Gretchen Breuner, a graduate of UC Berkeley and a San Diego resisdent, is the author of the eBook How to Plan an Amazing, Kid-Friendly RV Adventure. She was featured in the April 2011 issue of Parents Magazine, blogs for a number of sites and has a new book coming out this fall. She is also available for speaking engagements and coaching. Visit her website to find out more,

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What do movies do for us?

At some point during yesterday, I was informed that Sunday night was Oscar Night. I hadn’t really paid any attention, really, but found myself too tired last night to try and do any work. I ended up on the couch, watching the Academy Awards. There are many, many thoughts to share but I’ll keep it to just the obvious: Why are we so drawn to the movies?

Over the past ten months, I’ve done quite a bit of study on the topic of story. It’s the classic, bring something to the forefront of your mind and you see it all over the place, like when you’re pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) and you notice how many expecting moms are out there. It’s been the same with Story. Everyone, every situation, has Story interwoven. The movies are just more obvious about it, but once you start to look around, notice people’s general conversations. Most often they are just telling a story.

Last night, as I watched the Oscars, each speech is really just telling a story, either of the movie or of that person’s life. We learn through story; our brains are tricked into open-mindedness when we hear the word “story.” We automatically settle down, as if we’re being readied for bed, and open our minds to a story.

The movies are so wonderfully powerful at conveying a message. I think that’s why they’ve remained a strong force in our cultural life, despite economic or world hardships. The movies unite us, entertain us, teach us and seduce us.

I was more entertained watching the Awards than I had expected last night. Aside from the typical Red Carpet nauseatingly painful interview questions, I absolutely loved Meryl Streep and Christopher Plummer’s, and that french guy (can’t remember his name) acceptance speeches. They each told a short story about their very long and devoted careers.

I love the movies because I love the power of a good story.

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