Have you ever wondered what a narcissist is? The term is thrown around loosely these days, and without my firsthand experience with them, I would’ve never known what they are exactly. But here’s the thing, I didn’t know until after I dated them! I want to help you know what a real narcissist is, so you can watch for the signs before getting too close to one. What better way to educate yourself than watching a movie? Keep reading to discover 7 movies you should watch to understand narcissists.
This is just the beginning of my series on narcissism and toxic relationships. It can get a bit heavy, but I think I wouldn’t be doing my part if I didn’t dive into heavier topics here at Wise Soul. Though I’m not a psychologist, I’ve been dealing with narcissists my entire life in familial, romantic, platonic, and professional relationships. I believe all of this experience (plus years of therapy) has given me a wealth of experience in being able to recognize and respond to narcissists and unhealthy behaviors. I’ve been able to remove myself from these relationships, and I want to be able to help others do the same. That starts with understanding what narcissism is. Let’s do it in a fun way!
7 Movies You Should Watch to Understand Narcissists
It’s easy to think that movies exaggerate all of its characters, but when it comes to these movies, I’ve experienced and have known these exact levels of manipulation, cunningness, deceit, and violence. There is no exaggeration when it comes to narcissistic characters. And I think that is very important to understand, so that you can truly internalize just how far someone can go. These narcissists are not “Hollywood-ized.” They most likely were written out of experience.
1. Safe Haven
This is a Nicholas Sparks movie that has a little more depth in comparison to his other works. Without spoiling too much, a character’s husband is a violent, controlling, physically abusive person who will stop at nothing to get her back. What would you do to get away?
Also watch for: the seaside views and a journey in starting over.
Watch Safe Haven here.
Features a chilling performance by Zac Efron as the infamous Ted Bundy. This is narcissism taken to an entirely new level: sociopathic, serial killer. From an inflated, untouchable ego, to a belligerent rage hidden calmly beneath the surface that sends him over the edge, killing over 30 women, Ted Bundy shocked thousands of people. With his attractive, charming demeanor, no one thought he was capable of such viciousness. It can be scary knowing that it really happened, not that long ago, but it’s better to know the signs and see it with your own eyes than be blindsided.
Also watch for: Lily Collins’s soul-gripping performance
Watch Extremely Evil Shockingly Wicked and Vile here. (Free on Netflix)
Mother knows best, right? Why would I put a Disney film on the list? Because those evil villains are just so good at being evil. It wasn’t until I met someone in real life just like Mother Gothel that I realized how sinister this character really is. Take away her cute showtunes-y songs, and you see her for the true evil that she is: conniving, stealing a child for her own benefit, locking her away in a tower, and gaslighting Rapunzel to believe that the world is bad and the only one to trust is her mother. This exists around us more than we think, minus the glowing hair.
Also watch for: Flynn Rider’s smolder, the floating lights
Watch Tangled here.
This is such a fun movie to watch! In this juxtaposed comedy-thriller, a character is a psychological liar, felon, and narcissist. Secrets and mystery litter the entire flick with fashion and flair, but at the end of the day, having a pretty face doesn’t excuse the horrible things you do. You never really know who to trust until the end, and you watch with baited breath, wondering who will win.
Also watch for: Blake Lively’s amazing performance, the martinis, Anna Kendrick’s surprising performance
Watch A Simple Favor here.
A simple, cozy film that features complicated characters and relationships. The main character, played by Keri Russell, has a selfish, abusive husband that she can’t get away from. I don’t want to even imagine the amount of people in this world who are in a very similar situation. Watch as she tries to make the best of her life, and, hopefully, find her escape from her husband who sucks the life from her.
Also watch for: hilarious comedic timing, yummy pies, an unexpected twist
Watch Waitress here.
Arguably one of the best musicals of all time, brought to screen by a young (beardless!) Gerard Butler. Here’s a perfect example of when narcissists are good-looking and sexy, so you overlook their red flags. That was me, growing up watching this movie, rooting for the bad guy. Watch as passion and pain are twisted into risk, rage, and romance.
Also watch for: the beautiful music, the swoon-worthy male leads, Emmy Rossum’s 18-year-old performance
Watch The Phantom of the Opera here.
7. Knives Out
This Oscar-nominated murder mystery film is one that everyone enjoys watching. It features a dynamite ensemble cast, filled with ego-centric, backbiting, entitled characters. Revealed as the plot unfolds, one stands out above them all, who cunningly devises a plan to murder and decimate a legacy in the name of money. It’s so good, you want to love it, but the blood-curdling truth is that it’s unbelievably realistic.
Also watch for: Daniel Craig’s accent, Chris Evans’s turtlenecks, Ana De Armas’s honesty meter
Watch Knives Out here.
I hope you try out a few of these movies to watch to understand narcissists options on your next movie night! Trying to understand narcissists not only helps you in your relationships, but your friends and family, as you watch out for them. Check back soon for more posts on narcissists!
Did I miss a good movie that features narcissists? Comment below to share. I’d love to watch it and add it to the list!0