And when I say “just don’t get” I mean you don’t understand what the big fucking deal is? You know the sort I’m talking about: Everyone you know has seen it and thinks it’s the most incredible/deeply philosophical/emotionally moving/amazingly subtle story they’ve ever seen. Then you watch it and all you can manage at the end of it is a great big “meh.” Or worse, a “what the fuck was THAT supposed to be about?”
I’m asking because I have a number of movies that fall into that category and I was reminded of it by a tweet from Godless Girl about The Big Lebowski in which she announced that she’s watching it for the first time ever. I saw it quite some time ago. Hell, I’ve watched it more than once because every time I do I still don’t get it. Apparently I’m not entirely alone as the movie flopped domestically when it was released, but since then it has become a cult classic spawning Lebowski Fests in various cities starting back in 2002. We all know someone who thinks it’s the most amazing movie ever and quoting The Dude is practically a compulsion among those sorts of people. I don’t think my inability to grasp it’s supposed wonderfulness is because it’s a Coen Brothers film as I loved Fargo which they also did. It’s also not an issue of not being able to follow the plot as multiple viewings have made it quite clear. I just don’t understand its appeal.
Another movie that I just don’t get is Pulp Fiction. In part I think that’s because the first time I saw the trailer for it it confused me and I thought the movie had two versions of John Travolta in it. The scene where they confront the young adults who had the briefcase had a guy in it that, in the quick edits of the trailer, I thought was a younger John Travolta who appeared to be being threatened by an older John Travolta and it confused the shit out of me. I mean it didn’t look like a science fiction movie so where’d the time travel come from? Of course it wasn’t a younger Travolta I was seeing, but that misconception didn’t help when I finally did see it. Then the non-linear nature of the story telling didn’t help with the comprehension either. I still can’t tell you what the hell it was supposed to be about.
Unlike TBL, Pulp Fiction was critically acclaimed and every time I tell someone that I don’t get it they look at me like I just said I don’t understand how to tie my own shoes. Again there are plenty of other films by Tarantino that I’ve enjoyed immensely and had no problem understanding the appeal, but PF just leaves me scratching my head. The one issue of endless speculation among fans is what was the glowing thing in the brief case. Personally, I couldn’t care less what the hell it was supposed to be and, according to Tarantino, it was simply a plot device and wasn’t ever meant to be anything in particular.
So how about you? What popular or cult movies do you just not get? I can’t be the only one who has a few head scratchers in his past.