If you had a small (or not-so-small) fortune at your disposal, it’s obvious to say your life would be quite different. How would you go about spending (or saving, you savvy people!) your vast fortune? Would you immediately open up the trampoline paintball arena of your dreams, or would you use it to host destination parties all around the world? Let’s keep dreaming, and extend those financial fantasies into the world of film: What movie’s cash-heavy plot would you love to live through? Would you be Bruce Wayne, or Adam Sandler? Let’s look through a handful of possible fantasy scenarios and start daydreaming.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Who hasn’t wanted to be able to fight crime as a multi-millionaire and also be fabulously wealthy? You’d be a suave, sleek millionaire by day, sipping espressos underneath a French canopy while browsing your stock options, and a suave, sleek millionaire by night, hosting decadent parties with the social elite of Gotham. And once a darker night falls… need I say more? (Batman. You’d be Batman.) Hunting down Gotham’s most wanted as the vigilante of the city with all the high-technology gadgets and gizmos at your disposal — who needs a judge and jury when you have Bruce Wayne to patrol your streets at night? It’s one thing to fantasize about being the richest person in a city; it’s another thing to use that wealth to make that city a safer place in the most hands-on way imaginable.
Mr. Deeds (2002)
Longfellow Deeds is your definition of an everyman. We have to hand it to him, though — when a massive, yet undeserved (we’re talking billions!), fortune rolls into his unsuspecting lap, Deeds handles his newfound wealth a lot better than others would. He is content to explore his new mansion and riches, but refrains from prematurely blowing his money away. He indulges in his new lifestyle, but is never irresponsible with it. He goes so far as to give up his share of the fortune so the rightful heir may inherit, and receives a billion dollars in thanks and gratitude. If you’ve dreamed of spending your fortune to help others and throw fun events for your loved ones, you and Mr. Deeds would get along just fine.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Oh, Jay Gatsby. Remove the multimillion dollar mansion, the custom sports cars, the assorted imported shirts, all the frills — Gatsby’s one motivation in spending his massive fortune was to snag Daisy, the love of his life. Pining after love, Gatsby spared no expense when throwing his lavish parties in hopes that one day Daisy would hear about it through the grapevine and come check it out herself. If you have an extravagant streak and a seriously romantic (and patient) side, as well as a love for days-long parties, you might be dreaming about the Great Jay Gatsby.
X-Men: Prof. Charles Francis Xavier (2000)
Of course, you knew beloved Professor Xavier was wealthy. How else could he afford to establish a specialty school exclusively for mutants? And let’s not forget that the school itself is in a beautiful Victorian-era mansion in upstate New York. As a mutant himself, Professor Xavier knows exactly what it’s like to be seen as an outsider to the world at large. Instead of taking the easy route and isolating himself on a paradise island rolling in his millions, he sets up a safe place for all young mutants who are discriminated by society and seeks to educate them. A long-time champion of mutant rights, Professor Xavier uses his riches to throw himself at the forefront of the hot debate and social change. If you dream of using your money to create a legacy and make a difference for a cause you truly care about, then you and Professor X would have a lot in common.
Iron Man (2008): Tony Stark
What’s better that being a superhero? How about being a genius, a billionaire, a playboy, and a philanthropist as well? Tony Stark does what other rich-boy heroes (looking at you, Bruce Wayne) ought to do; he uses his massive fortune and influence to make the world a better place (and give himself a super suit). From inventing world-changing technology (did someone say “Free Energy”?) to turning his company from a weapons manufacturer into a leading technology institute, Stark shows us what a socially-minded moneybags can accomplish. If you want to be like Iron Man, you’d strike the perfect balance between social programs and smart investments. And of course, you wouldn’t be above treating yourself (and your friends, loved ones, and fellow Avengers) to something special every now and then.