' ' Cinema Romantico: Recommending The (Really) Wrong Movie

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Recommending The (Really) Wrong Movie

Writing recently for Entertainment Weekly Adam B. Vary relayed a story in which he encouraged his mom to see "Black Swan" only to learn that, in his words, she "really, really didn't like (it)."  Boy oh boy, does that take me back.

1998.  I was managing a movie theater and the Sunday before Thanksgiving my friend Brad at the theater down the road from my theater called me and advised he was screening a movie set for release that Wednesday called "Very Bad Things" and asked if I wanted to join him.  I did, and the two of us set forth on a voyage into, uh, let's see, cinematic mayhem, perhaps?  If you haven't seen the movie I'll summarize it as best I can: a bachelor party in Vegas goes horribly wrong as a stripper is inadvertently killed which leads to a hotel security guard getting murdered when he finds out about the first death which leads to the members of the bachelor party chopping up the bodies and burying them in the desert which leads to much guilt amidst various members of the bachelor party which leads to more death and more chopping up of bodies.  It sounds awful.  It kinda is.  But Brad and I enjoyed the holy hell out of it.  In fact, Brad had told me prior to the screening that he was having a really bad day and afterwards said with a smile, "That movie made me feel better."  I actually walked around my movie theater for weeks after and at the sign of any "suspect" behavior would shout in the manner of Daniel Stern: "He's gonna take out my minivan!"

I haven't seen "Very Bad Things" in probably ten years and I'm pretty sure if I watched it now I would hate it because I was in a very different place back then but that's precisely why I don't ever want to watch it again.  I want that memory to stay with me.  Except, of course, there's that other memory.

A week or so after the film's release a couple thirtysomething women, both very nice, came for a matinee but weren't sure what movie they wanted to see.  They asked for a recommendation.  And I, only considering my taste and not for even one second considering their potential taste, said, "'Very Bad Things.'  You have to see 'Very Bad Things.'"  So they did.

Two hours later these two women actively tracked me down and literally reamed me out for recommending such an awful, grotesque, vulgar, depressing, insulting movie.  I did not realize the enormity of my idiocy until these two women were frothing at the mouth in front of me.  I regretted my recommendation.  I was truly sorry.

Well, not really.  What I really wanted to do was look at both of them, put on my best Christian Slater accent and holler: "Okay, ladies, time for some serious self-exploration. How do I function. For real! No more bullshit! Can I keep my cool when they bounce my bananas? When they won't play my song?"

Hmmmmm....maybe I will watch it again.

What terrible movie recommendations have you made?


Jacob said...

Only watch it again if you are fulled by scotch and in a Slater type of mood. That way you're sure to enjoy it. And you know, if you happen to have some strippers over for the screening, that couldn't hurt either.

Nick Prigge said...

This is a good point. Scotch can make any movie enjoyable! Well, except for Michael Bay movies. But that goes without saying.

Wretched Genius said...

I'm sorry, but under no circumstances was this movie even the least bit enjoyable. This one is technically one of my walk-outs, but I usually don't count it because I ended up watching the end of it while working at the theater, so I have seen the whole thing. It's bad writing, acting, editing, and directing.

While not a recommendation I purposely made, the ultra-conservative parents of one of my high school friends overheard me praising Chasing Amy, so they rented it. That didn't go over well.