Do You Have Any Good Movies?

A few years ago, for my job, I used to spend most of my days filling Redbox machines with DVDs, I got asked all the time if I have seen this movie or that one or what my opinion is of such and such. People were often shocked if I revealed to them that I’d probably seen less than five of the hundreds of movies contained in any given machine. They could not fathom that since I can watch them for free I wouldn’t automatically watch every one.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love movies. After watching a good movie I can think about it for days afterward and the best ones affect me deeply – even change me. Perhaps that is why I am so selective in which movies I watch. Just because someone decides to put something on a DVD doesn’t mean I have to watch it. I am continually amazed by the people who admit to me that they watch everything that comes out each week. First of all, who has time for that? And second, if watching what we eat is good for your body, perhaps being selective on what you watch is healthy for the mind.

The most common thing I get asked though – often before people say “hello” or I even realize that they are standing impatiently behind me is “Got any good movies?”. Now, I definitely have very strong opinions of what a “good” movie is and most of the time if I was honest with people I would probably say “No” – because I am that picky. But I learned early on that most people don’t actually care what I think and assume that just because they love low budget slasher movies (or cheesy romances or gross out comedies), that everyone else probably does too. So I have no idea what they mean, when they ask for a “good movie”. I face a dilemma: Do I tell them my honest opinion (and risk insulting them), do I try to guess what kind of movies I think they would like (I’ve found this nearly impossible to do correctly), or do I just name off the biggest movies I am putting in and hope that satisfies them.

Usually the last option works the best, but not always. Case in point: One day a tough looking guy asked me “Any good ones?”. I replied, “Depends on what you consider good…” Usually that prompts them to define “good ones” by saying something like “Oh anything with lots of explosions and car chases”. But this guy just stood there – not giving me any more clues. So after a while I just started naming off the more popular movies, but the titles didn’t seem to make any impact on him. He continued looking stoic. So I started explaining the movies a little bit, “Well, this one has Russell Crowe in it and it is suspenseful”, etc.

Still no response.

Finally, in desperation I read every movie title to him including “Dora the Explorer”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, and “Free Willy 3″. Suddenly, his face lit up. “Free Willy!?! Do you have that one? I’ve heard that is really good!”

So do I have any good movies? Absolutely. Every movie is a good movie to somebody out there. Just don’t expect me to have watched it.

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