So This Is What Winning Feels Like

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Let me start off by saying thank you. “For what?” you might ask. Well, a week ago I asked you to vote for us – our mobile app was up for a Webby Award, the most coveted award in the world of new media (can we even still call it new media?). Anyway, you voted. And we won. Hats off to you for showing us that not only is People’s Choice about fan favorites in movies, music and TV, but we are also a fan favorite ourselves! Frankly, it would have been a little embarrassing if we didn’t win the public vote considering we are the epitome of fan voting, but luckily it didn’t come to that. We are so thrilled and we are looking forward to accepting our award later this month at the awards ceremony in New York City. Imagine that – an awards show winning an award? Kind of meta, if you think about it. And definitely kinda cool, so thanks again.

All this talk of winning got me thinking about iconic winning moments in pop culture (professional sports not included, or we’ll be here all day). Let’s stick to movies… The first to come to mind is probably not the first thing you would guess, but it’s the scene at the end of Miss Congeniality when Sandra Bullock’s character Gracie Hart appears to be distraught over having lost the beauty pageant, but is in reality trying to save the newly crowned Miss United States from having her head blown clear off her head. The tiara was a bomb planted by the evil Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen) and was going to wreak havoc on the whole event once detonated. Agent Hart figures it out just in time, managing to rip the crown off the winner’s head and send it clear into the open air where is explodes above the massive stage. Quite the memorable winning moment, wouldn’t you say? And then at the end when at a separate ceremony Agent Hart is awarded Miss Congeniality, it’s equally memorable and touching, the perfect ending to a very entertaining film. (Well, that coupled with the fact she does ultimately end up with Benjamin Bratt’s character, thankfully).

Next there is What Happens in Vegas (Hey, I never said this was a sophisticated list!) Co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz (Jack and Joy) win the big jackpot at a slot machine after a night of insane amounts of partying, ultimately ending in the couple tying the knot. Their first instinct is to divorce and split the cash, but the court decrees that the two must stay together for 6 months to work on the marriage, after which they will be allowed to divorce and split the winnings if things don’t work out (completely unrealistic, but as with many movies, suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy the film). Ultimately the two actually fall in love and end up together, but the long road it takes for them to get there, riddled with outrageous attempts to undermine each other and keep all the winnings, is quite hilarious. A guilty pleasure, I grant you, but fun nonetheless.

Lastly there is Academy Award winning Slumgdog Millionaire. (Yes, I do have at least some discerning taste in movies). There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the underdog ultimately succeed, especially one who has been through what Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) has been through in his life – having grown up in the slums and fought against all odds to create a decent life for himself, all the while hoping desperately to reunite with his childhood sweetheart Latika (Freida Pinto). We witness pieces of his life through flashbacks that he experiences while a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” He is able to answer every question correctly (with the knowledge he has gained from his diverse experiences over the years) which raises suspicion among the show’s producers. He is interrogated at length before being posed the final question and is finally allowed to finish his run when the authorities concede that he isn’t cheating. All the while, he is trying to communicate with Latika who is being kept from him by her violent, possessive male companion. She is finally able to go to him toward the end of the film (while seemingly all of India is rooting for him to win) and answer his call when he “phones a friend” to help him answer the last question. She doesn’t know the correct response, but knowing she is safe gives him the courage he needs to correctly answer the question, thereby winning the prize money. The two end up reuniting that night on the train platform and a Bollywood dance like none other ensues to the now forever famous “Jai Ho”. I mean, if you didn’t shed a tear at the end of that movie, I would have to question your emotional wherewithal.

There’s nothing quite like winning, and here’s hoping that you will all get to win something in life, be it an award, happiness, good fortune, true love, or all of the above.

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these films featuring winning moments is your favorite?

Miss Congeniality
Slumdog Millionaire
What Happens In Vegas

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