Have you ever been dragged by someone you like to a movie you didn't think you'd like, and then fell in love -- with the movie? How often do you see films outside your "comfort zone," whether that be macho action movies, chick flicks, romantic comedies, horror thrillers, or quirky indies? Do you ever react negatively to a movie you were sure you would like?
Recently I've heard from folks who claim they're never disappointed with the movies they choose to see, which made me wonder if they have really low standards -- a definite possibility -- or if their selections become self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, once they've decided to see the movie, have they determined in advance that they're going to enjoy whatever's on screen? Does that explain the success of populist fare like Couples Retreat, a movie I reviewed positively but which was slammed by nearly all other critics?
Even before I got paid to write about movies and started receiving invitations to free, advance screenings, my inclination was to see as many as possible, both the ones that made me lick my chops in anticipation and the ones that held less advance interest. Nowadays, even with a somewhat limited viewing schedule, I'm in a position where I can -- and want to -- roll the dice and take my chances on movies on a regular basis. So I've paid my own way to see some movies that might have been dubious choices for others. I was assigned to review Pandorum, but I paid to see it because it wasn't screened for critics, and liked it more than I thought I would; I wasn't assigned to review Sorority Row, paid to see it because I thought I might like it, and was sorely disappointed.