out of practice and she’s way too hot for you. So, remember, it’s not about scoring. It’s about believing you can do it, even though you probably can’t. Go get ’em, tiger!”

I love this quote because it reflects exactly how hard it is to explain to someone the power of confidence and positive thinking. It sounds like you are deluding yourself with a confidence overload, and in fact you are, but that’s the only way to unleash the power. If I had to pick only one thing to be successful, it’s this one. Believe in yourself.

Trip Tucker (Star Trek: Enterprise)

[about flying an alien vessel] How difficult can it be? Up, down, forward, reverse. I’ll figure it out.


Nothing is that complicated. This character made me change the way I look at things. You don’t have to focus on the problem and try to eliminate it, you have to focus on the purpose and find a way there. This may not look like it, but it was a major shift in my thinking triggered by an Enterprise episode when I was twelve.

Captain Kirk (Star Trek)

The prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.

The quote above has nothing to do with the lesson, but I like it. What I learnt from Captain Kirk (although it’s displayed by almost every character in the Star Trek franchise) is that you can be smart, athletic and many other things at the same time and it’s not only OK but preferred. I consider myself lucky to have learnt the importance of being well-rounded at an early age (I watched Star Trek for the first time when I was about eight) because I was able to break free from my maths nerd stereotype an enrich my life enormously.

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What is an adventure?

A cold dictionary definition is “a wild and exciting undertaking”. But that’s all dictionaries know about adventures. Let’s ask the experts about the subject:

Helen Keller, educator who was born deaf and blind:

“Life is either a great adventure, or nothing”.

G.K. Chesterson, writer:

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.

Jacques Costeau, explorer and scientist:

“The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

Wilfred Peterson, writer:

A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints

But the most perfect definition I’ve heard of this word is the one by Cornelius Hackl, the charming character from the film The Matchmaker(1958):

“The feeling of an adventure is when you’re in the middle of the big city and you say ‘Oh God I’m in the middle of an awful mess, I wish I was sitting quietly at home!’ And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you’re sitting quietly at home, wishing you were having an adventure.”

You have to watch this film.

We are all familiar with the fictional concepts of  ” the superhero”, “the one” and such. I’m a big fan of superheroes. But these tags have a dark side. They separate fiction from reality a bit too much. They make you think that in order to have an adventure, you have to either be the one, have superpowers or be lucky enough to encounter the alien ship that just crashed.

Those things don’t happen in real life. Therefore we think that adventures don’t happen in real life, to people like us. But films like The Matchmaker send the opposite message: you have to get your own adventures. That is exactly what Cornelius does. He says he’s going to have an adventure and gets moving. This is not an adventure film. It’s a film about adventure.

In this blog I will explore the lives of real and fictional adventurers who got their own fun: their character, lifestyle, professions and actions. What exactly makes them so special?

The musical version, Hello, Dolly!(1968) is great too:

Thanks for reading, have a good time!

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