I am always on the lookout for a good movie to watch, and I'm not a difficult person to please, either. I enjoy all genres and I can usually find at least one thing I like about something.
For nearly two and a half years, I've been running a movie review blog. Watching movies, sharing my thoughts on them, and even interacting with other fans from around the world has been my refuge from the tedium of every day life for a good chunk of my college career.
Still, as much as I love what I do, the internet is crawling with know-it-alls who act like they are the foremost authority on all things movie related. You know, the movie snobs.
In my college film studies textbook, the author of one of the essays literally stops mid-sentence to brag about how he studied every frame of Citizen Kane, so there is no doubt in my mind that people like this exist in real life.
Fortunately, almost all of the movie buffs I've met in real life are not uppity or pretentious at all. They're opinionated, sure, but they're fairly civil and open to genuine conversation. They won't tell you to go hang yourself if you haven't seen something old/foreign/classic or have an unpopular opinion.
The pretentious anti-mainstream snob crowd ruins a fun experience for everyone, turning it into some grueling competition with the most rigid of rules.
Sure, film is an art form and there is room for scholarly analysis, but most of the time, people just want to sit back and watch a movie, and that isn't a sin.
Here are 11 common film snob grievances that need to stop so that we all can watch movies in peace.
1) "It's FILM, not MOVIE."
Wrong. I've heard even the most seasoned of film gurus use the word "movie," and I've heard them use it interchangeably with "film." They've never insisted on using "film" exclusively, and neither should you.
2) "I've seen [insert some esteemed title here.]"
Good for you. So have other people.
3) "You've never seen [title?] You swine."
Maybe I've never heard of it, maybe I've wanted to see it for some time but never got the opportunity, or maybe it just doesn't interest me. Regardless, shaming someone for not seeing some essential film is unnecessary. I'll get around to it. I swear.
4) "You like/don't like [title?] You're not a REAL fan."
Yes, I think Boyhood is extremely overrated and boring. Yes, I also love Legally Blonde and watch it every time it's on TBS. No, that doesn't mean I'm unenlightened and your cinematic refereeing isn't going to change my opinions.
6) "Today's movies are rubbish! I only watch films from the good old days."
Bruh, you're in your late 20s. The "good old days" for you were in 1998.
6) Referring to foreign films strictly by their foreign titles.
Dude, relax. You're allowed call it Downfall. Calling it Der Untergang when the rest of your sentence is in English (and you otherwise don't speak German) will not boost your indie street cred. It'll only make you sound like a self-serving jackass.
7) Peppering your sentences with scholarly film lingo.
Ladies, if you're on at the movies and your date unironically uses words like "mise-en-scène," "Lynchian," or "neo-surrealism" in describing the movie you just watched, RUN FAR FAR AWAY.
8) "This indie movie is popular, now it sucks."
It's a vicious cycle. The Little Movie That Could is a huge hit at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto and garners major awards buzz. Once it's released, the whole general public has seen it, and it wins awards, however? Overrated crap! What, once us filthy peasants see one of your sacred art films, it's garbage? Get over yourself.
9) "If it's a blockbuster, it automatically sucks."
Wow. You must be so much fun at parties.
10) "Roger Ebert gave it zero stars, therefore it sucks."
And your point is?
Okay. I realize that this may be hypocritical of me, because I write my own movie reviews from time to time. But as much as I enjoy it, I acknowledge that my reviews -- or anyone else's for that matter -- are not gospel truth. Nor should they be
11) Overanalyzing for symbolism or hidden meanings that aren't there.
You can't just sit back and enjoy a movie, can you? It's one thing when The Lion King is a definitive retelling of Hamlet, but if you're trying to connect the dots between The Lego Movie and Apartheid... you're wasting your time.
12) "You're too stupid to understand [title]. Stick to Michael Bay."
No further elaboration necessary.
That's all! If there are any I missed, or if you've ever encountered any of these sugar lumps yourself, sound off in the comments.
May your movie going experiences be harmonious, and may every movie buff you encounter be non-competitive, easy-going and friendly.