4 Inspiring Movies Southeast Asian Entrepreneurs Must Watch

published 16 September 2016

Daily routines and the stress of running a business take their toll on entrepreneurs. Like everybody else, they need the occasional escape. Movies are one.
We polled some entrepreneurs and professionals about movies that they feel speak powerfully about the entrepreneurial spirit. Here are the top answers:

1. The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, invests his entire life savings in portable scanners, which he has difficulty selling. Through a chance meeting with an investment professional, whom he impresses, Chris gets an opportunity to become an intern stockbroker and earn a more stable living.
Meanwhile, his mounting financial troubles drive a wedge between him and his wife, prompting her to leave him and their young son. Chris has to deal with a host of misfortunes: eviction from his apartment, arrest for numerous traffic violations, and garnishment of his bank account for unpaid taxes. At one point, he has no more than $22 dollars in his pocket, and he and his son are forced to stay in a restroom.
All these do not daunt Chris who finds ways to get clients to sign up and invest through him. He goes on to prosper and establish his own brokerage firm.
“Motivation truly plays a key role in achieving your goals,” according to Julius Estoesta, a development worker.

2. Joy

Joy Mangano, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a divorced young mother who works as an airline clerk. She has to deal with her family members and her ex-husband who are in constant conflict with each other. One day she cuts her hand while wringing the mop she was using to clean some wine spilt on the floor -- and proceeds to design a self-wringing mop, which she later produces in large quantities.
Joy has difficulty selling her mop even though it works. She is duped by her suppliers and has trouble generating revenues. She files for bankruptcy. Later, she confronts her supplier and, under threat, makes him pay her back. The movie ends with Joy as a wealthy, successful businesswoman helping others develop their ideas.
“It captures what it is like to be a new entrepreneur in this world that is already full of seasoned businessmen. It shows the struggles and challenges one has to face, ties that need to be cut, and the sacrifices,” says Sonia Astudillo, yoga instructor and raw food advocate with her own line of raw cookies which she markets online.

3. Jerry Maguire

This 1997 classic stars Tom Cruise as Jerry, a sports agent who leaves his big firm after an epiphany about dishonesty in the business. He strikes out on his own, thinking that it would be easy to get clients from his old network.
But the clients do not come, except for Rod Tidwell. With no choice but devote his attention to his lone client, Jerry develops a deeper relationship not only with Rod but with Rod’s family. He begins to really take a stake in Rod’s development as an athlete -- and as an individual.

4. The Intern

A 70-year-old widower, Ben Whittaker, played by Robert De Niro, joins an internship program for senior citizens with an e-commerce startup. He strikes up a friendship with the CEO Jules, played by Anne Hathaway, who would eventually face pressure to resign her post after the start-up she began in her kitchen grew to have more than 200 employees. Her investors believe she could no longer cope with the workload despite her passion for the company she has built.
“It exhibits how the young should learn from the old and vice versa,” says Alexis Bobis, a language teacher.
“It also shows how the entrepreneur does everything from answering customer calls to wrapping and packaging her merchandise,” says Tonette Bautista Rosal, the woman behind the cupcake shop Sophie’s Mom.
Other picks include Wall Street with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen -- “because greed is good!” says banking executive Gary Olivar, and Steve Jobs, biopic of the Apple co-founder. “It isn’t just the money,” says lawyer and food blogger Connie Veneracion. “It’s about excellence!”