Life inspiration can come from many places, and movies are no exception. I was thinking today about the movie Joe Versus the Volcano, which stars a young Tom Hanks and came out in 1990. Due to the age of the movie as well as the fact that it was made in a stylistic, offbeat style, the film is a little…odd. However, I’ve always loved it and considered it among my favorites. The reason for that coveted spot on my list of favorite movies is because Joe Versus the Volcano may be a really (really) cheesy movie, but it also explores themes that so many of us are familiar with…that feeling of being stuck in a tough situation that we aren’t necessarily happy with. Joe is given a strange and unique opportunity to live life to the fullest, if even just for a little while.
The movie has been out FOREVER, but I should still warn you that if for whatever reason you haven’t seen the movie and think you might like to, spoilers ahead…
Joe Banks (Tom Hanks) is a sad man who works at the most horrible job imaginable. His sad, miserable life is one of trudging on day after day with no joy and nothing to look forward to.
One day, Joe finds out he is dying. Since his life wasn’t really worth living anyway, when he is given an opportunity by an eccentric millionaire to die with dignity by hurling himself into a volcano, he figures he has nothing to lose. Part of the deal is that before he hurls himself into the volcano, he gets to live a rich, extravagant life filled with all the things he never got to experience in his previous life.
The movie explores the themes of what makes life worth living and what the meaning of our existence is. Although the movie can be quite campy at moments, it is also a great reminder that there is a whole wide world out there and that we should live in the moment and enjoy everything this world has to offer us. We are not stuck in the prisons we might believe we are stuck in, rather we are here for a fleeting moment and we should grasp the joy in life while we still can.
This is a movie that reminds me why I travel and why I make the effort to live my life to the fullest. Plus, it’s a fun movie to watch.
What are your favorite inspirational travel movies?