Never No More: Why I’m Banned from Family Movie Trips
I’m an actress. Y’all have heard me announce this 8 billion times (and honestly probably will 8 billion more times #sorrynotsorry). But stick with me, there’s a point to this one. I’m an actress, writer, a bit of a perfectionist, and a know-it-all (I’ve accepted this about myself. I call myself an “actually kid”*). The problem? I can’t watch any movie, tv show, commercial, or theatre or read a book piece without critiquing it.
I’m constantly aware of things like costume design, storytelling, acting technique, lighting, word usage, and audience manipulation. Does that mean I hate everything? Absolutely not! Just the really bad things. Like really bad. Like Madea’s Witness Protection bad (this is the movie that got me banished. 120 minutes & 0 laughs) or Hot Feet bad.
Nothing’s going to be perfect and I’m not the authority on everything. I also acknowledge being sometimes overtaken by the halo effect and thus blinded to the flaws of my favs. And just as I won’t judge you for what you like (even if it is Madea’s Witness Protection) I’d hope you wouldn’t judge me for mine.
The problem comes, I think, with taking criticism of your favorites as a personal attack or the idea that pointing out a work’s flaws makes it less worthy.
You know what one of my favorite movies is?
Yes, Elizabeth Berkeley as a stripper/topless dancer, checking to confirm she’s on her period, female bonding over chips, “I’m erect. Why aren’t you?” Showgirls.
Does that make it a good movie?
Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Have you seen it?
But I can like Showgirls and simultaneously acknowledge what a terrible movie it is.
The difficult part, and the reason I was banned from seeing movies with my cousin, is expecting me not to notice what’s wrong. Am I disruptive or a heckler? No. Could I be quieter with my displeasure? Maybe. Probably. Okay, I could chill a bit but some stuff is just painful to watch. Seriously, guys.
Think of a chef watching sloppy knife work. An architect watching someone build a house with no support walls. A writer reading a wafer-thin, cliche riddled metaphor stuffed into a rambling run-on sentence that isn’t even really a sentence because there’s no verb attached to the implied “you” of the subject.
Consuming media is like that for me. I’ll never get personal but I can get passionate. Just blame my artist’s eye and perfectionist’s brain, not my heart.
What can you spot flaws in right away? What movie or TV show do people refuse to watch with you?