The Cynical Movie Goer


Since when have people become so cynical when it comes to film? There seems to be a superior complex where the cynical one comes off as better than the rest for noticing each and every flaw that may present itself in a movie. Suddenly they’re more intelligent for recognizing every con and immediately disregarding a film because it doesn’t reach the right standards. Meanwhile everyone else blindly falls head over heals for the movie and are viewed as uncultured or dumb to the cynical one. It’s a little sad, but it seems to be more and more common today. Then again, maybe this has always been the case, but the internet gives those inner opinions a fog horn.

I personally can’t stand a great deal of cynicism. I believe it has a time and place, but to nitpick every little detail is going overboard – especially when it comes to film. The thing is, they should be fun – for the most part. Can someone still sit down and deconstruct it while giving out constructive criticism? Sure, I do that all the time when I talk about certain movies. Here’s the thing though, there’s a difference between stating what could make a film better and flat out complaining and then placing yourself on a pedestal for harboring such hatred.

A movie going experience should be fun. Even if what you’re seeing isn’t all that good, there’s still something to talk or laugh about. Maybe someone in that theater will notice all the great things about it and it will stay with them. Meanwhile someone else might completely forget what they saw the next day, but at least they got out of the house and saw some good friends for a few hours. Another may have liked the concept, but not the way it was carried out so it may inspire them to create something better. Not everyone will like what they see, but they will walk away with something. I find it important to make sure that something is somewhat constructive.

Again, there is a time and a place where a film should be viewed harshly. For the most part though, I think people should learn to relax and have fun again while watching. Stop taking every scene so seriously. I remember seeing Revenge of the Sith in theaters when I was about 13. This was actually the first and only Star Wars film I  have seen on the big screen and while I don’t enjoy the prequels, I remember that day pretty well and I remember having a good time. It was more about just seeing the last installment (at that point) of a franchise I grew up with and loved in a theater setting. My dad and brother were with me and I think it was nice for my dad to share that experience with us since he also grew up on Star Wars. I walked away from the theater happy and so did my dad. We got to watch Star Wars in the cinema, how could we not be?

The problem I find lately is that people are forgetting to have fun with movies. They should be a source of entertainment, of inspiration, of art and we turn it into a competition of taste. Yes, some are better than others. There are some that the crew spent hours of sweat and tears into and it shows. On some, it’s obvious that the crew didn’t care at all. Still, what happened to sitting and enjoying? Laugh through the wonderfully terrible moments. Get excited for big fight scenes no matter how crazy or impractical. Feel the character’s emotions, embrace the cheesy stuff, appreciate the artistic qualities, indulge yourself in the truly grand moments, and don’t be cruel to someone for liking a movie that is viewed as beneath you.

People should learn to have fun again. Stressful week at work? Watch a movie and let some steam off for a good hour and a half. Had a good week? Celebrate with a movie. Going through some stuff? Forget about it and clear your head by watching a movie. There’s no need to be over analytical or harsh with these films. No reason to roll eyes at a trailer that looks hammy or is only being created so people can watch cars crash into each other. We need to learn to go along for the ride and allow ourselves to enjoy the silliness or over the top acting/fighting/singing. Life is so much better when this happens.

I get being cynical when it comes to entertainment. I do, but it’s also exhausting and too much sometimes. Some days you need to allow yourself to smile and laugh instead of drowning yourself and others in a superior complex fueled by unnecessary cynicism.


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