If life imitates art, then movies can help us reflect by giving us life lessons. Here are 5 of our favourite movie characters, and what we can learn from their personalities and choices.

Marisa (Maid in Manhattan)

“I'm gonna take that chance without any fear. Without your voice in my head telling me that I can’t."

Who can forget Jennifer Lopez’s character in Maid in Manhattan, Marisa? The humble but determined, witty hotel maid who got caught up in a lie that went too far. Despite the social pressures for her to keep her head down, she stood up for herself and called out the system that stereotyped her, and made her feel invisible. Her happy ending came from her bravery to step out of her comfort zone and allow herself to dream, despite all of the pressures to keep her where she was.

Cady (Mean Girls)

“Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter.”

Mean Girls is one of the most iconic movies of our time, and Cady’s ability to learn from her mistakes and see beyond the pettiness and drama of her high school made her an inspiring character. Even after getting sucked into the crazy world of the “Plastics”, she managed to take the high road and not take revenge on Regina George, who treated her so badly. In Cady’s memorable speech in front of her classmates, she explains why kicking someone when they’re down doesn’t get rid of your own insecurities, and that everyone (and especially girls) can empower one another and create healthier friendships with each other, instead of gossiping and fighting.

Nakia (Black Panther)

"I would make a great queen because I am so stubborn.”

Nakia has been called the “unsung hero” of the Black Panther universe, and we agree that this strong character, played by Lupita Nyong’o, is one of Wakanda’s fiercest defenders. Throughout the movie she uses her quick wit and wisdom to save the day, and sticks to her principles even when she’s challenged. Nakia stands up for what she believes in, even when it isn’t the popular stance to take.

Rachel (Crazy Rich Asians)

“I'm not leaving because I'm scared, or because I think I'm not enough - because maybe for the first time in my life, I know I am."

Rachel Chu is the career-driven, yet down to earth protagonist of the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. Despite the chaos and drama which ensues in her life, she maintains her values of being a genuinely good person. After falling out with her mother, Rachel manages to reconcile their relationship and opens herself up to a different perspective. And after seeing that she’d been trying so hard to impress a very judgemental and snobby family, she finally stands up for herself and calls off her wedding - earning her future mother-in-law’s respect, instead.

Natalie (Isn't It Romantic)

“There is always going to be a happy ending.”

Natalie, played by Rebel Wilson, is a young architect who’s cynical about love, and stuck in a life stage that’s stagnant and uninspiring. However, after her world gets turned upside down, she’s given a chance to reconsider the way she views life and love, and she eventually develops not only self-love, but also a more positive outlook on her situation. She realises that she’s been standing in the way of her own happiness by waiting for the perfect man to save her, and decides to fall in love with herself instead.

Notice how even though these leading ladies are fictional, they aren’t perfect? In fact, they make mistakes and say the wrong things sometimes, but what they all have in common is that they allow themselves to grow and learn from those bad judgements. What have you learned from your favourite movie character? Let us know on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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