They tell stories we recognize and they help us feel a little less alone. Movies about introverts appeal to every introverted person.
There’s nothing quite as soothing as seeing characters who experience the world the same way we do. Characters who are outsiders and observers are our bread and butter, we need to be reminded there are others just like us. Some movies about introverts show us that personality is not a limit on our dreams.
These movies feature romance, strong friendships, and adventures – storylines often limited to extroverted characters.
These movies show us that you don’t have to be the loudest, most exciting person in the room to be fulfilled.
The First Time is my ultimate favorite movie about introverts, and not just because the tagline is “nervous is normal”. It is the story of two introverts who fall in love despite their insecurities. Dave (Dylan O’Brien), a socially awkward but “cool” guy, meets Aubrey (Britt Robertson), a seemingly confident but totally reclusive girl, outside a party. He’s rehearsing a speech for the girl he likes; she’s hiding from the noise of the party. After the party is broken up by the police, they flee to Aubrey’s house and spend the night sharing their innermost thoughts. As the story progresses and their feelings become deeper, they start to struggle to share their true feelings, especially after they lose their virginities to each other. I think we can all understand the fear of revealing our true selves, especially when there’s a romance at stake. This pair fumble through their feelings in a totally heart-warming and uncomfortably relatable way. Fear not though. As is typical of any romantic comedy movie about introverts, there is a happy ending to look forward to. A sign that it is never impossible to be in love, even when you’re not super keen on people. This cult classic hit features on almost every list of movies about introverts. It possesses all the necessary traits of a coming-of-age movie, based on the lives of teenage “outsiders”.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower is based on the 1999 novel written by Stephen Chbosky, set in 1992. This movie is renowned for its relatable portrayal of the main character’s introverted personality. This inspirational movie about an introverted boy tells the tale of friendship and acceptance against all odds. Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a freshman in high school and considers himself to be just an “observer”. He’s reeling from the suicide of his best friend and struggles to fit in, deciding he hates high school pretty early on (relatable much?). Eventually, he meets Sam and Patrick (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller), Seniors at the same school.
The more socially confident duo, though still outsiders, notice his lack of friends and make a special effort to take him in. After navigating a complicated first love, a physical fight, and a hospitalization, the trio end the movie as firm friends. As they drive off into the sunset (metaphorically speaking), Charlie remarks that famous line “In this moment I swear, we are infinite.” This ultimately heartwarming movie about an introvert’s journey to true friendship and ownership of himself is one we can all understand or at least hope for. Charlie begins his year alone and ends it with friends he knows he can count on. He has found his tribe. Though it may not be on most “introvert movie” lists, Superbad is a movie about introverts and a pretty good one. It tells the classic story of awkward teens who dream of being cool, getting the girl, and going to the party of the year. Seth and Ethan (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) are socially inept best friends. Seth is more extroverted, desperate to be cool and a little misguided in his view of popularity. Ethan, on the other hand, is a classic introvert. He enjoys their quiet life and few friends. His only goal is to shed his introverted skin enough to win the girl. He’s clumsy, awkward and is, well, played perfectly by Michael Cera.
The pair, plus their friend Fogell, set out on a journey to score some booze, and head to a party where they might finally get a chance with the girls they’ve been dreaming of.
These characters are the perfect awkward teen stereotypes, with totally relatable insecurities and outlandish dreams. In the end, they’re forced to confront their deepest fear – having to separate when they move to different colleges. This story is the ultimate “introverts can be cool after all” movie, with a co-dependant twist. If you’re searching for an artsy, heart-warming movie about introverts, look no further than Zach Braff’s Garden State.
The characters in this movie are all stereotypical introverts, struggling with their own emotional troubles and searching for something better for themselves. Zach Braff plays Andrew, an introverted man who enjoys a quiet life until he’s forced to return home when his mother passes away. He finally confronts his strained relationship with his father and his own mental health struggles. Andrew ditches the medications his psychiatrist father forced on him as a child and he begins to see the world differently. He meets a similar woman, Sam (Natalie Portman), who is introverted but is his quirky, colorful opposite. She introduces him to a brighter way of life, despite struggling with her own introversion. Throughout the film we watch the pair grow to understand their emotions better and become better able to handle their problems. Much like any introvert, they both struggle to speak up for themselves at first and slowly grow into stronger people, willing to stand up for themselves. Who knew a Disney film could be so symbolic? It’s said that this massive hit movie is a metaphor for the introvert/extravert relationship. Anna, the bolder, more outgoing and social sister of the pair is the extravert, while Elsa is arguably the opposite. She has hidden away all her life because of her powers but is more than happy with her lot. She wants to be alone to handle her feelings, even going as far as to create her own ice castle – but that’s a whole different story. After making a mistake that traps her hometown in an endless winter, she flees to the wilderness in shame. This feels infinitely relatable. This movie also shows us that there is more than just one type of introvert. Not every introvert is quiet or shy. Elsa is reserved and reclusive but clearly no wallflower. She’s strong-willed and far from socially anxious, but she just prefers being alone. This kind of introversion, many of us can relate to. Typically, introverts gain energy from being alone and lose it in the company of others. Through a series of far too catchy songs and a lot of family-friendly joy, Elsa learns to accept love and support from her sister and new friends. She embraces her powers once she realizes that she’s loved unconditionally. All of us introverts should come to know eventually that accepting a little company and allowing some love in isn’t so bad. Being an introvert can be a lonesome experience. We often feel like we can’t fit in or miss out on the world in a way that more extraverted people do not. Movies and books about introverts, or those with introverted characters, show us that we aren’t alone. Seeing, on screen, a person experiencing the world through similar eye’s as our own can be comforting. Relatability is all we ever want. R.
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