I’m not a movie buff, I can state that quite categorically. However, I don’t dislike films as such; I like films as much as the next man. So long as the next man is fastidiously fussy about what movies they will deign to watch. I certainly can’t just mindlessly watch a movie – just because it’s there. If it’s something that I’ve already seen and enjoyed, I’m in (there’s nothing better than pre-vetted movies) But for anything new and unheard of, I will need to have researched the film thoroughly first; ensured it fits within the narrow genres that are acceptable to me, check its rating on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, make sure it contains actors that I’ve heard of and admire. If not, I’m not interested. So, like I say, I’m no movie buff.
I’m not sure why I’ve become this way. I know I have a short attention span, and I do detest wasting time. So, I think it’s the length of time that one agrees to sit down to be ‘entertained’ by a movie that bothers me. The average movie is two hours long – sometimes they’re even three! That’s a long time to be sitting still and committing to a thing! And yet I will happily sit down for two or more hours on my phone, mindlessly trawling through the internet: Facebook (photos, dull and ill-informed news items), Instragram (is it too soon to upload another selfie…?), a spot of eBay (list that skirt that’s gotten too tight), MyFitnessPal (log that cake which made the skirt too tight), back to Facebook (same photos, same ill-informed news stories as before), skip back to eBay (how much is my skirt selling for since I checked five minutes ago?), again and again and again and again… (as an aside, I hate that I’m prepared to do that. It’s such a waste of precious time; looking through all the shite other bored people have posted. I seriously might just wipe these apps off my phone). So, wouldn’t it be far more beneficial, and possibly educational, to sit down and watch a movie in that time instead?
I’d hazard a guess that my husband doesn’t particularly like this trait of mine. He loves movies. He’ll (within reason) sit down and watch anything. In fact, he and some friends often go to the local ODEON on a Monday night to something they call ‘Screen Unseen’. Basically, you get to watch a movie for a reduced rate, but you have no idea what it’s going to be until the movie begins. THAT is my idea of hell. I don’t even like to be coerced into watching a film not of my choosing at home, let alone going out and paying for the privilege (albeit at a reduced rate) and seeing something completely unknown and un-vetted! He attempted to encourage me to go last week, apparently there are clues given out in the proceeding days to give you a hint of what it might be. There were suggestions that it might be the new ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ movie (now, I’d have loved to have seen that; I love anything period, I love a bit of Agatha Christie, and it has Kenneth Branagh and Johnny Depp in it too! Perfect!!). But that movie being screened was highly unlikely, since ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ hadn’t even had its premiere yet, and ‘Screen Unseen’ only shows films after their premiere. Therefore, I refused. And I’m so glad I did. It turns out, the movie was so appallingly bad, my husband and his four friends were forced to walk out long before the ending, and go to the pub instead (it was called ‘The Florida Project’ if you’re interested in avoiding it like the plague). I rest my case. ‘Screen Unseen’ is a thoroughly bad idea – for people like me.
But remember, I would have been prepared to watch ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ – if I could have been certain that was the movie I was getting. And that’s just my point. I don’t dislike films – I just like to watch what I want to watch. We have millions of DVDs in my house (no exaggeration), but I have a personal little stack of my own that would measure about nine inches long if lined up in a row. And those few are the only ones I will willingly watch without argument. In fact, there won’t be an argument because they are mostly period/costume dramas, and nobody else in the house would want to watch them but me. Every now and then my husband will cajole me into agreeing to sitting through some film that I am very reluctant to see, and he will be quite right, it turns out to be a good movie (damn him!). But more often than not, I end up disliking it intensely – which just makes me even less likely to trust his judgement in the future.
Look, I make no apologies for it; I like what I like. And when I stop and think about it, I like a lot of genres. I enjoy period dramas, I like rom-coms (only good ones, nothing crappy, mind), I like super hero/comic book/action movies, I like old black and white movies (or ones they’ve ‘technicoloured’ in), I like comedies, I like Lord-of-the-Rings-style fantasy movies, I like the odd Sci-Fi. I am capable of liking so much – if it’s well made. And if I’ve seen that movie before and I already know what I’m letting myself in for, then so much the better. What I don’t like is horror, or anything too violent or disturbing – no gratuitously gory killing for killing’s sake. I don’t want to see things that stay with you and give you nightmares for a week. No! I’m of a sensitive disposition. And I’m not too fond of documentary-style movies either – real life may be interesting, but I want to get away from it. To me, movies ought to be about entertainment and escapism – not making you feel worse then when you entered the cinema. Life is too short to waste it sitting down to stare at a screen, wishing you were somewhere else. Like I say, it’s two hours I’ll never get back – sometimes even three! I know, THREE! And if you’re prepared to fall in line with my way of thinking, then I’ll make room for you on the sofa. You bring the popcorn (since I provided the faultless movie choice…and the sofa).