Cover Your Eyes and Peek Through Your Fingers: One And Done Movies
Every now and then a movie comes along that you know isn’t going to be any fun at all to watch, but you feel obligated to watch anyhow, because the message is important and will make you a better person if you can survive the ordeal. I think probably the ultimate example of this would have to be Schindler’s List. Nobody went into the theater to see that while cosplaying Schindler. Yet, people went and saw the movie in droves. I remember when I had to watch it. I say “had to” because I don’t remember particularly wanting to see the movie but my mother thought it was important and, being a teacher, that it would lead to a discussion where we could learn more about a terrible time and horrible tragedy.
The last time I made a movie viewing decision along the same lines was when I watched Hotel Rwanda. I knew going into it that the movie was about a horrible genocide and that it wouldn’t really be a fun experience. I was right. When it was done, I remember turning to a friend and remarking “Well, it was really really well done, but I’m never watching that ever again.” It was, to a certain degree, a traumatic experience that I had willingly embarked upon, one I was grateful for but felt no real need to repeat.
I’ve also skipped watching movies, critically lauded ones even, that I knew would mess me up. Not always because I simply wanted to avoid the bad touch, sometimes simply because I never could put myself in the right mindset to watch them when they were available and now the moment has passed and I don’t really feel the need to play catch up. The last time that I can remember doing this was when everybody was going ape over Precious. People I knew at the time who’d seen it commented that it was “really a great movie” but “difficult to watch at times and disturbing.” I wasn’t in a great place emotionally or mentally when it came out and as such knew that watching something with that tone would add fuel to a fire I was already struggling to keep at bay. Then the moment passed. I feel better now than I did then, but I also have no real strong urge to go back and catch up on all of the horrific abuse that I missed out on the first time.
So what are your “never again” films, and your “I don’t think I could handle it” movies? Will you ever go back to see the ones you missed or the ones you didn’t particularly enjoy?