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Does Real Life Affect Your Enjoyment?

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Over the weekend, I caught two films that had me thinking of a subject. Those films were The Naked Gun and The Ghost Writer.


I'm sure you already see where I'm going with this.


The Naked Gun films, as you know, star one O.J. Simpson and The Ghost Writer is the latest thriller (of which I'll be reviewing soon) from director Roman Polanski. I've often heard that, for some, they refuse to watch a film if there's someone they are morally against. The film might be well made or funny, but they simply cannot watch and enjoy it due to the knowledge of someone like Simpson or Polanski's respective pasts. They can not separate that element of reality from the film at hand.


While I can understand this, it's a knee-jerk personal reaction to the real person's own presence (even if unseen) that overshadows anything and everything else, I can't say I've personally ever had that problem.  Maybe I "turn off" the real world when watching movies that are made by or star people I don't approve of or, in the case of Tom "Scientology Couch crazy" Cruise, don't particularly like either. Yet, even though I say that, there's no denying that it does cross my mind even if it doesn't effect my enjoyment or outright refusal to even watch a film. I mean, Charlie Chaplin's fondness of underage girls doesn't deter me from like The Gold Rush or City Lights. It doesn't effect me when watching Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II - the bad story and directing is more than enough for that.


Anyways, I just thought and pondered on it all seeing as how I really enjoyed The Ghost Writer yet there are a number of people who outright refuse to see it. I don't think it's about "giving Polanski money,  what little money there is to be made for a modestly-budgeted, little-distributed foreign thriller there is. Perhaps they don't want to so easily see a film made by a man they don't approve of as it might appear as an approval of Polanski as a person. I suppose I could understand that as well, but the person doesn't come into play when I see the film and especially when I review one (something I can't say for a number of reviews I've read, who always seem to find the paragraph to shoehorn that element in as though its a determining factor of a film's merits).


In the end, maybe it's just principals. "I don't like you, therefore I won't support you in anything you've done or will ever do." I guess that's a firm belief that is reasonably unwavering. Closed minded? Maybe. Justifiable? Certainly, everyone has that right. Am I immoral for liking The Ghost Writer or laughing at OJ in The Naked Gun? Well...I hope not.



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1 Comment

Reply toosmartforbond2
8:07 AM on September 2, 2010 
OJ wasn't a murdered when he made those movies, so it's ok to laugh.

If a movie is bad enough, then maybe I'll actually think about the people in it or some other real-life nonsense, because my mind will wander and inevitably not turn back to the boring film. In general, though, no. Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski, and OJ don't really bug me all that much. I have no moral opposition to seeing a movie. My $10 isn't really going to matter, anyway.