Do you two ever change your minds about a film?
(FILMS FOR TWO response dated January 10, 2002)
Yes. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens often enough. Jan has a low threshold for films that demean women. Therefore, the first time she saw
MASH, she came away snarling. But in the winter of 1974, she found herself in a movie theater in Tel Aviv filled with young Israeli soldiers. Many of them were wounded, on crutches, in wheelchairs, and they were howling with laughter. So Jan thought to herself: “I must be missing something here…” She’s seen
MASH several times since, and she agrees:
MASH is a hoot!
Similarly with BULL
DURHAM, Jan just couldn’t get past the way Susan Sarandon commodified her own sexuality. She also wasn’t especially keen on Kevin Costner at that point. But after sobbing her way through the end of
DANCES WITH WOLVES, she went back & saw
BULL DURHAM again. This time the bruised tenderness in the relationship between Annie and Crash came to the fore. Jan now loves
The most interesting example is VERTIGO. Jan saw it and hated it several times, but, because it had so much critical buzz, she forced herself to see it again when a new print was released to theaters a few years ago. This time she saw some of the artistic merit & allowed herself to say, begrudgingly: “I guess an artist is allowed the integrity of his own personal vision.” Jan will never love
VERTIGO, but she can at least understand now why other people do.
Rich has a cooler personality and walks more level ground. But a recent example is instructive. After seeing
MAN WHO WASN’T THERE, Jan had to convince Rich to post it. He gave in and gave it a rating of “3” (= squeaker). A week later, Rich upped his rating to a “4.” By the time we put together our “Best of 2001 List,” Rich had decided that, for him,
MAN WHO WASN’T THERE was one of the best films of 2001.
The first time he saw GLADIATOR, Rich thought Richard Harris was a joke in the role of Marcus Aurelius. Harris’s performance almost ruined the film for him, even though he thought the opening battle sequence was spectacular. Watching the film a second time, however, Rich realized the film really does become electric whenever Russell Crowe is present. Absent Russell Crowe, however, Rich thinks the film is only OK. (His candidate for Best Picture of 2000 was
Bottomline: We reserve the right to change our minds over time. We urge all of you to do the same. We bet there really were people who thought that some of Mozart’s operas had “too many notes.”