THE SETTING: A SMALL HOME SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA.
Joe returns home after a hard day at work where he found out he would be taking a pay cut and taking over the duties of five other employees who have been laid off.
JOE: Hi, honey. I'm home.
MARGARET: You look terrible. Bad day?
MARGARET: Why don't we get a babysitter. Let's go out. You'll feel better. Let's see a movie!
JOE: A movie? Wow. Sure. Anything good out there?
MARGARET: There's one I think you'll enjoy. It's about this husband and wife who argue all the time. He's had an affair so she gets mad and has one, too. Then they fight some more. Then she gives herself an abortion. Then she dies.
JOE: Yay! Sounds fun!
And now, the unusual rant:
One of the benefits of being in no less than five entertainment unions (yes, five - all with yummy union dues) is that I'm usually sent a slew of DVDs during awards season. Some of these movies have not even been released yet. The studios hope that after watching, writers like me will vote for their movies for best screenplay in the WGA awards. My wife and I always look forward to getting these DVDs. They arrive in an envelope making you promise not to loan, sell, upload, or view with anyone else. It's all very exciting and intimidating.
This year, I figured out another reason why they send us movies on DVD. BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY MOST PEOPLE WOULD EVER GO SEE THEM WILLINGLY.
This year the majority of movies that arrived at our home were major bummers. I'm talking, DEPRESSING. And pretentious. It's as if Hollywood has collectively agreed that it's too difficult to entertain us and much easier to make us want to kill ourselves. (Or in the case of Benjamin Button - bore us to death, but to be so clever at doing this that we think we're actually coming down with the flu.)
Strangely enough, by all standards, Tropic Thunder was the best movie I've seen all year. It was silly, well-acted, dumb and made me laugh. A lot. Shockingly, it made my wife laugh, too (but she won't admit it.) Bottom line: it was a MOVIE. It wasn't a great movie, but it did what movies are supposed to do: ENTERTAIN.
For the first time I can remember, I didn't watch the Academy Awards. Understand, I love the Academy Awards! But, come on? Who cares? Seriously. Let's be truthful. Who cares anymore? Why would I want to see Bill Maher berate me for believing in God. Nah. I got better things to do.
Listen up, Hollywood. I'm may be a nobody, but I think I'm right about this. Unless you start making entertaining movies, people will spend all their time on Facebook. It's free.