It is award show season — that time of year when celebrities get together to try to out-shine each other and get bestowed upon with accolades and statues. I like to tune in to some of these shows to see the gowns and tuxedos and listen to them talk about their roles and accomplishments. After all, a national R.W. past-time is to review and critique celebrities on the red carpet, and discuss who looks fabulous and who looks “terrible.” I’m particularly amused by the question “who are you wearing?” and the discussion that ensues around the designer gowns, shoes, and jewelry. My BFF’s and I like play this same game, and respond with “I’m wearing Target, Dress Barn and Kohl’s.”
Speaking of designer shoes, the other day I was flipping through Self magazine and there was a layout showing some lovely strappy high-heel sandals. The prices for them ranged from $735 to $1020. I asked out loud to no one in particular, “who spends $1000 on a pair of shoes!?” Keep in mind I am a shoe fanatic. Yet I firmly believe that even if I had that kind of disposable income, I couldn’t bring myself to spend it on one pair of sandals. In watching the red carpet however, I realize that any of those gowned women would likely purchase those shoes. But am I to believe that they read Self? Does JLo really sit down in her sweats and fuzzy socks and look through this magazine (of which she happens to be on the cover and in the feature article) for tips on how to better herself? I doubt it. So if not her, then what readers do the editors really think will see that shoe spread and say “oh, I have to get me some of those”?
But I digress….Each year, awards are given out for movies that I have not seen and in many cases have not even heard of. Every time, I wonder if I live under a rock, and make a promise to myself to see at least the top award-winners. This promise is rarely completed. I may see one or two if I’m lucky, usually experiencing them far after the general population’s excitement over them has passed.
This is not due to lack of desire. I very much enjoy watching movies. I am drawn in by the cinematography, the costuming, the story lines, the music, the characters; all of the parts that make for a good film. For some reason, I just seem to lack the free time to devote to 2+ hours of escapism on a regular basis. And when I do finally carve out that time, I’m going to go for the type of movie I know I’m going to enjoy, rather than live life on the edge and try something completely out of my preferred genre.
We each have a “type” of movie, or even TV show, that we most prefer. Of the R.W.’s in my life, I can think of one who loves old movies, one who is fascinated by forensic investigative stories, one who wants gory thrillers, and another one who wants to watch end-of-the-world zombie apocalypses. There is a genre for everyone. Ever wonder who watches those formulaic, romantic, unrealistic fluff Chick Flicks? Me. Yup, I admit it. Go ahead, roll your eyes. I know that Chick Flicks all pretty much follow the same plot and formula, in a very predictable format, but I love them all.
Last weekend, a couple of my BFFs came over to visit and have some afternoon downtime. We decided to watch a movie, and rather than default to Netflix, I browsed my own DVD collection for a few options. Within 5 minutes I had an armload of over a dozen Chick Flicks. I placed them on the table, my husband glanced at them, and I said “it’s a sickness.”
The funny thing is that when it comes to our favorites, we will watch certain movies over and over again. My husband for example has watched The GodFather, Deer Hunter and Slingblade dozens of times. Conversely, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, and Pretty Woman. If our beloved movies come on TV, we can’t help but pause and watch, again and again. There are plenty of movies I’ve seen outside of my preferred type, and many have been excellent. But I have no desire to see them again; in my mind, they are one and done. I will not be committing every detail to memory through multiple viewings like I have with, for example, Sleepless in Seattle.
I think our taste in movies says a little bit about ourselves. I don’t expect my fellow R.W.’s to desperately want to live in the black & white 50’s, see the world taken over by zombies, or watch a bad guy’s head get chopped off in real life…but their entertainment preferences may mean they enjoy history, have analytical minds, are thrill seekers, or like to solve complex problems. Does my penchant for Chick Flicks mean I’m a hopeless romantic? Maybe yes, maybe no…but I’m pretty sure it does mean I like happy endings in life.
So bring on the parade of stars and award shows. For without them, we wouldn’t have these other worlds for our escape, characters to fall in love with, and complex plots to interpret. They give us outlets for our imaginations and our emotions, and help us travel to other lands and meet new people without leaving our comfy seats. What’s not to love about that? During the next Award Show, I think I’ll take notes of movies worth watching for future reference. If I’m really lucky, there will be a new romantic comedy to add to my collection.
And if nothing really appeals to me, then I’ll just refocus my attention and try to figure out who’s wearing those $1000 shoes.