Let me tell you, people, “little movies” just make me mad.
I mean, really now: who wants to watch another in a dull endless series of precious hipster hits where unappealing people do unappealing things while cleverly trying to outwit each other with their knowing repartee, and then, in the end, nothing gets resolved or happens.
I want big stars and big action for my money, with big payoffs at the end, and not just a bunch of talking and talking and talking and stuff. That’s for film school toads and pretentious art-house clowns, who, if they were honest, would admit that they don’t like it either. They just need to sit through it and tell people they did so in order to prove their intellectual credibility.
And, yeah, I know what you’re going to say. You just have to be in the mood for nothing but dialogue to really appreciate those kinds of movies. Blah blah blah. Let me stand here slack-jawed and glassy-eyed while you explain how Glengarry Glen Ross is one of your favorites in the genre.
Are you done? Okay, good. Listen: if I am in the mood for nothing but dialogue, then I don’t go to a movie. I talk to someone.
When I go to a movie, I want things I can’t get in my every day life, things like explosions and rockets ships and giant lizards and lots and lots of gratuitous nudity. The Squid and The Whale would have been improved with rocket ships, right? Right?
It’s not that I don’t get what the writers and directors of these “little movies” are up to. They are so self-absorbed and self-impressed that they sincerely believe that they have filmed dialogue more exciting, entertaining and thought-provoking than any conversation anyone else can ever participate in, so that people should actually pay to live vicariously through their erudite banter and knowing winks.
But I just don’t accept that premise. Any conversation I participate in is, by definition, more interesting than any conversation I watch someone else participate in.
My Dinner With Andre is the ultimate litmus test of precious film school pretentiousness. You watch this thing, and you’ll know for sure whether you’re one of them, or whether you’re a person with an actual life, and some friends. I walked out of My Dinner With Andre ten minutes in, when I realized that Andre the Giant wasn’t in it. Where were the space lizards? Where was the blood? Why, a filmed filmed conversation between a 14-year-old genius dork and the drawings in his spiral-bound notebook would be better than that.
You know the kid I’m talking about: the one with the runny nose and the bowl haircut in the back of class who always made gunshot noises while he scribbled. You could just tell that kid was destined for greatness. He was either going to revolutionize an industry with some borderline idiot savant vision, or he was going to be traced, via a typewriter with a defective asterisk key, and pulled over with a moving van full of fertilizer.
But no. When you go to a little movie, you don’t get any of that sort of genius, you just get self-impressed fops nattering on and on while trying to show each other, and us, how clever and witty they are, while talking about nothing at all, like this:
Andre: What does it do to us, Wally, living in an environment where something as massive as the seasons or winter or cold, don’t in any way affect us? I mean, we’re animals after all. I mean . . . what does that mean? I think that means that instead of living under the sun and the moon and the sky and the stars, we’re living in a fantasy world of our own making.
Wally: Yeah, but I mean, I would never give up my electric blanket, Andre. I mean, because New York is cold in the winter. I mean, our apartment is cold! It’s a difficult environment. I mean, our life is tough enough as it is. I’m not looking for ways to get rid of a few things that provide relief and comfort. I mean, on the contrary, I’m looking for more comfort because the world is very abrasive. I mean, I’m trying to protect myself because, really, there’s these abrasive beatings to be avoided everywhere you look!
Andre: But, Wally, don’t you see that comfort can be dangerous? I mean, you like to be comfortable and I like to be comfortable too, but comfort can lull you into the dangerous tranquility of modern Manhattan.
Guy At The Next Table: Will you two shut the hell up, please?!? I’m trying to read the USA Today sports section here! Jeez Louise, you two are annoying! And stop saying each other’s names every time you talk!! I feel like I’m at a Dale Carnegie course here! Waiter!!! More Coconut Shrimp!!!
What I would like to see is a version of My Dinner With Andre in which the Wally role was played by Keanu Reeves, the Andre part was played by Lou Ferrigno, and the dangerous tranquility of modern Manhattan was played by a monkey washing a cat. That would be brilliant. Let’s see Michael Bay top that. Gatta-gatta, bree-owww, ping, baaaa-ROOOOM!
Alright, then, I think you get the gist, right? My work is done here?
Because I’ve got to scoot to get to the 3:15 showing of Die Hard 4: With a Truss at the mall. Man, I love those big, plush stadium seats they’ve got. They’re so, so comfortable.
And I know that comfort is ultimately what the successful life is really all about. That’s my reality, anyway. Unlike the “suffering artist” types, who torment themselves with “little movies,” in order to prove to themselves that they are real through the discomfort and lack of happiness that their film-going experience provides.
Their reality is one based on intellectual self-abuse on a hard wooden bench in an under-heated movie house.
My reality is giant lizards and huge-breasted, wasp-waisted women and rocket ships in a giant mall gigaplex with stadium seating and a popcorn bucket bigger than my head oozing iridescent butter-flavored topping into my lap.
Which reality sounds better to you?