A good movie is more than two hours of entertainment. A good movie takes you on an adventure. It excites you. It pleases you. It makes you cry. It makes you laugh. It makes you want to share the movie experience.
As I child my two best friends lived next door. Kathleen was two years older than I was. David was four years older. One of my earliest memories of them has me (age five or six) recounting scene by scene the story of Paleface, a movie staring Bob Hope. David and Kathleen’s yard was a few feet above our yard, but our plum tree provided shade 123 movies free for their picnic table. Sometimes I scampered up the tree and over into their yard. Sometimes I sat in the plum tree and looked down as we talked. Sometimes we played poker at their picnic table. Invariably we laughed and talked.
I’ve always enjoyed movies, just as I’ve always enjoyed books. They make you think and they make you feel. And both books and movies offer opportunities for sharing your thoughts with others.
I loosely belong to a group called The Cast Club. We meet once each month and watch a movie. We rotate being host. It’s the job of the host to supply popcorn, red vines, M & M’s, and other candies you might find at a movie theatre, along with pop, beer and wine. People start arriving a little after seven in the evening. At about 7:45 pm, the host invites the small audience into their “viewing” room. The host picks the movie, but doesn’t reveal the title until then. The host explains why they chose the movie and then we watch the film. Afterwards everyone is welcome to make comments.
The beauty of this movie experience is that the casual member can’t simply decide they’ve don’t want to see the movie and not attend. Once you’re there (and you can’t be late) you watch the movie. You can voice your opinion when the movie is done.
New ideas are stimulating. Movies become old friends and friends remind me of movies.
In The Cast Club you are welcome to share your favorite movies and they don’t have to be academy award winners. Many well-received productions were new to the members. It’s the sharing of movies and thoughts that makes the evening so special. I’ve even changed my mind about some films after discussion.
With the inexpensive prices of DVDs today it’s easy to lend other people your favorite film. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a DVD than it is to buy a new paperback book. Giving DVDs as presents at birthdays and special occasions is becoming common. But I would never just give a DVD as a present without a little explanation. I still like telling and sharing a story.
When giving a movie to a friend, I enjoy telling them why I like the movie, and what it means to me, or why I think they will enjoy it. If they like the movie, it’s great to know you chose well and that you have common perceptions. If they don’t like the movie, it’s a great conversation starter. “Why didn’t you like it?” You can’t loose.