Last night, I watched a movie, Super Troopers that I had quite enjoyed when I saw it a few years back on the big screen. A couple weeks ago when I found the flick on sale at Best Buy, I snapped it up, thinking that it would entertain me as it had when I first watched it. Only last night, it left me cold. And while I did laugh a few times, I was generally bored with the feature. I had a similar experience with Spaceballs a movie I loved when the first time I saw it.
I am fascinated that certain movies that we once enjoyed just don’t hold up for a second viewing. A few days ago, a friend and I noted that while as kids, we both loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as adults, we found it interminable.
Perhaps it’s that while some children’s movies (e.g., The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King) have characters and themes which resonate for adults as well as kids, some children’s movies are just that, movies for children. I highly doubt that I would have enjoyed Ice Age: The Meltdown as much as I had, had I not gone to see it with the second eldest PatriotNieceWest. A few years back, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing 102 Dalmations with her and her cousin (the third eldest PatriotNieceWest).
So it seems it’s our circumstances at the time we see a movie which effect how we enjoy it as much as how we relate to the film’s content itself. A movie which we enjoyed as a child leaves us a cold as an adult. But, if we see that same flick with a beloved niece, nephew or godchild, we have entirely different experience. Similarly, a movie which leaves us cold when we first see it moves us when, for some reason, we see it again. (I experienced this with the Matrix, finding the movie off-putting the first time I saw it, yet when I won a free DVD at a party, I watched it again and was thoroughly captivated.)
Edmund Burke wrote that, “Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect.” It seems this applies to moviegoing as well as politics.