Happy astrological new year, and happy early birthday to the baby sign of the zodiac family, Aries! The Northern Hemisphere is starting to heat up, and Mercury, the planet of communication, will soon appear to be moving backward in the sky, which some say will cause correspondence and technology to go haywire. Whether or not you believe in this kind of thing, do yourself a favor and watch your emoji use in the coming weeks — you’ll be glad you did. But who could blame you for firing off a risky text now and then? Fire signs set up camp in the heat of the moment! Pisces season is over, and it’s time to stop dithering about with our inner lives and take some action. There’s no crying in Aries season.
Aries folks are…how to say this nicely? Active. Ardent. Assertive. They’re courageous, and they trust themselves. Picture one of those mountain-dwelling sheep, zigzagging up the fingernail-thin ridges of a terrifyingly steep rock face — when an Aries is at the top of their game, they are capable of similarly gasp-inducing feats. But if you’ve ever butted heads with one, then you know it can be quite a conk on the old noggin, not least of which because they love to scrap the way some people love to scrapbook: As a cherished hobby, with gusto. For better or for worse, their pugilism is often motivated by a powerful sense of righteousness. Think Marlon Brando (Aries sun, Aries moon. Yikes, y’all.), and also Marlon Brando at the 1973 Academy Awards. Think Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods… or Tracy Flick. Think Bette Davis, like anyone, in anything.
Aries season will end the day before 4/20, also known as the official holiday of Tauruses everywhere. Until then, harness the fire within you and maximize those Aries season vibes with movies — funny, pointed, heartfelt, and breathtaking — that are practically bursting at the seams with passion, baby! Here’s what to watch to channel your inner warrior this month:
Michael dir. Nora Ephron, 1996
John Travolta joyously whispering “BATTLE!” at a grazing bull in a passing field is PEAK Aries. Technically, Aries folks are ruled by Mars, the god of war, but an archangel that exudes animal magnetism while dressed like a stockbroker on a bender will do in a pinch. Michael is on a mission, and no mere mortal can hope to stand in the way of his machinations. His motivations, however, are pure. Also, Andie Macdowell is delightful as an “angel expert” embedded with intrepid tabloid reporters.
9 to 5 dir. Colin Higgins, 1980
Do you want someone to fight the good fight with you? Get yourself an Aries: Their favorite food is sweet, sweet vengeance. Almost forty years after its release, 9 to 5, which stars Grace and Frankie‘s Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as well as the iconic Dolly freakin’ Parton (a terrific trifecta of tough-as-nails and very funny ladies if you’ve ever seen one), still has plenty of bite for a new generation’s tastes. Don’t we all wish we could tie up our boss and make them pay — literally? Bonus: Singing the theme song with a bunch of your friends at karaoke is the cure for what ails you.
Erin Brockovich dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2000
Speaking of the good fight, this season is a great chance to meditate on Davids and Goliaths. The titular heroine of Soderbergh’s based-on-true-events legal drama is like a leopard-clad avenging angel for the townsfolk of Hinkley, a small desert burg dealing with the generational fallout from a power company giant that’s been persistently and secretly poisoning their groundwater. Julia Roberts, as only she could, plays her with a masterful down-to-earth charm. Whoever said that just one person can’t do anything to affect real change in the world was not an Aries, no way! We could all stand to have a little bit more Brockovich inside of us.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon dir. Ang Lee, 2000
Do you want to feel the full fire of Aries season? Just channel Zhang Ziyi, fighting off hordes of men in a restaurant while asserting her superiority in combat, and also falling in epic love with a bandit she chases down for stealing her hair comb. While Aries is sort of stereotypically seen as the knight in shining armor type, the graceful, gravity-defying stylings of wuxia are perhaps a more apt, at times, visual metaphor for their natural strengths and skills. The love stories that weave through Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are really what make it a quintessential Aries movie: Fighters can be lovers, too, and Aries folks can love with the fire of a thousand suns.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind dir. Michel Gondry, 2004
Oh, you didn’t think that an Aries could have a romantic streak a mile wide and 20,000 leagues deep? A love you fight for — that’s the kind of love story that this season demands, for a sign that emphasizes an intensity that can border on feverish at the same time that it eschews convention. In Charlie Kaufman’s original screenplay, apparently, Clementine changed her mind about more than her hair color, erasing, replacing, and re-erasing Joel from her memory something like fifteen times over the course of fifty years. Total. Aries. Move.