Thursday, November 22, 2007
Why Are My Female Relatives So Bizarre?
So on Thanksgiving, I recommended both my sister and my mother go see Michael Clayton, a movie I had just seen and loved. My mother loves George Clooney, my sister works at a law firm and loves thrillers. It seemed a no-brainer: Michael Clayton was a really good, suspenseful legal thriller starring George Clooney!
A few days later the accusatory call arrived from my mother. She had gone to see the movie and she hated it. She wanted me to explain the significance of a few fairly meaningless moments in the movie, bits that were just meant to provide some insight into the characters' mindsets and weren't significant to the plot. But it was her accusatory tone, as though I had done her wrong by recommending the film, that irked.
A week later she calls to tell me my sister had also been to see the film and she hated it too. By this point, I got a bit hot under the collar. "What is the purpose of this call? I didn't write the film," I snapped. "I just liked it. Maybe you should contact the film-makers." She got huffy.
Yesterday, my sister e-mailed me in a similar accusatory tone. She hated the film. Why did I have such weird taste in movies? (This opinion stems back from many years ago when I raved about that notorious dud, "Raising Arizona" -- still one of my favourite movies of all time). Why did I think it was good? I pointed out it was one of the best-reviewed films of the year according to that Rotten Tomatoes site and, you know, there's no real accounting for taste, is there? You like what you like!
Tell me -- is this normal behaviour? If someone recommended a film to you and you didn't like it, would you get in touch with them to challenge them on the recommendation?
I wouldn't. The next time I saw the person, if they asked me if I'd ever got around to seeing it, and if so, did I love it, I would be honest and say: "I didn't really like it that much, I'm sad to say. And I didn't really get this part ... what did you think was going on there?"
But I'd never in a million years phone someone up or e-mail them and give them hell for the recommendation.
It made me grumpy. Perhaps I am over-reacting. But if any of you out there go to see the movie based on this post, I will have a tantrum if you suggest I was an idiot for liking it.