I think some of your examples of exceptions are not exceptions at all. Eg, Kill Bill, The Bride lost her child, her life, everything. That right there puts you emotionally on her side. 2001, who hasn't wondered at our place in the universe? Network, A Few Good Men; the desire for and pursuit of truth. You don't have to dig for these, they are relatable human feelings and notions right there on the surface.
My day: Finished an 8 hour night shift, attended rehearsals, now half way through another 8 hour evening shift. I'm about ready to drop, but I'm making a film I believe in, so I do it gladly. I'm really not trying to sound superior or condescending, but if you can't pay the rent, you can't really do anything.