I’ve been told one of my all-time favorite movies is a bad movie. Maybe it’s true. It all depends on what a person goes to the movie to find.
“The Man in the Iron Mask”, with Gabriel Byrne as D’Artagnan, Jeremy Irons as Aramis, Gerard Depardiu as Porthos and Leonardo DiCaprio as the young royalty, (and man, can he be creepy when he wants to,) can make me tear up even on my tenth or eleventh viewing. I’m willing to dismiss the roles I consider badly played, woodenly unimaginative, for the sake of the actors mentioned here. Over the top, overwhelming score, full of redemption and old-fashioned romance, this movie still hits me where it counts. Where it hurts, where memories are made.
When I sit down and give myself over to a movie I want to be moved by what I witness. I want this experience to matter. Viscerally. I think of myself as a witness, and I want to leave altered in some good way. I use that word deliberately, loaded though it is. ‘Good.”
I said to a younger friend the other day “The only company you’re guaranteed for life is your own, so make sure it’s good company.”
So even in forking over the cash to buy a movie ticket, my real purpose is to make my own company better, whether that means putting into my brain visions that will inspire creative effort, or compassionate thought, or ways of thinking about problems with new depth.
The title for this blog bit is “A Bad Movie.” But I’ll argue that any movie that enriches my own company has to be a good movie, that sentiment can be well-placed and powerful. A dangerous statement since I hope my own writing will never be dismissed with the word “sentimental.”
Just remember, ‘sentiment’ is not the same as ‘sentimental’.