01 January, 2012

Movie Thoughts - How often do you watch a movie you really don't want to watch?

Thinking about the movies that I have seen, I usually come across quite a few that I watched even though they did not interest me. This could be at home on a DVD or in a theater. The benefit of watching a DVD is that I have control over the movie and if nothing else I can get up and do other stuff. In a theater, although the option of leaving is there, but honestly speaking once I have paid for it, there is a good chance I will sit through it no matter what.

So, thinking back, how many movies can you think of that you have seen against your own will. I'll be lying if I said I never watched a movie, or at least claimed to have watched one, to impress a girl. Let's not even get into the number of movies I sat through with my wife during the "honeymoon" period of our marriage. Not putting the blame on her, I know she sat through some with me that she had absolutely no interest in, like one of the Harry Potter movies even though she has never read the books or seen any movie (Yes! big revelation, but I have tried my best to get her to watch the movies let alone read the books, and have eventually given up in vain).

Now, be it to impress a girl, or tag along with friends, or to sound cinematic go into a theater while running away from the police to hide, there comes a time when enough is enough. I feel I have reached a stage in my life that it doesn't matter anymore, and pretty much nothing (except for when my daughter looks at me with those innocent eyes) can make me go sit in a theater to watch something I am not interested in. So much so, after realizing that our film tastes are poles apart, my wife and I hardly ever go to the cinema together. I'm not complaining about it. I think she has the right to a choice as much as I do and rather than making the other person miserable, its better we work around it.

Having said that, there have been instances, when movies I "knew" would not be to my liking, have turned out to be quite fun. The thing about movies is that I love to be proved wrong. I like it when I go into a movie with utter hatred because it's only showing in 3D and come out actually liking the 3D aspect. It's always fascinating when I get dragged into watching a Indian movie (it's either a choice between a movie with the wife or a visit to the mall) thinking it will be the usual run-of-the-mill crap, but come out taken aback by a fresh entertaining film. Unfortunately, in the end, the negatives of going into an unwanted movie outnumber the positives.

So, how many times have you been to the movie theater unwillingly? Can you remember any movie that you just did not want to watch and still went for it for some reason? Or maybe a movie you knew would be horrible, but in the end you liked? Let me know...     


  1. I don't really go to the theatre for anything...the film has to get very good reviews and I have to have a lot of interest in seeing it, since the cinemas are so far away from me. But I watch movies I don't wanna watch every week. Why? Because, working at a DVD store, I like to keep up with all of the major releases. I saw movies like Something Borrowed, The Roommate, Transformers 3...it all made me wonder why I do it!

  2. I've always viewed film watching as trying to consume a balanced diet-- you should be willing to try anything because you never know what you'll like. You end up seeing stuff you don't particularly like, but it'll because you've refined your palette, not because of some kneejerk incredulity.

  3. I've been very lucky when it comes to seeing a movie picked by someone else, but I do remember going to watch Along Came Polly on a date, because she *really* wanted to see it. The idea of watching Ben Stiller doing the diminishing returns thing by starring in what looked like There's Something About Mary II: The Quickening didn't excite or entice me at all, but hey, what can you do (aside from grow a pair of balls and stand your ground -- alone, because she's not standing for that crap either)?

    Also, I forced myself to sit through the rest of Nemesis at a movie theater because of some foolish macho thing I have about never walking out of movies or something. It paid off during a scene where a robot falls to its death into a volcano, all while screaming NOOOOOO -- which I guess meant that the robot suddenly developed a sense of its own mortality in those last few seconds of its otherwise unemotional existence. Either that or the filmmakers just didn't care.

  4. Stevee - So you work at a DVD store... that must be fun! I can understand that for you going to the theater is a big deal because of the distance, so yeah having interest in the film is important.

    Danny - I completely agree with you. In fact the only reason I go to a movie I have no interest in is that it just might WOW me. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen much.

    EFC - Thanks for the anecdotes. Haven'e seen Nemesis, but just might now ;-)

    Thank you for the comments.

  5. Great post Raghav, really interesting question.

    I have to say that I rarely watch a movie that I know I won't like, and the rare occasions are generally due to going to the movie with the girlfriend and settling for something that she's interested in. I think the last example of this was 'What's Your Number'.

    Most of the time I will watch the trailer and if it doesn't interest me I won't make the time to go and watch it. Otherwise there are a whole slew of movies out there which I won't see because they don't interest me at all, such as the Twilight films, The Iron Lady, and War Horse.

    It's also for this reason that I could never be a professional film critic because if something doesn't appeal to me I won't go and see it.

    Great post, really enjoyed reading it.

  6. Russell I totally agree with you. I have always enjoyed movies as a fun medium so I find it hard to be professional about it at times. But there is also a side of me that would like to approach it on a more serious level, so lets see.