Movies create space to explore some of life’s biggest questions. This Movie Changed Me features conversations about how they teach, connect, and transform us. In each episode, host and lifelong movie fanatic Lily Percy guides guests to explore and celebrate the transformative role movies play in their lives.
Bonus: Farewell From the TMCM Team
For this special bonus episode, we gathered everyone on the This Movie Changed Me team to talk about the role movies have played in our lives, and what we’ve learned from working on this podcast. We’re grateful to all the listeners and guests who have joined us across three seasons of this podcast and have shared their own stories of transformation through movies. Thank you, movie friends!
Liara Tamani — Love & Basketball
Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball tells the story of two talented athletes who weave in and out of each other’s lives as they pursue big dreams. Monica Wright (played by Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy McCall (played by Omar Epps) are sometimes friends, enemies, lovers, and competitors. Writer Liara Tamani first saw the movie in 2000 when she was a reluctant student at Harvard Law School. She says Monica’s dedication to pursuing what she loved was a revelation for her. “When [Monica] turned around and looked at Quincy and their child, I almost felt like she was reaching through the screen, asking me, ‘So what you ’bout to do?’”
Selena — Shea Serrano
Selena tells the true story of the iconic Tejano singer, played by Jennifer Lopez, who broke barriers in music and fashion until her untimely death at age 23. Like Selena the person, writer Shea Serrano is also a Mexican American from Texas. When he first saw the movie in 1997, he was captivated by all the things it got right about his world — the accents, dialogue, and intimate moments. When he watches it now, he finds new lessons on parenthood in the relationship between Selena and her father, played by Edward James Olmos.
Blockers — Emily VanDerWerff
Blockers tells the story of three teenage girls determined to lose their virginity on prom night; it’s also about their parents mourning the loss of their daughters, watching them grow up and learning to let them go. The 2018 movie, directed by Kay Cannon, has everything you’d expect in a sex comedy: vulgarity, ridiculous gags, and hilarious jokes. It also complicates notions of sexuality and gender in surprising ways. Emily VanDerWerff, a writer and critic-at-large for Vox, was deeply struck by the movie when she first saw it. She realized it was showing her something she never could have imagined: a life for herself as a woman.
The Fly — Tony Banout
David Cronenberg’s The Fly tells the story of one man’s quest to develop teleportation — and everything that goes wrong along the way. The 1986 sci-fi horror movie stars Jeff Goldblum as Seth, the genius scientist, and Geena Davis as Ronnie, a journalist who falls in love with him. After an experiment goes awry, Seth begins a grisly transformation into a human-fly hybrid. Tony Banout, who works in interfaith dialogue, says he saw the movie as a cautionary tale about the dangers of an unchecked ego — and took lessons from it about grappling with death, decay, and grief.
Real Women Have Curves — Virgie Tovar
Real Women Have Curves tells the story of a young Mexican American woman walking between two worlds, trying to please her immigrant family and be true to herself. Ana, played by America Ferrera, dreams of leaving Los Angeles and going to college. But even as she wants out, she yearns for her family’s blessing and acceptance. This in-betweenness — and Ana’s radical acceptance of her body as it is — was powerful to Virgie Tovar, a writer and body image activist. She says the movie showed her that she could ask for what her body needs, no matter its size.