One night last week, Gladiator
was showing on TV. I used to love that movie — in fact, I think
I owned it at one point — but I realized something this time around.
I didn’t want to see the ending, Connie Nielsen
(Speaking of whom, watching Gladiator
did make me wonder what she’s been up to, aside from guesting on Law
and Order: SVU a while back. Turns out, she appears in Battle
in Seattle with Michelle Rodriguez
and Charlize Theron. Yet another reason to try to see that
Then, over the weekend, my girlfriend
rented a few movies. One of them I haven’t exactly avoided, but
haven’t been dying to see: 300. I know, I know, Lena Headey.
Period costume works for her, but somehow I just couldn’t get worked
up about a movie that could realistically be called More Than
300 Really Horrible, Bloody Awful Ways to Die.
So what did this make me realize?
(Besides that my girlfriend really, really loves sword-and-sandal movies?
To the point where we wrestled over the remote?) It’s not the
violence (although I admit the over-the-top spraying blood of BloodRayne
made me queasy. Possibly that was the acting). No,
it’s the fact that sometimes if I know the ending to a movie up front,
I don’t see the point in sitting through it.
Case in point: Titanic.
I had absolutely no desire to see that movie, because everybody knows
that darn iceberg will show up eventually. The rest is just sad.
My mom dragged me out to see it, though, and I was glad in the end,
because it was my first experience with Kate Winslet.
But the thing I realized this weekend
is I’ve had it with sad endings. If I know they’re coming, I’m
quitting when everybody’s happy. A couple of years back, when
I saw Cold Mountain, I stopped the movie after the love scene.
And I never watch Moulin Rouge all the way to the end.
(There are others that don’t star Nicole Kidman, I’m sure,
but those are the big two I know I refuse to finish.)
But everybody has something they refuse
to watch. For my girlfriend, it’s freaky lighting or animated
effects (a by-product of growing up in the ’70s, she says). We
also started Sunshine, a release from last year starring Michelle
Yeoh and Rose Byrne that begins as a relatively clichéd
but watchable sci-fi thriller.
But toward the end, it was my girlfriend’s
turn to switch off the movie, because it reminded her of Event Horizon.
Her take: Both movies have a multiple-personality disorder that turns
decent sci-fi into really bad horror, complete with seizure-inducing
quick-moving red-flashing blood-spewing sexually-depraved flashbacks.
So, what won’t you watch — even if your girlfriend tries to make you?