The Bluffers Guide to Cinema
We at BFF realize that, regrettably, not everyone is like us. Weirdly, there are some people out there who have other things going on in their lives besides Jurassic Park and Meryl Streep. Maybe they have families to go to, or maybe they have actual careers at stake, but either way we don’t understand them. If this is you, and you’re ever at a dinner party with people like us (which is bizarre really, because we never get invited to dinner parties) you’re going to need some conversation fodder. Or maybe you want to be a film reviewer, but you’ve just realised that you have shit opinions. So here’s a handy guide that will hopefully cover both predicaments, and maybe even more.
While this might sound like it won’t work, trust me: you’d be surprised by how far a few choice phrases and practiced speeches can go. When I reviewed albums, I used to get by with “I preferred their earlier stuff.” and “They have a very Montreal-ish sound.”
#1 – Enjoy Period Dramas Ironically
While other godless cretins are out seeing I Don’t Know How She Does It as their guilty pleasure of choice, you’ll be seeing Jane Eyre. With a wan smile you’ll tell everyone that you just loved the book as a child (yeah right, like you read Jane Eyre as a child) and couldn’t forgive yourself for not seeing the latest rendition. (See point 3)
The thing about period dramas is that most of them are equally as stupid as any rom-com, except for some reason they come equipped with intellectual credibility by the virtue of having bonnets. How many dumb bitches do you know whose favourite movie is Sense and Sensibility? Exactly. Enjoy your free pass to RESPECT.
#2 – Old British Actresses
You love them. You can’t get enough of them. Fuck me, they’re great aren’t they? Julie Walters, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith. JUDI DENCH. God. They’re just the best.
This is a good one, because you don’t have to go into any actual detail if you don’t want to. Even if the first time you heard of Maggie Smith was in Harry Potter. It really doesn’t matter. Just roll your eyes in bliss at all those old British actresses. Out there. Somewhere. Existing.
#3 – The book was better than the movie.
Even if there was no book. Even if the plot line was roughly sketched out in poo on the underside of a leaf. It was STILL better than the movie.
This is also something that people won’t bother to check up on. Chances are no-one else has read the book either, but somehow you’re all agreeing that a book that none of you has read is better than the film you just saw. If some fool HAS read the book and wants to talk to you about it, wrinkle your nose and say “Oooh, I can’t remember. I read it YEARS ago.”, thereby re-instating your status as the intellectual alpha male of the group. You read the book before there even WAS a movie.
#4 – Complain about a side character being “underdeveloped”.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Inception? UNDERDEVELOPED. Sebastian in the Little Mermaid? UNDERDEVELOPED.
Reviewers like saying this, mainly because it gives us an excuse not to give a movie five stars when we can’t think of anything that’s really wrong with it. Also good: “It just didn’t GRAB me”
#5 – Cut ugly actors more slack then they deserve
Do we like Laura Linney because she’s a good actress, or because we suspect she doesn’t tan well? Is this the only reason we like her?
If people know that you like ugly actors, they will think that both you and you’re interest in film is very deep. Isn’t Oliver Platt just the best?
#6 – Realise that comic book movies are not all exactly the same
Even when they totally are.
# 7 – Talk about the cinematography as being one of the ‘redeeming features’ of the movie.
Say this when you’ve been complaining about a movie for so long that your argument stops making sense, and suddenly you find yourself huddled in a ball screaming about if you ever have to see Black Swan again, you’ll stab yourself in the face with a nail file. A nice phrase like this can recover people’s faith in your sanity.
# 8 – Clarify at every available opportunity that you liked Early Burton, but not Late Burton
While you’re more than willing to admit that Tim Burton has made some classic films, you believe he has now become an emblem of general douchebaggery. You wish that HelzBoCat would come to her senses and be in good things all the time, not just when Tim Burton is looking the other way.
#9 – Old Movies
Aren’t they just way better then the modern shit we have now? God, don’t you just hate the shit we have now? Do you know what I wish? I wish they dipped Audrey Hepburn in formaldehyde so she could be beautiful and classic and in Breakfast at Tiffany’s forever and ever. And I wish that every Christmas or Birthday present I ever received was in some way related to Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, or Breakfast at fucking Tiffany’s.
#10 – Movies with Subtitles
Because there’s something so rewarding about movies that you have to read, isn’t there?
This is good because it compounds your love of reading with your love of film, and as everyone knows, the one interest more credible then film is books. Great big ruddy books with words in them.