For some people, Carrie Bradshaw immediately comes to mind when they think of an average freelancer’s life. Well, we hate to burst your bubble, but the job is not at all that glamorous. Most of us don’t get sent designer shoes and gowns for free. Our weekends do not consist of red-carpet events, celebrities, and expensive wine in Milan or Paris. It’s just a whole day of ‘Netflix and Chill’ with our cats or just surfing through Rotten Tomatoes list.
Most Hollywood movies put remote workers and freelancers in dramatic and glossy light. Despite that, some of their plot points can hit close to home. If you’re a freelancer and you want to watch a movie that you can relate to, here are our top recommendations:
TOP1: Sex and the City
Alright, we already mentioned that Carrie Bradshaw does not represent every freelancer. The truth is, an occasional article on Vogue and a weekly column won’t help you afford a pair of Louboutin. However, one aspect that the TV series and its accompanying movies get right is that a freelancer’s writing journey is parallel to the changes and challenges in their life. When Carrie was doing her research on her new book, she told Mr. Big that she used to write about finding love. Now that she has found that with him, she wanted to write about what happens next. That was such a sweet moment that had Carrie fans all over the world swooning.
How far will you go to earn money in the freelancing jungle? Nightcrawler perfectly explores that premise. While the film is focused on the growing societal spectacle on sensationalized news, it also touches on the ruthless freelancing competition, especially among the new blood entering the workforce. Lou Bloom, the main character, doesn’t have a job and is hustling to make ends meet. He is intelligent and ambitious, but above those qualities, he is willing to bend his moral ethics to earn money.
He finds work as a freelance cameraman, selling ‘blood and guts’ footages for TV stations. He puts his good eye for news, lack of morality, and nerve into running a successful business. Over the course of the story, he exploits, manipulates, and deceives anyone who stands in his way. As you can see, if that’s what it takes to make it on the industry, then the freelance economy does not look bright and sunny. Lou thrives as a freelancer because despite being a sociopath, someone above him enabled him to move forward regardless of the collateral damage.
TOP 3: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall gave remote workers one of the best quasi-existential quotes:
“When life gives you lemons, just say, ‘F*ck the lemons,’ and bail.”
The flexibility of a freelancer’s job allows them to put their work on halt and take a self-care vacation from time to time. This is what Jason Segel does in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. His character, Peter Bretter, works as a film score composer. The beginning of the movie gives us a peek into the life of a freelancer with most work done from home in their jammies or in their birthday suit.
Despite looking like a fresh-out-of-college bum, Peter seems to be living his best life—that is before his TV star girlfriend (played by Kristen Bell) ditches him for a pop star. He goes through the stages of grief until finally deciding to move on by going on a vacation in Hawaii.
While not all of us can afford a Hawaiian getaway, as freelancers, we can take a break anytime we want. Forgetting Sarah Marshall teaches the brokenhearted that it is alright to pursue happiness. Since this movie was produced by the emperor of Hollywood comedy, Judd Apatow, it will surely submerge you through waves and waves of laughter.
TOP 4: Trumbo
Do you want to get your work out there, but you still prefer remaining anonymous? Perhaps, you’re on the run from the law? Is there a first wife you’re hiding from? We won’t judge you for keeping your personal life as private as possible while maintaining a very public career. After all, Dalton Trumbo pulled the same stunt in the 1950s. Are you familiar with the movies Roman Holiday and The Brave One? Well, Trumbo wrote those under a pseudonym. All his struggles during the Hollywood Nazi crackdown were perfectly illustrated in his biopic.
After refusing to name colleagues and friends in Hollywood with Communist ties, Trumbo was convicted of contempt of Congress. Because of his involvement, no studio would hire him. As such, he decided to ask help from his friends so that he could get work as an underground screenwriter under different pseudonyms. Over the course of his “secret” career, two of his works even won awards from the Academy.
Probably the most relatable scenes in this movie are Trumbo’s work montages. He would craft his beautiful screenplays in a tub while drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes. It’s so symbolic! While he couldn’t enjoy his fundamental freedom of speech, he still went against all odds and did as he pleased. We would encourage you to do your work anywhere you’re comfortable, but the tub may not be a good idea for your laptop.
TOP 5: Julie & Julia
Whenever you get tired of the drudgery of your daily freelance work, remember that you can always escape to your hobbies. That’s what Julie Powell did when she tried every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook. Technically, Powell had a day job in an office, but she documented her cooking adventures in a blog, which consequently helped her earn extra cash. Turns out her hobby can result in two nonfiction books and a movie starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep!
Julie & Julia offers a relatable story for the burnt-out remote workers. It reminds us that we can push ourselves out of our stagnant career and comfort zone. It teaches us to use our passion, love, and goal to get us through our boring, routine jobs.
Movies can be our escape from the real world. However, as remote workers, we should still remember to keep our productivity levels in check. As such, we recommend that you always use a reliable time tracker like Traqq. This tool will help you balance your work and relaxation time. With its simplified and automated stopwatch, you will know your activity levels per project. In this way, you will discover how watching films is affecting your work—whether it distracts you or it gives you the boost you need to keep moving forward.