'A Room with a View,' 'The Crazies'

"I saw it with my mother when I was nine, and I didn't like it," the young woman next to me said. "But last night I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. watching it." She was talking to her friend about 1986's A Room with a View, the splendid Merchant-Ivory period piece. "Tim Burton's wife [Helena Bonham Carter] was in it, but she was all young. Daniel Day-Lewis was in it, too, but he was playing an awful character." Although I didn't intend to listen to their conversation, I'm glad I did. We were all waiting to see The Crazies, Breck Eisner's horror remake of George A. Romero's original thriller, and the woman was hopeful and excited to see that too. In short, she appeared to be open to seeing all kinds of movies.

Too often, moviegoers seem to clump into camps: I only watch romantic comedies; I stick with horror; I gotta have my action fix; I won't watch anything made after 1950; I won't watch anything in black and white; I won't watch anything with subtitles. To some extent, we're pushed that way by modern media, as niche marketing gets more and more specific. Go to Netflix or Amazon, search for A Room with a View, and suggestions for other similar, period dramas may pop up as recommended choices for you, as determined by computer algorithms. The computer won't recommend The Crazies.