Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missing the Bus...


One thing I've often noted about myself is, for whatever reason, when it comes to the highly acclaimed, "public beloved" films, I find myself missing the bus. Worse yet, I find this often comes in the form of comedies. I remember as a kid growing up every kid at my school was buzzing about Dude, Where's My Car (yes, I know, it's horrible), and as such I had to see it... and so I did. To this day it still remains one of the worst movies I've ever had the displeasure of watching. It may not be the best example, but it's the first time I can remember myself really missing the what everyone found so amazing about a film.

This past year everyone I knew was running over top of each other to profess their love tell me how amazing The Hangover is. As such I had to see it. And to be completely honest, I was reminded all to much of the above mentioned film. Not that it's anywhere near that horribly awful. Yet once again I walked away from the movie going, "eh, ok then." When Napoleon Dynamite came out, I just had to see it. An indie film getting major public love, I was in heaven! ... Then I watched it. I won't say much except to say it was my #5 worst film of 2004. In 2003 the world was abuzz with discussion of Elf, claims for it being one of the best Christmas films.... I had to talk myself into giving it as high as a 5.

A couple of years later I had the chance to see Borat on opening weekend. The movie went on to receive universal praise, and love from everyone. It was my worst film seen of 2006. Everywhere I look I see infinite praise for The Incredibles as a (if not the) crowning achievement of Pixar... I don't think it'd even rank in my top 5 Pixar films, let alone receive more than a 7 score. I found the much-beloved Sideways dull, overly long, and laced with characters I would rather see in an institution than driving around the countryside for 2 hours. Even still I just recently watched Ghost World for the first time.... I needed more caffeine than I brought to get through it. I continue to hear praise for Gosford Park... I fell asleep 2 of the 3 times I watched it.

So I wonder to myself, why is it that when it comes to these sort of films I find myself always missing the bus people run to climb aboard? There's tons of movies that people love so much that I highly enjoy, it surely can't be that there's something wrong. So what is it about those movies that put my opinion so far against the publicly acknowledged fascination?

Luckily I do possess the strength of character to not believe my disliking of these movies has anything to do with me, but I must admit I find my polarizing views on them quite curious. On some level I wish someone would sit down and explain what made these movies so amazing that the world went abuzz at the very sight of them. It's a strange feeling of social isolation that comes from being caught in this situation. Everyone loves it, everyone wants you to love it, but you don't. It's a polarizing world we seem to live in. The love it or hate notion I've discussed many times before. Where do we draw the line between our personal taste, public opinion, and the opinion of others? Why is it that some film goers can't?

A curious place to be in, that's for sure. How are we supposed to handle it, as both the writer and the reader? I suppose in the end the only thing we can do is respect the opinion of all. I've never believed in film taste absolutism, with respect to myself or any individual (or group for that matter). Missing the bus on a film is a common issue, and my selections above are by no means rarities. We all have films we dislike despite everyone's overbearing praise. I think on some level that's what makes film taste such a pure and lovable thing. Though I must admit, it can be frustrating at times!

9 better thoughts:

DEZMOND said...

I've experienced the same thing with DARK KNIGHT. So many people were obsessed with it, and I've found it the worst movie I've ever seen (in every aspect and sense).

Andrew K. said...

I agree with everything you say, but for Gosford Park. Sigh. Tear. Moving on though. Prime example for me this year: Up In the Air, and every Pixar film EVER.

Rick Bman said...

Sometimes you just aren't going to like a movie that everyone else loves. It doesn't mean you have bad taste and it doesn't mean they do, it just means that everyone has different tastes. If everyone liked exactly the same kinds of movies, all movies would be exactly the same and that would suck.

My big "missed the bus" films are the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They just bore the hell out of me. I can't sit through them. I can understand and appreciate the technical achievement of them but I can never connect with the story.

I've actually been meaning to write a similar post for awhile. Kind of a film geek confession type of thing. haha.

Univarn said...

@Dezmond The worst movie you've ever seen? That's one hell of a statement. Though I wonder if that comes as a bit of backlash to the overbearing love it has received. I liked Dark Knight, but I didn't think it was the best film of the year, let alone the re-defining masterpiece many claim it to be.

@Andrew I knew when I put that there you'd comment on it. I just can't get into that film, does nothing for me.

@Rick You should definitely write a post like this. I mentioned the ones I did off the top of my head, but I know if I really put effort into it I'd come up with a long list of films.

Snipes said...

Do I even need to say it... Requiem For A Dream and Magnolia. Both films should be used to torture terrorists at Gitmo.

edler said...

yeah i agree too everything you say. the movie is nice and cool... i like to watch it...

Castor said...

Napoleon Dynamite! I still understand to this day what the buzz was all about. What a terribly boring movie!

rtm said...

What a thoughtful post, I definitely can relate. For me, the 'bus' I seem to miss is Coen Brothers movies, which is probably considered heresy given where I live. I guess I didn't mind Fargo but I don't usually bother with everything else they do. But recently a colleague of mine told me she couldn't fathom what's so great about "No Country for Old Men." Btw, didn't think much highly of The Incredibles either, or the highly acclaimed 'UP' for that matter.

"I suppose in the end the only thing we can do is respect the opinion of all." I absolutely agree with you here, after all, to each their own.

R.E.R. said...

I missed the bus on these:
There's Something About Mary
The Matrix
Napolean Dynamite
The Incredibles
The Queen
No Country For Old Men
Benjamin Button
A Christmas Tale
The Hangover
Up In the Air (<- seriously, wtf?)

And I know there's more but I can't think of them. Cool blog btw. :)

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