Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Willfully taking a pass

I'm probably going to love Sing Street.

I ranked John Carney's breakout film, Once, as my #2 movie of 2007. I was sure it was going to be #1 until There Will Be Blood entered the picture. Even Begin Again, his follow-up that was dismissed by some people, made it into my top 20 of 2014 (#19).

Carney's latest, Sing Street, opened here last Thursday, which means right about now is when I'd be planning to see it. I was considering it for tonight, actually.

But I'm not going to. In fact, I'm not going to see it in the theater at all.

Here's why:

The reason my wife and I can never get excited about watching movies together at home is because I've already seen everything that's any good.

This is not me championing my own impeccable taste. It's me acknowledging our similar tastes, and my ability -- especially now that I have this critic card -- to sniff out anything either of us would like to watch, and watch it while it's still in theaters.

The critic card is great in the sense that it allows me to watch movies I want to see in the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen. It's not so great, however, in the sense that my wife and I are left with options like Zoolander 2 and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when trying to find a new release to pop in.

She'll watch Zoolander 2 with me, eventually, but she won't like it.

Financial constaints on a person's viewing can be a helpful thing. I remember that I used to get really excited about the arrival of new releases on video that I had missed when they were in theaters, either because I didn't have the time or I simply didn't have the money. I mean, I always have the money -- I hope I never get to the point where I literally can't afford a movie ticket -- but there are times when you feel like an extra $20 will just hit your wallet too hard.

Of course, movies still do get through. And of course, there are the movies you didn't know were going to be great until you heard about them much later. But even these can be difficult to obtain a buy-in with my wife. Not because she's finicky or anything, but just because she, like most people, values her relaxation time enough to make a good bet on how to spend it, not just to make a leap of faith.

And as 2016 has not been a great year for movies so far, the movies I really want to see -- we both really want to see -- are infrequent enough that it's no trouble for me to prioritize seeing them during their window of theatrical availability. And so I usually do.

Not with Sing Street. I'm going to let it pass. And I'm going to enjoy looking forward to watching it on video in November or December with my wife.

It'll be good for me.

It'll be good for us both.

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