10 Movies Like The Fabelmans You Must See!
Directed by Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans” is a recent drama that tells the story of the life of young and ambitious director Sammy Fabelman who lives in Arizona after World War II. Sami learns a shocking family secret and continues to explore the importance of cinema in revealing the truth. It’s a semi-autobiographical tale based largely on the formative years of Spielberg, who also works as a co-writer alongside Tony Kushner.
Led by Gabriel Labelle as Sammy, with compelling performances by a cast including Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen and Judd Hirsch, the film honors the lives of Arnold Spielberg and Leah Adler, Spielberg’s parents. He talks about the struggles of divorce while noticing the desire to follow one’s dreams and regret for not choosing to call you all at once. If you’re looking for more movies that act as a movie maker’s avatar and highlight families in dark times, we’ve got the selections just right for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to “The Fabelmans” on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. American Writings (1973)
Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard, and Paul Lomat star in George Lucas’ comedy-drama American Graffiti, Lucasfilm’s first ever film. Set in 1962, the film is about a study of rock ‘n’ roll and early cruising, which were prevalent during Lucas’ teenage years. The story revolves around a number of young men and their exploits that lasted all night, influenced by Lucas’ days of defiance. This movie explores how sometimes in life we need to listen to what our heart has to say about what everyone else is saying, just like Sammy in The Fablemans aspires to pursue his passion without worrying about upsetting others.
9. Almost Famous (2000)
This delightful comedy-drama follows a young journalist covering the work of fantasy rock band Stillwater for Rolling Stone in the early 1970s. He goes on tour with the band, meets an amazing group, and pays to publish the whole story. “Almost Famous,” a unique gift for music lovers, was prompted by filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s experiences as a young rock journalist.
The 2000 film is a touching tale of coming of age that will inspire you to start living a creative and meaningful life, similar to the way Sami’s journey ignites a creative spark in the audience. Both films uplift and use humor to revive the mood of the film.
8. Lighthouse (2020)
Stephen Yoon, Han Ye-ri, and Alan Kim gave great performances in Lee Isaac Chung’s semi-autobiographical drama “Minary”, which he also wrote and directed. The 1980s story, which is based on Lee’s own background, follows a South Korean immigrant family as they move to Arkansas to live on a farm and fulfill their dream. The Yi family wants to create their own family business and grow their own Korean food, but not everything is so simple as it first appeared. Themes of family conflict, sacrifices, and realized dreams are highlighted in both “Minari” and “The Fabelmans”.
7. Rome (2018)
“Roma” is another semi-autobiographical drama film written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira. Set in the years 1970 and 1971, it centers around a housekeeper who lives in a wealthy family. Even after she revealed her unexpected pregnancy, the housekeeper is a member of the Mexican family. In addition to producing, filming and co-editing himself, Cuarón also based the story of his youth in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, much like Sami’s Spielberg-like life experiences.
6. Lady Bird (2017)
A movie by Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” is a rebellious, disturbing and emotional story of Kristen or as you want to know – Lady Bird. She explores the depth of her relationship with the people around her, especially her mother while working towards a good college. Although the upcoming movie is not entirely based on the director’s life, some aspects were actually inspired by her own journey. The Fabelmans and Lady Bird both have the protagonist’s relationship with their parents at the core of the film, other than the plot being based on some elements from the director’s life.
5. Memorial (2019)
The Souvenir is a drama film written and directed by British director Joanna Hogg, starring Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, and Tilda Swinton. Julie, a young film student, falls in love with Anthony, a wealthy office worker, but their unhealthy relationship has a negative impact on Julie’s academic performance. Turns out Anthony is a heroin addict.
Anthony does not hesitate to break into Julie’s apartment and has developed questionable relationships with three other young women. Just like The Fabelmans, this film is also semi-autobiographical to the director, exploring the intricacies of the filmmaker’s personal lives that are intertwined with their profession.
4. Boyhood (2014)
The drama “Boyhood” chronicles the physical and psychological transformations that young Mason, his divorced parents, and his older sister go through. Director Richard Linklater creates flawless and often humorous photography that focuses on quiet situations people go through rather than major turning points. Filmed in parts from 2002 to 2013, it captivates audiences in a fictionalized account of beautiful everyday life. Sammy and Mason bear the brunt of broken families and give us a glimpse into the minds of children who are going through such tough times.
3. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
A fairy tale about how director Giuseppe Tornatore fell in love with cinema is found in “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” or better known as “Cinema Paradiso”. Explores the greatness of cinema as a medium. The film follows Salvatore, a famous director who returns to his hometown after the death of a film model at the local theater. It is a must watch for all movie lovers due to its vibrant storytelling. Both heroes, Sammy from “The Fabelmans” and Salvatore from “Cinema Paradiso” share a love of cinema and filmmaking.
2- The 400 Strikes (1959)
The debut of director François Truffaut is one of the most important dramatic films of the French New Wave. Truffaut is a semi-autobiographical film about a stubborn Parisian boy named Antoine Donel (Jean-Pierre Loud) who seeks sympathy from his teachers and parents because of his rebellious attitude.
The protagonist of The 400 Blows, like most of the entries on this list, is a strong character who pursues his love of filmmaking while dealing with problems that arise at home. We’re seeing a joint respite in cinema for both the lead characters in The 400 Blows and The Fabelmans, too. It reflects how children can find different ways to deal with their situations.
1 – Squid and the Whale (2005)
Noah Baumbach is the writer and director of the independent comedy-drama The Squid and the Whale. The semi-autobiographical story revolves around two Brooklyn children dealing with their parents’ divorce in 1986. Although a treacherous mother and an arrogant father agree to divide custody, their parenting style leaves their children in the crossfire.
Bombach is known for dealing with similar themes, such as the broken marriages of young artists, in some of his earlier films. The film, similar to The Fabelmans, devotes more attention to how divorce affects children’s mental health while most films focus on adults. Narrating the experiences through the eyes of the young protagonist enabled the films to bring viewers a sense of connection to the overarching theme.
Read more: Best Movies About Movies