Coming Attractions

As evidenced by various posts on this blog, I see a lot of movies.  I deeply enjoy the experience of what it seems few people actually enjoy anymore:  Going to the movies.  Slipping into a darkened room at any time of day, putting on my cloak of anonymity, becoming a part of the audience, slinking down in my seat and wondering, Where am I being taken today?  What will I learn?  What will I feel?  Short of a long, good dinner with friends or an afternoon walk on the beach (when did this post turn into a ‘turn ons / turn offs’ feature?), there’s not much I like more in this life than going to the movies.

An audience is never wrong.  An individual member of it may be an imbecile, but a thousand imbeciles together in the dark, that is critical genius. — Billy Wilder

And as any good moviegoer knows, one of the joys of going to the movies is previews.  If I’m with someone at the movies, we’ll play the Ebert & Siskel thumbs up / thumbs down take on the preview; if I’m flying solo I’ll make a mental note on what looks great, what looks atrocious.  We all know the old compliant–  previews give away too much, they show the best part– but occasionally a preview is better than half the movies out there.  Surely you’ve seen this preview of Fincher and Sorkin’s The Social Network, which is in and of itself a mini-masterpiece?

A movie!  That’s your problem!  You don’t want to be in love.  You want to be in love in a movie. Nora Ephron, writing in Sleepless in Seattle

And yes, when life– with all of its glorious complications!– gets too overwhelming I’m guilty of thinking, Why isn’t my life more like a movie?  The plot strands would tie together,  the supporting cast would be more consistent, and everything would just look better.  (Hey, I’m not proud of this, I’m just being honest.  But who hasn’t thought this before, really?)

But lately, I have a better idea:  Life should be more like a preview.

Think about it!  The hip, sappy-but-not-too sappy pop song plays in the background.  The montage of images, each one camera ready, deftly cut together.  ‘Till the very end, just when we’re left dangling as to what the next big plot point is.

Life should be more like the coming attractions!  So for now, can we please magically get me in a picture perfect fall wardrobe, press play on something by a band that I’ll have to Shazam, and cue up the deep man’s voice who says, In a world where an afternoon dog walk can turn into a walk of opportunity, one man…

Life should be more like the previews.


4 Responses to “Coming Attractions”

  1. alexandria Says:

    please make this preview.

  2. alexandria Says:

    (heck, someone should have a business cutting previews for people out of home video footage and stills. “preview yourself” or some such thing. would be cute for weddings (preview the marriage!), proposals, birthdays, etc. this must exist.)

  3. alexandria Says:

    i’m so behind the times:

  4. Um, It’s, Well, Kind of an Okay Movie « Wally's Blog Says:

    […] 3.  Finalize the tone.  Yes, movies about real people and their real, small problems are infinitely harder to make then, say, flicks about killer robots or alien invasions, but this team has done it before, and spectacularly.  Yet to walk this coming-of-age dramedy line (like, say, James L. Brooks) you’ve got to pick a tone and stick with it.  Is this a Hollywood flick?  An indie?  An ensemble dramedy?  A coming-of-age tale?  Fantastical or realistic?  Snarky or sentimental?  Unfortunately it’s one of those movies that plays better in the trailer. […]

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