My cousin Kristine used to be obsessed with Tom Hanks. As a kid, I didn’t get it. I had crushes on Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Rick Moranis. You don’t see what those three have in common? Charm, folks. Come on now!
It took me years to really understand that movies were about more than the cute boys and dance party scenes. Movies are really about amazing stories that move us to tears and challenge our ways of thinking. They make us happy, sad, unsettled, and frustrated. Movies are a form of art that help us make meaning of our existence.
My view of movies may be a tad idealistic. I’m starting to realize that some movies have absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Horror movies, for example, have no value. I know, I know. The macabre is fascinating. But real, what about 90s horror films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream? The only purpose of those movies was to keep teenagers from doing drugs and getting pregnant. And though it may have worked for smarty pants like me, statistics show that those films didn’t keep the kids from my high school out of trouble.
Fortunately, there are many films and many actors who play in amazing films. When Tom Hanks played in Castaway for example, he showed the raw reality of what a person would go through living completely on his own for several years. I, for one, would probably shrivel up and burn my skin so badly before throwing myself to the fish. Even in Sleepless in Seattle, his performance brought romance back to thousands of marriages across the nation. There is one of his films, however, that leaves something to be desired. Joe vs. the Volcano is a film with absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Even I, a woman who can make meaning out of paper found in the recycling bin, have trouble making any sense of this Warner Brothers disaster. The Burbs has more to say about life than Joe’s brain cloud disaster. I had my Eureka moment about The Burbs just yesterday and I texted my brother-in-law to share: “After watching The Burbs for the 50th time, I’ve figured out the moral of the story: paranoia and judgment of one’s strange neighbors is always legit AND anyone with a basement should be put under surveillance.” He totally agreed with me. One can’t miss out the brilliance of classic Hanks. But the brain cloud nonsense and the big fake out about death and jumping into a volcano… Did I really just spend an hour and forty minutes of my life watching that… again? I did. For some reason, even though I know it is a terrible movie, I’ve watched it several times. I don’t know if it’s the pure ridiculousness than reels me in or if it’s the fact that they ride a raft next to a giant moon, but time after time, I borrow my parents’ old VHS and throw it in my VCR for another round.
There’s definitely more to life than this. I’m just going to have to get rid of my own brain cloud to figure it out…
Tata for now.