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Judging a movie by its trailer

Earlier this year some friends and I went to the theater to watch a suspenseful movie based on a book. While waiting for the movie to start we were treated to a slew of movie trailers, one of which was a love story.

First things first, I’m not a chick flick kind of gal. My idea of a chick flick is…well I can’t think of one. The movie trailer involved a girl falling hopelessly in love with a guy on a beach, only to find he was enlisted in the military and would be shipped off soon. The girl; now in a disembodied voice; started talking about her love life, dreaming of the day she and her boyfriend would once again be reunited. Then she explained this whole story took place over a year. One…lousy…year. This stirred something deep within me, a reaction that could only be summed up by three words, and not the three words you were thinking.

I shouted, “SUCK IT UP!” This caused my husband and our friends to look at me, one of whom let out a quiet, “Daaang…” It suddenly occurred to me we were in a theater and that shouting is not the appropriate behavior for showing disapproval for a lame movie plot.

You might think I’m cold or callous. Really, I’m not. It’s just hard to hear a fictional person complain about not having interaction from their loved one for a year.  However my husband and I went for three years in this manner. In comparison to our situation, a year is not that much time.

It’s hard for me to empathize with a character when I know they’re able to get on with their life after that year is up. Even just after our 2 year mark, when we finally figured out how we were going to handle having an ‘international’ relationship, we then had to deal with immigration issues. That tacked on another lovely 7 months of separation between us.  Friends of ours who have dealt with immigration issues and have had their share of 7 months of separation and then some, might have as much trouble empathizing with us, as I had with this particular character. I can only imagine the movie that I mentioned would be even more un-relatable to them!

This is not to say that one situation is worse than the other, or that my love story is the love story to end all love stories. I’m taking a sarcasm note out of Scott Adam’s book wondering how empathic I’m supposed to be compared to the length of time two characters have been separated. I just want to know what the varying degrees are so I can either be prepared with popcorn and a soda, or a big box of tissues that can also double as a pillow when I fall asleep from boredom.

What movies or books do you have a hard time relating to?  What movies or books simply by the trailer or description have caused you to not  examine them closer?

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16 responses to “Judging a movie by its trailer

  1. Penny ⋅

    Aside of your obvious issues with said movie, the trailer just looked completely lame and predictable…plus bad acting.

    • Penny,

      Thank you! I’m glad you were able to tell which movie it was just by the description. Actually one of the actors in the movie is pretty good, but the rest are debatable! Hopefully the book the movie was based on was much better! :) Thank you for your comment!

  2. Sarah Boo ⋅

    I’m pretty sure everyone knows you are talking about Dear John. To be fair to their plight, he’s not just “away,” he’s fighting in a war. The Husband was safe and sound in England. But no, I didn’t watch this movie either.

    • If he’s in a war, it makes it understandable why it should be heartwrenching. Thank you for the clarification. When we watched the trailer, it was kind of like, “What is she going on about?” This adds to your real time debate with me (which I agree) that people should read the book first before seeing the movie. I’m sure the book was much better, a tear jerker and in fact got the point across much sooner than what was going on with this couple. And yes The Husband was safe and sound in England, so there is a huge difference there. Maybe the trailer should have revealed a little more plot?

      • Curly Temple of Doom ⋅

        if they had done that then for sure no one would have a reason to go see it. i knew you were talking about dear john as well. i also gagged every time the trailer came on. of course i did the same for lovely bones…

        oh, and 2012 was god awful. if you think the trailer was hokey, try being forced to sit through the whole mess of a movie that lasts 2.5 hours! pure torture.

      • You’re probably right about that. Maybe too much plot would have been a bad thing? Funny you should say that, we were seeing The Lovely Bones which is where we saw the trailer for this one. 2012 Didn’t look appealing to me either, even though I like John Cusack:)

      • Curly Temple of Doom ⋅

        ps-i’m stealing this picture file.

      • Ok, but it was just a random one on google when I typed in “retro sarcasm”. :)

      • Curly Temple of Doom ⋅

        i knew you were talking about the lovely bones too, which is why i had to mention it here. i think the trailer got overplayed, or maybe i just saw more movies than normal during that time period, thus forced to see more trailers. but in any case, i couldn’t stand to see it. “my name is susie salmon…”

      • HA HA HA! Yes that bit did get overplayed…and yes by the end of the movie you knew her name very well :)

  3. Sarah Boo ⋅

    I got that it was about him going to war from the trailer…I’ve never read that book or seen the movie. Oh well.

    I usually don’t want to see disaster movies. I think after the year of Deep Impact and Armageddon (1998), it has gotten way out of hand.

    • Maybe we saw different trailers or my memory is foggy. Hmmm. Either way :) Yeah you’re right, the age of the disaster movie should be over. We already have too many disasters going on in the world to be entertained by them anymore in the theater. The “what if” scenarios the writers create are now kinda starting to come true. (Unless its a plot involving giant robots or whatever.)00

    • Curly Temple of Doom ⋅

      i can’t remember the last (or first for that matter) time that i wanted to see a disaster movie. who needs them? i can’t comprehend why people would be fans of that or the horror film genre…

  4. The UK can be pretty dangerous. Plus, I was working with computers, which at any point could have risen up and tried to destroy me.
    Besides that, we never actually had to go a whole year apart uninterrupted.
    Yet still, I expect thousands of Army wives would have agreed with you. According to the trailer they had only known each other a short time before he goes away. What about couples who have children, or even in some cases expecting more children?
    Either way, I heard someone optioned Nicholas Sparks’ shopping list – now in pre-production, with a Fall 2011 release date – “Groceries”
    Amanda Seyfried plays the cashier, Taylor Lautner plays the young man buying the groceries. They fall in love as she rings him up.

    • So maybe they shouldn’t write movie plots involving giant robots either. (Especially if the computers almost rose up to destroy you.)

      UGH…O.K. even though we didn’t spend a whole year apart, there were times where we would only see each other for one week for almost a whole year. Some of my military friends get a longer ‘leave’ than that within a year. As for the couple in the movie, I don’t necessarily think my military friends or their wives would be empathetic or sympathetic towards them either, especially since most of them have children now! You bring up a valid point. There are so many factors that could figure in to make this movie into other levels of ‘heart wrenching’.

  5. Sarah Boo ⋅

    I read The Lovely Bones and liked it, yet had no desire to see that movie…

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