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Risk and Reward: Is it Possible to Take a Chance in Life and as Well as Love?

Updated on May 12, 2012
A Dangerous Method Movie Poster
A Dangerous Method Movie Poster
Pretty Woman Movie Poster
Pretty Woman Movie Poster
Sleeping With the Enemy Movie Poster
Sleeping With the Enemy Movie Poster
Damage Movie Poster
Damage Movie Poster
Indecent Proposal Movie Poster
Indecent Proposal Movie Poster
My Best Friend's Wedding Movie Poster
My Best Friend's Wedding Movie Poster
Unfaithful Movie Poster
Unfaithful Movie Poster
50 First Dates Movie Poster
50 First Dates Movie Poster
Yes Man Movie Poster
Yes Man Movie Poster
The Duchess Movie Poster
The Duchess Movie Poster
Eat Pray Love Movie Poster
Eat Pray Love Movie Poster

What is a risk? According to the dictionary, it is the exposure to something that could cause injury or a dangerous chance that could lead to something greater. In terms of reality, risk is weighed based on taking a chance by stepping outside your comfort zone for a much larger result in the long run. A risk can simply be asking someone you like out for a coffee or getting a new hair style. Ultimately, the definition of a good idea and a bad one depends on the person looking to take the next step in their lives.

When it comes to pinpointing the exact nature of a tricky opportunity, now that's truly a challenge. Risk can simply be divided into two categories: personal and professional. Both have differing impacts that could help (accepting new things and giving into your romantic side) or hinder someone from reaching their full potential (starting a workplace affair or marrying for status). Read on to find out whether your next opportunity is on the list to see how you should proceed with some movies listed as examples of how to or not to behave in each one.

Personal Risk

  • Accepting New Challenges- What would happen if you accepted every opportunity that came your way, even if it was a questionable one. That was the premise of the Jim Carrey film Yes Man, which followed him as he followed some self help guru advice by saying "yes" to everything that came his way. He took the plunge with every choice, until he realized that it was also okay to say no every so often. The film's ultimate message was to be selective at what you're saying yes to, but not to turn away from something that could be life altering for the better.
  • Romancing Someone Daily- This might sound a little cliche and get repetitive doing it on a regular basis. The movie 50 First Dates had Adam Sandler doing that to love interest Drew Barrymore who had a medical condition that caused her to forget everything when she went to sleep. He pulled out all the stops to win the girl of his dreams each day and realized that it's the person and not the memories that make a relationship truly work. Never be complacent in your relationship and keep the romance alive, even if it's only on the weekends.
  • Declaring Your Feelings- A life filled with regret is no life at all. There's no day like the present to say or write down everything you would like to say to the world or someone in particular. Choice your words and timing wisely, because you could be too late. A prime example of being too late is the film My Best Friend's Wedding. Julianne (Julia Roberts) had the opportunity to be with her best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) but she was too foolish to see it at the time. She realized her true feelings just days before his wedding to someone else and proceeds to prevent it from happening. What she didn't realize was that she had her chance and lost it when he gave his heart to his future wife. Don't wait to tell someone you love them because it could be your last. Make sure to tell them everyday if you have to.
  • Having An Affair- Okay, this risk isn't really a good one but it still needs to be discussed. People have made mistakes in their marriages for logical and illogical reasons. In terms of examining those reasons, it's best to get into the mindset of someone stuck in a flawed or just a stale marriage. It's best to avoid the film Unfaithful's scenario of a happy but bored housewife (Diane Lane) who comes alive after starting an affair with a mysterious younger man (Olivier Martinez) under her husband's (Richard Gere) nose. The relationship was doomed from the start, but it ended with a body count literally and figuratively. Another scenario to avoid would be the 1992 film Damage which had a powerful man (Jeremy Irons) obsessed and involved with his son's girlfriend. The relationship was exciting, but it led to devastating consequences for his family in the end. The best way to have an affair without cheating on your spouse or lover is to pretend you're having one. It's cheaper and a lot less lying is involved. Be safe and be creative at the same time.

Professional Risk

  • Starting a Workplace Affair- It's a logical step when people work closely long enough in an office environment. Emotions run high and something is always bound to happen if you play your cards right, especially if alcohol is involved. In the new David Cronenberg film A Dangerous Method, Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) is working with the famed Dr. Freud (Viggo Mortensen) on discovering psychoanalysis. What he didn't expect was to give into his baser impulses and launch into a sexual relationship with a disturbed patient (Keira Knightley). She seemed the key to his salvation and his undoing when Freud becomes aware. Jung tries to pull away from the woman but he's also afraid of what this would do to her mental state if he broke her heart. When it comes to maintaining workplace relationships, it's sometimes best to work separately from your partner and also have a safety net just in case if the relationship ends badly.
  • Sacrificing Your Career For Adventure- What happens when your life has hit a standstill? Your job no longer thrills you and your dating life just doesn't cut it. Step outside your comfort. Do you want to travel somewhere you've never been or met someone you were afraid to talk to? In the movie Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) decided to put her career on hold for a year to travel around the world guilt free and learn how to truly take care of herself. She was able to eat pizza without worry and learned to accept that her marriage failed. She ultimately learned how to love someone else when the time was right. The idea seemed improbable and not likely to be repeated, but it's based on a true story. You don't have to take an elaborate vacation like that to recharge your batteries. Sometimes it's best to take a vacation to get away from the daily work grind and everything else that comes with it. With Winter fast approaching, it's time to go someplace exotic to get a tan while everyone else is losing theirs.
  • Mixing Sex and Money Together- Is it really possible to separate sexual desires and the almighty dollar? Not likely because nothing is ever as black and white as they appeared. The 1993 film Indecent Proposal followed a cash starved couple (Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson) who accepted the million dollar proposition for a wealthy businessman (Robert Redford) to sleep with the wife. Sure, the couple earned a nice check free and clear, but it ended up costing them a lot more than that when their marriage went up in flames. Never put a price on love. You can put a price on Diamonds and other luxury items, but never that. The ultimate romantic comedy Pretty Woman put a three thousand dollar price tag on it, but the audience clearly knew that Julia Roberts' hooker character was priceless to Richard Gere's Edward. She made him human and he loved her for it.
  • Marrying For Position- Can someone get married just for a title? A sense of security that they couldn't get on their own. A marriage can't be built on a false ideal. It's an empty partnership that's bound to fold once genuine emotion gets in the way of a contracted arrangement. In the film The Duchess, Georgiana (Keira Knightley) earned the title of "The Duchess of Devonshire" when she married The Duke (Ralph Fiennes) on the instance of her mother. Georgiana came from a period where women only shined behind their much more powerful husbands. They were merely status figures who supported the men they married. The world saw a happy vibrant Georgiana. They never saw how she was forced to live with a man who she didn't love and disrespected her constantly. She had to give up on being with her true love for a life that ultimately diminished her once bright personality. The same can't be said in Sleeping With the Enemy, but the difference was that Julia Roberts' character escaped from the security/abuse delivered by her older and more menacing husband. She married him for the wrong reasons and was able to get away to start a new life. It's best to earn a powerful position the right way and not marry into one instead.

In the end, the best way to describe a risk is that life wouldn't be complete if you never took a chance. Playing it safe may mean maintaining the status quo, but it doesn't mean that you get your dream job or your ideal soulmate. Sometimes it's better to take a chance and get egg on your face than not doing anything at all. It's like an actress basically playing the same part for 20 years straight and not getting any better. Audiences are bored and so is Hollywood, especially if they've long outgrown the ingenue role ten years prior. Never give up on taking a chance, as long as it doesn't put you in the hospital or end in a lawsuit.

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