Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Secret Pleasure of Not Watching Catwoman

Chris Meadows has a great blog essay on an under-appreciated human pleasure. Citing the Wodehouse story, “The Secret Pleasures of Reginald” (online in A Wodehouse Miscellany), he comments, “It’s one of Wodehouse’s funnier short works, and I find it perfectly captures the spirit in which to consider rotten movies such as Catwoman—the great degree of pleasure one can derive from reading the reviews and then not going.” Mr. Meadows continues with a pleasant rant on the need for Hollywood to mess with perfectly good stories. “You’d think that Hollywood types would have learned by now not to mess around with the goose or it’ll stop laying golden eggs. Why make a movie about an established character or concept, ostensibly to attract people who like that character or concept—and then change it beyond all recognition?” He suggests ego. It’s certainly that—embodied in a failure of craftsmanship to respect the materials, let alone the audience. Or it could come down again to the ever-tempting call of propaganda.

I have friends who enjoy the self-righteous anger you can generate by watching really bad movies. I think I’d choose this type of pleasure. Anyone for not watching the new Exorcist prequel?

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