"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bad Movies and the Stupid People Who Like Them

The following is a letter I recently sent to Mick LaSalle, a film critic I like who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle. I felt compelled to write the letter after reading a comment he made about how fans of the movie "The Dukes Of Hazzard" don't have "two brain cells to rub together."

Dear Mick:

In your review of "The Dukes Of Hazzard," you implied that people who like this movie are stupid. In your Sunday column, responding to readers who shared this opinion, you came out and said as much. I assume, then, that you assume you are smart, and -- given your patented smug and condescending tone -- somehow superior to the people who like this movie. I also assume you assume that none of these people read your column. Certainly no one with "two compassionate cells to rub together" could be so insensitive. After all, dumb people have feelings too. If you prick the president, does he not bleed?

While we're doing all of this assuming, let's assume, for a minute, that people who like movies that offend your artistic sensibilities are stupid. What are you saying? That filmmakers shouldn't make movies for these people? That these filmmakers are doing something wrong? That you're superior to these filmmakers, as well?

In general, film criticism is a rationalization of one's personal tastes. Most people believe that what they like is good, and that what they don't like is crap. Reviewers are no different.

I didn't like "Lost In Translation." I felt it could barely move under the weight of its own artistic pretense. Because you liked this movie, does that make you stupider than I am? Because I didn't "fall for" this pretense, does that make me superior to you? What about "Sideways," a movie about a beautiful, intelligent woman who falls for an ugly man with no apparent redeeming qualities? Did you like that one, too?

My favorite movie in the last five years was "The Day After Tomorrow." "But," you may say, "it was unbelievable." I don't care! "But it was so formulaic and predictable." I don't care!! "But the plot was only there to support the special effects." I Don't Care!!!

Under a powerful enough microscope, everything is flawed. Under intense analysis, love makes no sense. I don't know about you, but that's not how I care to live my life.

With that said, "The Dukes Of Hazzard" was, of course, a piece of crap. How dare you force me to defend it.

All my love.....

Rick Reynolds