I’ve spent the last week watching mostly 80’s films, Christmas films and general kids level fluff. And I’ve enjoyed the shit out of it. I think I’ve finally found a way to mute the creator mind and just watch something passively.
I like that these films are what they are. They have low goals, and I can give the inner critic the night off. It’s too easy to look for flaws in good films or films that should be good, but a movie like Fletch is somehow free from that. It’s just Chevy Chase waking the line between charming and goofy. The movie just creates occasions for that. Home Alone, is just Dennis the Menace mixed with Wiley E. Coyote, and that’s all it wants.
Maybe these movies are comforting for me because this it what most movies were like for most of my life. For every Taxi Driver, there were two Teen Wolfs, two Ghostbusters, and one Weird Science. I grew up with a short stack of VHS tapes like these.
Good wasn’t a measure of depth or execution, good was how far did something take me from my living room, how much did it make me think of stories in my own mind, and how many times could I watch it. Remember Clash of the Titans or Ice Pirates? Pure shit. And I loved them!
Maybe there’s something to be said about broken movies and low swings, because they have holes and those holes are nothing but space for us to seep into them. We become a part of what makes them work, we have to participate. We have to make up the difference.
My friend once asked me to prove to him that Goonies was a good movie (he’d only seen it as an adult.) I told him I couldn’t. It was too late. You had to grow up with it. You had to see yourself in it. You had to squirm between the cracks. You had to wear down its pages like a comic.
Growing up, I never got two comic books in a row, so I never knew how the stories ended not often how they began. I had to imagine it.
We have so many damn options now that we’ve become spoiled. We give up on tv shows after three episodes if it doesn’t meet our standards. Maybe we were better off getting stuck watching what was on. Maybe we were better watching broken films and re-reading comic books. Maybe we were better off getting lost in the energy of something rather than getting caught up on the quality.
Somewhere along the line we all became reviewers instead of enjoyers. And then we turned that on each other. Maybe we all just need to get excited about something shitty or imperfect, not because it’s cool, but because we want it to be and we’re willing to fill in the gaps.