Romantic comedies seemingly come out every week, and there usually isn't too much variation in the formula that these films follow. In 2009, the movie "500 Days of Summer" turned heads by offering a slightly different take on the romcom, while also weaving a strong tale of personal development that is in tune with Ilchi Lee's teachings.
The film is about Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and the relationship he strikes up with his coworker Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The first half of the film seems to hit all of the typical romcom notes, despite an amusing narrator repeatedly saying that "this is not a love story." Somewhat early in the film, the two split, leaving Tom devastated by the break-up.
Yet unlike many other films, where the guy would make some grand gesture and win back the girl, the second half of the film is more about Tom's personal development. His break-up inspires him to leave his unfulfilling job as a greeting card writer in somewhat spectacular fashion and pursue his dream of becoming an architect.
For weaving a tale of personal development and inspiration, even in the face of something seemingly terrible, "500 Days of Summer" stands up as a work that has much in common with Ilchi Lee's own philosophies.
The late director John Hughes is typically known for his films depicting high school students, like "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club." Yet he took a departure from that subject matter with "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and in the process delivered a poignant film about personal change.
Steve Martin plays Neal Page, a businessman who is caught in a snowstorm just before Thanksgiving. Trying to make it home in time to see his family, he partners with the bumbling salesman Del Griffith (the late John Candy) as they attempt to navigate the country's highways and byways and find a way back to Chicago in time.
The straight-laced and no-nonsense Page is contrasted with Griffith, who talks to just about everyone and always seems to have a smile on his face. Despite Griffith's affable nature, the viewer gets the feeling that he's actually quite lonely and simply looking for a friend – something that Page gradually warms up to as the film goes on. Slowly, Page's icy exterior melts and the two bond over their travel experience.
Beyond the positive lessons in the film, it's simply hilarious. Candy and Martin make a truly legendary comedic duo, and the trials and tribulations that they undergo while trying to get back home resonate with anybody who has spent time on the road.
Ilchi Lee believes that health is one of the most important aspects of daily living. Leading a physically active lifestyle and being conscious of diet can make it much easier to grow and develop.
The 1973 movie Enter the Dragon communicates this theme as well, as it details the battle between a notorious drug trafficking circle and Bruce Lee, a Shaolin martial artist master from Hong Kong. Lee must infiltrate a martial arts school to get closer to the drug lord Han.
He also has to make his way through dozens of guards and eventually confront some of the masters to stop the drug smuggling operation.
The film is considered by many to be one of the best of 1973, and in 2004 was noted as being “culturally significant” by the Library of Congress. It also made Empire magazine’s 2008 list of the top 500 movies of all time.
Much of the attraction comes from the fighting itself. Bruce Lee’s combination of mind, body and spirit for physical training has become recognized as an epitome of fitness and health. In speed tests, he was able to take a dime from a person’s hand and replace it with a penny before the hand closed. His striking speed from three feet with his hands down was recorded at five hundredths of a second. He could also perform 50 one-armed chin-ups.