Friday, February 12, 2010

Falling Out of Love Hard

In today's AV Club Q&A (which is a great place to look on a Friday for easy (read:lazy) blog ideas) someone asked them the question "Has there ever been something in pop culture you’ve fallen hard out of love with? Example: I used to actually look forward to A Prairie Home Companion if it happened to be on the radio, and now I can’t fucking stand one second of it. I know this happens a lot with bands as tastes change and mature growing up (I did my time listening to ska), but there are other things besides music that I, for whatever no good reason, became a major anti-fanboy about: certain movies, directors, authors… —Chris Ward". They got a couple of similar questions. Its interesting because besides music, which, if you are into it, you go through a million cycles of loving stuff and then growing out of it. (I also went through my third wave ska phase). Sometimes there are things you grow out of just because you grow up and start to see them differently. The art itself doesn't change, but you do. Sometimes, if it isn't a one off thing like a movie, sometimes bands or television shows definitely can change for the worse. But things like books, authors, movies, and directors you might have liked at one point, every once in a while you go back and take a look at them and discover for better or for worse things are not the same as you once thought they were. The relationship has ended. And a few times, you happen to do a 180 and actually become an ant-fan of the thing you used to love. (I'm sure people put it better in the actual article.)

Anyhow, someone there actually stole my ready response. When I think of things I used to love, pop-culturally speaking, and have subsequently fallen way out of love with, the first movie that comes to mind is American Beauty
My feelings are pretty much the same as the guy that wrote his piece in there. I saw American Beauty at a somewhat lonely time in my life, it was the year after college and I was in graduate school, and for whatever reason trying to figure out for myself, once again in my life, who I was and what I wanted to do, it was sort of a hard time. I remember going to see American Beauty at a small theater in Hoboken, NJ after it had been out for a time because it had been getting some good buzz. Oh man, I loved it. I even loved the empty bag scene, which I find absurd now. Back then I was like, "It's so beautiful! The world is so full of beauty it makes me cry too!" Or whatever the quote was. Its just over time, maybe I have become more jaded and cynical, hey it happens, it just seems that it the movie is trying to be way more deep than it actually is. Not to mention the fact that, and this might not be strictly this particular movies' problem, the whole "cracked view of the suburban underbelly" has been done to death. Even Sam Mendes has returned to it, this time in the 60's. As recently as a couple of weeks ago I watched this again on cable, and I will admit, it is not without its funny moments and performances, but mostly what I found so amazing once, I just find annoying now.

More recently though, Napoleon Dynamite

I have to admit, that the Napoleon Dynamite's allure, for me, wore off at a lightning pace. I really liked it when I first saw it. I remember thinking at the time, again, and I should have known better since I was older, that this anti-comedy comedy was the wave of the comedic future. And that I was sorry for people that just don't get it. Maybe it was the thousands of imitators and quoters, maybe it was because it just did not hold up under repeat viewings, but this fell pretty hard down the shaft pretty quickly for me. And its just the fact that I LOVED it so much then and am now fairly indifferent about it, kind of annoyed by it now. Want to know something really odd? Its followup, Nacho LIbre I believed, and the belief has since become stronger that its funnier and a better a movie, but actually a good movie. I know I am in the extreme minority on this opinion, but something about not only its goofiness, but the music and art direction, as well as the juxtaposition of catholic and lucha libre imagery, I seriously believe it comes together to make something better than it has any right to be. I think it is and was a great leap forward for them.

Check back in a few years and see if thats still the case. You never know.


  1. Hey, I loved Dances With Wolves when I first saw it. But you didn't hear that from me.

  2. Napoleon Dynamite definitely would be at the top of my list. That, and Death Cab for Cutie.