I give up.
I figured at first that your gasps and groans were due to the hideous delivery, or maybe you were just as frightened of Topher Grace’s mini-dreaded hair as I was. I thought perhaps like us, you had read the script beforehand and was shocked at how this film ruined even the simplest of jokes. Maybe, like me, you were slightly bitter because you had pitched the director one of your projects a couple of years ago and he turned it down… to make this.
But you weren’t gasping and moaning when I was. You weren’t laughing at the fact that they made Kate Bosworth wear a blue contact lens for some of her close-ups so her eyes matched. You never, as I did, felt the need to lift an armrest and rest your weary head on your boyfriend’s lap.
You were, instead, completely swept up in the film. And then, when it was coming to the most predictable ending, you wept.
You were sniffing and wiping your eyes and shuddering with emotion. I watched you look at each other, hopeful that you’ll be the girls with the guys someday. Wishing for a boy like that. You loved Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!.
You didn’t question the hot fashion sense of West Virginia small-town locals. You didn’t wonder why the girl was always so impeccably made up. It didn’t bother you that Topher gave the exact same line delivery for pages upon pages of lines, until you wondered why nobody hadn’t beat the shit out of him years ago for being such an asshole. You didn’t hate the fact that you were watching a train run through the town while listening to a song about a train running through a town. You never questioned any of it. You, in fact, embraced it.
Is it because you use films purely as an escape, and hate it when a movie wants you to feel anything other than mindless “romance”? Because if that’s the case, then I’m even more upset. I know that moving out here I took a certain enjoyment out of movie-watching for the rest of my life. It’s been that way with television for years now. I don’t just go to the movies to see a movie. In fact, like yesterday, many times I’m seeing a film simply to say I’ve seen it so when I’m asked about it in a meeting I can talk about it intelligently, even if the only thing intelligent about the movie is the conversation I can have about why it sucked so hard. This movie that you wept ceaselessly over is somehow less endearing than Along Came Polly, a film with shit jokes as a co-star.
And this upsets me because I am trying to write films that will get made, and films that you will want to see and I cannot understand you. Sure I can embrace a ridiculous movie like Dirty Dancing Havana Nights or Honey or whatever. But I don’t lose myself in the story and tell all my friends that it was “cute.” I have never recommended a film as “cute.” I think that’s such an offensive term. So what is it that you want from the movies I write? Do you not want any complications? Do you prefer the jokes to be predictable? Is it that you don’t want to ever be reminded of your own life? At what point do you find it endearing and not offensive that these movies treat you with less mental agility than Sesame Street treats children?
Regardless, yesterday I made the decision to not care about you anymore. Those of you willing to lower your standards to cry over the ending of Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! are not my target demographic. I do not want to write for you. I don’t want to try and figure you out anymore. Because you make me sad. It feels like you’ve given up on life, and will just plunk down and emote over any talky at the picture show.
I’m not even mad at you. I’m just going to pretend you don’t exist. And if I ever do get a movie made and you come see it and it ends up being a movie you weep over and then call “cute,” I’ve failed. I’ve failed you. I apologize in advance for possibly entertaining you some day. I’m trying to figure all of this out, and it seems like people really want to make movies for people just like you. I’d try and wrap this up with something sarcastic, but I know you like it best when people say exactly what they feel in the most predictable way. I know you prefer some kind of song here about a girl typing a letter to two women who cried at the end of a movie.
I guess I should apologize for being so loud about my confusion over your tears. The dagger eyes you both shot me when the film was over read loud and clear. I’m sorry I buzz-killed your mind-numbing ecstacy.
I swear I only had your best interests in mind. But no longer. You’re dead to me, weepy girlie ladies.
- Debt Free By 30: Practical Advice for the Young, Broke and Upwardly Mobile, by Jason Anthony and Karl Cluck. My W-2’s are coming back. I sure didn’t make a lot of money last year.