April 24, 2010

entertainment value?

When you and yours sit down to watch a movie, what are your expectations?

ManInCharge and I have been developing a list of movie criteria.  This code began as a response to our first movie date, in which we paid full price to sit in the theater and mock Lord of War through the entire film.  While we had in fact been entertained, it was probably a poor use of our resources.
We discuss films before and after we watch them to make sure that they fit with our needs.  It helps us to remember what we like and what we should pass on, no matter how 'good' the movie might be.  For example: 
Last weekend we watched Braveheart, I had avoided it for 15 years because of a concern.  Before we rented the film we discussed if I would be able to handle it. {Little did I know that I should have been concerned about the hours of Mel's flowing locks head shots.} 

And, while we are a family of two now, our process is intentional and for our future family as well.  Over Friday dinner we discussed the brilliance of having occasional "picnic" movie nights in front of a classic or musical as my parents did with us.  ManInCharge made the suggestion that we include westerns into the mix.  Oh how this girl loves a good western!

But.  Last night.  We made a bad choice. We watched Up In the Air and we realized we should have done a bit more research and given it a pass.
We had seen the preview and we both love George Clooney and so downloaded it for rental the day it became available.  {We have now done this twice - Burn After Reading - was also a mistake.} 

We really couldn't enjoy the film.  Don't get me wrong, the movie, when examined with my film critic's eye, was pretty good.  The acting was quite good and the camera work was very appealing.  There were plenty of witty moments that had us exclaiming: "Did she really just say that?"  Even, "Oh, wow, what a look!"  Yet, I don't watch movies as a critic {shocking, I know}.  I watch them as a consumer.  And so, at the end of the film we were left wanting our time and money back.  There were themes within the movie that crushed our souls.  The realism, was just a bit too much, and it is not the reality that I choose to believe.

There are three key reasons for my dislike. {Since this is SillyGirl sharing, I shouldn't put words in ManInCharge's mouth.  We came to the same conclusion for slightly different reasons.} 1)The theme of infidelity, while not as flagrant as in Burn After Reading, is present and is simply a no-go theme for us.  2) The post-existential angst does not resonate with me.  3) Watching the sadness of modern life is simply not relaxing.

In a sentence, Up In the Air does not fit within our acceptable movie criteria.

For us film is for relaxation and enjoyment, not being left with a deep feeling of helplessness. So I suppose we have become intentional consumers of movies, and yet, we still make mistakes.  Life is too stressful to have angst inducing entertainment.  Are you intentional when you consume media?  I hope so.

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