5 films made out of a broken heart
Heart to art
1. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
After being inspired by a story of his own father Luigi, actor and director Roberto Benigni wrote the screenplay with Vincenzo Cerami about an Italian Jew who tries to shield as much of the horrors of World War II from his son by pretending that everything's fine and dandy — even if he was in a Nazi concentration camp. The senior Benigni spent two years in camp, telling humourous stories to his children. The younger Benigni was also inspired by the story of Rubino Romeo Salmoni and his book In The End, I Beat Hitler. The Italian film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, eventually winning Best Actor and Best Foreign Film.
2. Prozac Nation (2001)
Elizabeth Wurtzel's novel Prozac Nation changed lives when her memoir was first published in 1994. Published when she was just 26, it spoke to the Generation X of the time, giving depression the face and words it needed. Not only was the mental health issue raised, poignant recollections of the author's dealings with drug and alcohol abuse, hysteria and self-mutilation were also addressed. Although Erik Skjoldbjærg's film adaption didn't quite get the acclaim it deserved (the film was never officially released in the States), Christina Ricci slips into her role bringing Wurtzel's words to life in her voice-overs. Watch the flick below starring a then-unknown Michelle Williams.
3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
This French film is an adaptation of the memoir by journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby, who was the editor of ELLE France. After suffering a massive stroke that led him to paralysis with the exception of some movement in his head and eyes, he wrote an entire book by blinking his left eyelid with someone transcribing every French alphabet according to frequency. It was reported that Bauby had to blink about 200,000 times to write the novel. He passed on just two days after the publication of the book. Mathieu Amalric stars in the film adaptation, which won Best Director Prize at Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film & Best Director.
4. Marley & Me (2007)
Sure, dogs die, and you just have to deal with it. In the case of John Grogan, he wrote a book titled Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog, which soon turned into a movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. After hearing about Grogan's story through his nieces and in-laws, director David Frankel took the heartbreaking story of a young couple and their dog to the big screen.
5. (500) days of Summer (2009)
You recall this indie hit as your big introduction to the deadpan wonder that is Zooey Deschanel and the endearing pull of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but you'll also remember its opening credits where the film boldly declares that "any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental" but later adds "Especially you, Jenny Beckman. Bitch." Writer Scott Neustadter wrote the script after being dumped by his girlfriend. Like the film, things didn't end well, but Neustadter eventually sent his ex the script to read. Surprisingly, she related to the character of Tom rather than Summer.
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