Now anyone who knows me well knows I can petulant at times, and that no other phrase is bound to get an unfavorable response from me like: “Oh my God, Erika—you have GOT to see this film. You’ll LOVE it.”
Maybe it’s the oppositional Gemini in me (okay, so I don’t know that Geminis are oppositional, but I’m going with it) but as soon as someone tells me I have to like something, I kinda, sorta, automatically don’t.
Case in point: when the film American Beauty came out, it was THE movie to see. So, automatically, I had my guard up. Finally, I gave in and I watched it, but within five minutes, I decided I wasn’t going to like it and I didn’t.*
But wait! Lest you think I’m just generally disagreeable, please know that there’s another side to this killjoy coin. As kneejerk as my trepidation is around the “sure thing,” I am equally reflexive when it comes to rooting for the underdog. I can’t help it.
So when The Blair Witch Project came out, I had heard the buzz, and I happened to be one of those folks who’d heard rumblings of the buzz before the buzz even began buzzing. So I was anxious to see it. But I didn’t get around to it, for a long, long time. So long, in fact, that I had to rent it on VHS, and by then, the naysayers were loud. “It’s all hype,” I kept hearing. “It doesn’t deliver. It’s not scary. I won’t be scary on the small screen. I really don’t know what the big deal was.”
So I watched it—and maybe I was just so darned determined to be scared and impressed before the title sequence even rolled, but I was. I thought it was every bit as chilling and creepy and well-done as I believed it would be.
So where am I going with this confession?
Well, it’s very interesting to now be on the other side of the mirror. Now that I am a published author, I have a new perspective on the power of suggestion, and the power of the push. I am so grateful and so eager for good press about my novel—and I know that many, many readers will come to their next book—which might even be mine, if I’m lucky—because of the recommendation of a friend. And let me tell you: I. Love. This.
And the fact of the matter is that when it comes to books, I am all ears with regards to recommendations. Unlike films, I don’t tend to have that knee-jerk reaction. I heard incredible things about Olive Kitteridge. I unabashedly loved Olive Kitteridge. The same with Life of Pi. The Kitchen House. The Perfect Storm. Fight Club.
The list goes on and on.
So, all this said, keep those book recommendations coming, my sweet friends, because I will try to employ every one.
But as for the medium of film and TV…
Well. Let’s just say, after an unofficial poll (aka Twitter and FB feeds) I know I am the ONLY person on the planet who was not sucked into Downton Abbey. And I did try. Really, I did.
*Oh, and as proof of my, ahem, maturity, I did watch American Beauty a second time years later and was able to appreciate what a remarkable film it is. This scene, for example, still gets me.
So how about you all? Can you be petulant about these things, (or am I alone in that too?)