Watching lousy movies for fun is part of a long tradition of reveling in bad art. Before movies, there were those who enjoyed snarking at overwrought novels, plays, and paintings. I’ll bet back in prehistoric days,there was an early man who looked at a cave wall, and said:
“Grog’s painting of sabertooth attack lack subtlety. So bad…is good! HAHA!” (After which he was clubbed to death, because prehistoric artists not only lacked subtlety, but impulse control as well, due to underdeveloped frontal lobes.)
There are a few ground rules in properly enjoying a bad movie.
1)The movie cannot be self-consciously bad. The more obliviously sincere, the better; schadenfreude being an essential part of the enjoyment.
2) Talk is permitted, in fact, mandatory. But it should be about the movie, not about, say the current political situation.
3) Appropriately bad food must be served. I suggest this, (I’ve mentioned this cheese sauce in a previous post. I assure you, it is terrible for you. Cut down the amount of cornstarch suggested in the recipe, it gets too thick otherwise)
With these rules in mind, my friends and I watched the Cher and Christina Aguilera masterwork, “Burlesque”
Holy Christmas! It was fantastic! Every cliche developed since the beginning of film-making was relentlessly shoe-horned into place, Blonde protagonist, brunette rival, sassy gay sidekick played by Stanley Tucci , jaded mother figure who both inspires and becomes inspired by plucky orphaned heroine! All covered with copious amounts of glitter for that sense of glamour!
In case the viewers ever became uncertain about how to calibrate their emotional response to a scene, there were helpful lighting cues! For example, blue light = sadness! Also, you could tell when a character was coming up with a plan because he or she would make the “thoughtful author pose” You know, this one.
Originally, the plan had been to watch “The Tourist” but that movie was not yet available. Besides, no matter how bad “The Tourist” is, I would be distracted from enjoying the awful because of the elegance and beauty of the clothes.
There is no danger of such distractions with “Burlesque”; pasties and stripper heels have never been my thing.