Reel Fulfillment:
A 12-Step Plan For Transforming Your Life Through Movies

by Maria Grace

McGraw Hill, 2005. ISBN 0071459073.
Reviewed by Donna Van Straten Remmert
Posted on 09/05/2006

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

If you love movies as much as I do, Reel Fulfillment is an insightful guidebook that will entertain as well as transform you. It will explain why you love some movies enough to see them over and over again, and why you laugh or cry your heart out each time. Psychotherapist and author Maria Grace is well known in Austin, Texas, for her live, standing-room-only movie reviews that humorously and poignantly probe into our psychological make-up and help us realize truths about ourselves, as reflected by characters in the movies. She is also well known at Story Circle Network for her fabulous Be Our Guest presentation. If you've witnessed Maria's gigs, I know you haven't forgotten how delightful they were. The same is true about Reel Fulfillment. It's delightful.

Maria moved to New York City a few years ago, and she already has received a great deal of praise and recognition for her inspiring book, her seminars, and her ezine that I highly recommend as a way to continue analyzing your responses to movies after you've read Reel Fulfillment. Each week's ezine is about something new and different and is always fun and thought provoking. This week's challenge, for instance, is to watch movies about food cravings. She tells you some of her secrets for relating to food in a more healthy way, learned from having attended a spa in Brazil. She invites you to click onto her 60-minute seminar, "Eating Without Guilt: The Joy of Conscious Eating," and she asks you to watch two fabulous movies about food to better understand yourself: "Chocolat" and "Real Women Have Curves." Go to to learn about Maria's adventures and to read more about the ezine that's free for the asking. Subscribe!

Thanks to Reel Fulfillment, I can now say it right out—I am a movie addict! I watch at least one, sometimes two, movies a day. In the privacy of my bedroom, where I can laugh or cry to my heart's content. I'm obsessed, and I now know that I don't need to feel shame or guilt for spending so much relaxation time in bed, because through my obsession and with the help of Maria's 12-step plan for transforming my life through movies, I accomplish major self-awareness fetes. There is a "Questions to Answer" section in each chapter of Reel Fulfillment. I glance at these questions in advance of watching a movie recommended by Maria in that chapter. Then, as I'm watching, I think about possible answers to these questions, viewing the movie as if it were a story about my life. Metaphorically, it usually is!

After my movie(s) for the night is over, I sink into my unconscious for a good night of dreaming. When the movies I've seen are especially relevant to my life, they often trigger fantastic dreams that reveal things about me that I'd otherwise not know consciously. What a gift! Imagine all of the unlived lives I've been able to experience through this process!

I am so in love with Maria's work that I flew to New York to attend one of her seminars. She's better than ever, and what a good excuse for having fun in The Big Apple. Reading Reel Fulfillment is like being with Maria again. Order an autographed copy and browse her other learning tools at her online store at

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