Well, I ventured out of my art house hole last week to catch a Friday morning showing of Snakes on a Plane (a whopping 3555 screens) and I loved it. I finally got the summer movie I wanted. I was ready to hate it, I admit, mostly because I was peeved about New Line not screening it for the press, and all the B.S. they churned out to explain themselves ("it's not a movie for the critics," "everyone's going to get to see it together," etc.). In the end, they wound up with a fairly paltry $15 million gross, mainly because the core audience -- you good folks, the savvy Internet users -- got wind of the film not screening for the press and assumed it was a loser. With a slate of good reviews, mine included, I guarantee business would have been a bit brisker.
While we're at it, let me duck back down into my dank, darkened art house realm and talk about guilty pleasures. Let's start at the bottom, with a gay romantic comedy, The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, currently hanging on by its manicured nails on one lousy screen with barely enough gross to pay back the caterers. Based on a comic strip, the film is about a wishy-washy hero who can't decide what he wants; when his boyfriend asks him to move in, he panics and breaks up. Most reviewers complained about this guy (played by Daniel Letterle), but the performance was just sunny and flighty enough to score a win. Not to mention that the entire movie has a sort of goofball unreality to it; it sets up the rules that anything is allowed to happen, then it plays by those rules and plays hard.