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?