Back before I found myself writing scripts, if a friend dissected the plot of a movie that I enjoyed, I would reply, “But, it’s a movie.” While I have since cast a more critical eye on screen stories, I still delight in movies which entertain without offering much substance. Yet, sometimes now, I still have to remind myself that it’s just a movie and that if it entertains, it doesn’t have to make perfect sense.
To be sure, I find the better movies are those which entertain us and remind us of those things which matter most or whose very stories — or elements of the stories — spur us to serious thought and conversation. Those are the types of screenplay ideas which most readily come to my mind, those which I have written and still strive to write.
Last night I saw a movie which, to quote a friend who saw it before I, had “plot holes you could drive a truck through,” found myself thoroughly entertained. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest will certainly not rank with Star Wars as a movie which entertains and enlightens, but it certainly did entertain. In many ways, it was like its inspiration — a theme park ride. While theme park rides don’t provide much spiritual sustenance, they tend to be a lot of fun.
I saw the flick last night with a straight friend from my Arlington Republican days. And fortunately, after the flick, we had enough catching up today that we didn’t talk too much about the movie, except to say that we enjoyed it despite its story flaws. After seeing War of the Worlds last summer with another friend, we went to dinner and started talking about the flick. And while I had enjoyed the film, the conversation caused me to focus on its flaws. I guess we appreciate some movies more if we just enjoy them — and don’t think too much about them after.