I am an unabashed, self-proclaimed, outspoken cinephile. I watch movies and then judge them, sharing my opinions often where no one has asked to hear them and emphatically defending whatever position I have taken. This has caused no end to strife in my marriage, as my wife is one of those who foul the earth by their desire to watch movies simply for “entertainment.” It sickens me.
Our major clash comes over the move Rocky, the first film in the string of never-ending boxing movies starring Sylvester Stallone. The first, however, is a triumph of authentic acting and writing, showing the poor underdog at his best yet still losing the opportunity of a lifetime to a superior athlete. It is full of the complexity and authentic characterization that makes a truly great film.
My wife’s loathing for the film is deep and dark, much like the overriding look and feel of the movie. She despises the movie so much that for my birthday, when she made me a coupon book of things she would do for me, things she usually detests, “Watch Rocky” was one of them. Then when I tried using it she told me that particular coupon had expired, though no written expiration date had been written in.
Over the years I’ve tried to bring her over to my way of viewing movies. Watching first those films that bridged the gap, that were slightly mindless yet still fun to watch, classics like the original Parent Trap, the Princess Bride, or The Frighteners. We never moved beyond that point. In fact once she got wise to my plan she reverted and has since forced me to sit through films like Just Like Heaven, My Little Ponies (the Movie), and Steel Magnolias.
I’ve since given up and have had to go underground with my film watching. Now when I want to watch something truly great I call a friend, invent an excuse to be out of the house, and meet at a pre-determined location. The only refuge I have left is my refusal to couch my comments when forced to watch the tripe my wife considers enjoyable.