Movie recommender systems help users to navigate the magnitude and diversity of movies that people have easy access to nowadays, especially with online streaming services. However, current systems personalize recommendations primarily based on what they think a specific user would like or prefer using information about how similar the users are to other users. Prior work has suggested that this could lead to a ‘filter bubble’ whereby users only watch movies that they are comfortable with. This paper presents the novel concept of event-inspired movies that draw on users’ highly specific everyday life experiences to recommend movies that are meaningful to them. To conduct the study, we developed a systematic process to align movies with viewer variables. Meaningful movies have been said to have therapeutic potential to possibly affect one’s sense of overall well-being. We conducted a study with 24 participants to explore how users engage with event-inspired movies, whether event-inspired movies are perceived as more relevant, and their potential to affect users’ sense of life satisfaction. In so doing, we also contribute a process and insights on how to operationalize event-inspired movies that can inform the implementation of a movie recommender system situated within the proposed paradigm.