broadsideblog

Ok, so that movie was worth about $7.63, not the $11.25 I paid

In art, beauty, culture, entertainment, film, movies on April 7, 2012 at 12:19 am
Cover of "The Deep Blue Sea (Nick Hern Bo...

Cover of The Deep Blue Sea (Nick Hern Books)

Sigh.

I love going to the movies, even when I am disappointed. It gets me out of the house, off the sofa and into the current cultural conversation.

Even when I’m not loving the movie, there’s usually something worth my cash. It’s not all or nothing.

I recently saw The Deep Blue Sea, a new film made from a 1952 play by British playwright Terrence Rattigan.

I mostly hated it, because the central character — Hester — is one neurotic mess. I couldn’t, ever, work up much of a head of sympathy for her, even though she’s married to a boring man with a nasty mother. When she runs off with a hottie named Freddie and shacks up with him, we all wait to see if passion beats out duty.

I love the actress Rachel Weisz. I really enjoyed the costumes and production design. Freddie is delicious. One can see why she’d flee to his wiry smooth arms.

But, over the course of the film, it’s immediately clear that:

– this is a period piece. What was emotionally compelling in 1952 is, in this case, much less so

– women, certainly those without children, have more choices now, so watching one who is arguably educated and intelligent make an utter fool of herself over a ditzy-but-cute boy isn’t terribly attractive

– the post-war British period feels too distant and hard to empathize with

this is a play, with theatrical timing, dialogue and structure. It’s not sufficiently cinematic to make an effective transition to film

I don’t resent the difference between my $11.25 worth of expectations and the $7.63 value, or so, I feel I got from this film.  “Value” is pretty subjective whether we love, like or meh a film, book, play, song or concert.

One reviewer on amazon.com slammed my new book by saying she’d only read about 64% of it (on the Kindle) before giving up in disgust. Hey, better than 21%!

Do you ever just walk out of films, concerts or shows you find disappointing?

What’s your breaking point?

  1. I have never walked out of a movie or performance, usually (and this is pretty terrible) because I want to see the whole thing so that way I can judge it with even harsher accuracy.

  2. Unless you’re feeling completely adventurous and sincerely want to risk trying something completely new, I don’t see why anyone would attend a performance they know they are either not going to like, or may find completely repulsive. As such, I have never walked out of any performance I have either paid to witness, or have had the pleasure of being invited to. I am happy to agree with amandameetsbook and admit that I will watch some television shows in their entirety before I cast them off as “bad” shows altogether. While most times I think I’m going to hate a show, I’ve oftentimes been pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed the entire show and looked forward to the next episode. I draw the line, however, at reality shows like Jersey Shore or Survivor. For some reason, I cannot stomach enough willpower to even watch a few minutes of those shows. But, that’s just me.

    • I walked out of a play in Manhattan about a decade ago, which is unheard of for me. The main character was not only totally unsympathetic but painfully very much like someone close to me. I couldn’t take it, and fled.

      I read reviews pretty carefully, and entertainment is sufficiently expensive I rarely just jump into something I have no idea about beforehand.

      Although I think that being adventurous is smart.

  3. I’m pretty cautious about what I go and see. Haven’t ever walked out of anything – but I have come out of movies and plays thinking, “well, that’s two hours of my life I won’t get back”. “The Girl With the Pearl Earring” was like that – a movie so well paced, shall we say, that although it was 88 minutes long it felt like 120. Quite.

    We struck gold last night, though – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. Great comedy-drama, riddled with a who’s who cast of great Brit actors. Well worth it.

    Matthew

    • So true…If something feels tedious, it seems to go on forever.

      Thanks for the movie recommendation…I’ve been looking forward to that one.

  4. I admit sneaking out at intermission..just once. I felt guilty. I dont even remember what i was watching, just the guilt. Maybe it’s the Scotish in me. If I invest money, I make it worth while, good or bad.

    • As someone who creates for a living, I feel like I’m letting down the side, as it were, if I bail. I, too, am super-frugal so if I’ve blown $30-80 for a ticket to a live performance, I’m pretty invested in it financially as well.

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