Turn the Dang Movie Off

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As a general rule, I like to finish a movie once I’ve started it–even if it’s bad. Even if I hate it.

I’ve sat through countless films from beginning to end, desperate for the final credits to roll. But no matter how bad it got, I’d stick through it because it somehow seemed wrong to just leave a story in the middle. After all, people had put time and effort into creating this film. People were proud of this. Couldn’t I at least muster up the strength to power through just forty-five more minutes?

While I was home this weekend, I found myself (as I often do) staying up late and turning to Netflix and our On Demand Channels to provide me with a movie or television show. (I’d like to note that I probably spend more time browsing through movies on Netflix than I actually spend watching movies on Netflix).

I finally settled on Capote, a biographical film about Truman Capote starring the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I’d heard a lot about the film and my friend worships all of Hoffman’s work so I figured that I’d enjoy it.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good film. The cinematography is gorgeous and the acting is excellent. In fact, Hoffman won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Capote and the film was nominated for Best Picture.

Great acting? Beautiful to look at? Compelling story? Check check check. So far, all signs point to me loving this movie.

But here’s the thing. I just didn’t like it.

If you were to ask me, I couldn’t point to an exact reason. Maybe it was the pacing. Maybe it was the story. Maybe it was the mood I was in. But it doesn’t really matter because nothing changes the fact that I didn’t enjoy watching the film.

I made it about 30 minutes until the film before I finally gave up and shut it off. I won’t lie–I felt a bit guilty about it at first. Did this mean I had no taste in movies? Why couldn’t I enjoy this? Was this just too high brow for me?

And then I realized something. So what? So what if I didn’t like it? I don’t have to. There’s no law that tells me that I have to enjoy and finish every film that I turn on. Why should I follow through on something that doesn’t make me happy?

Sometimes you have to do things for yourself, even if it means going against what others want or think is right. Why should you spend precious time out of your life doing something that you’re just honestly not feeling? Of course, I don’t mean to say that we should just stop doing everything that doesn’t put us over the moon because many necessary things are less than pleasant. But I think there are certain things that there’s just no use wasting your time on.

For example, if you don’t want to watch Capote because you don’t like it then turn the dang movie off.

So I did. I turned it off and watched The Hunger Games for roughly the billionth time. Because guess what? It made me happy, and that’s what’s important.