Criticizing Films, Not Fans

I didn’t care for Wonder Woman. I liked a few scenes in it, but I found most of it to be just okay. When I told that to a friend of mine a little while back, he got mad, as though I had insulted a loved one of his. He really took my words personally. I didn’t intend to insult him, but that’s how he took it.

Sometimes people take umbrage at the thought of someone disliking something they love. They seem to think that when someone criticizes a film, they are also criticizing anyone who likes that film.

For example, take a look at this Angry Video Game Nerd video. He’s simply pointing out 10 popular films that he doesn’t like as much as everyone else. It doesn’t mean he hates them, but he simply doesn’t understand why they are praised as much as they are. Some of the films include The Godfather Part II and The Dark Knight.

For the first three minutes of the video, James Rolfe goes out of his way to assure people he’s not trying to be inflammatory by sharing his opinions, and he even says that fans of the films he includes on his list should take it as a compliment because he acknowledges their popularity. It’s ironic to hear a man billed as the Angry Video Game Nerd say that it’s never his intention to make anyone angry, but I take him at his word. The point is, he’s just sharing his opinions and he understands that simply doing that can upset quite a few people.

What’s the solution to this problem? Should we always begin film discussions by saying that our critique of something we don’t like doesn’t reflect poorly on our opinion of people who do like it? I don’t think that’s practical. A better solution is for all of us to roll with the punches and talk it out.

I try to reserve judgment when someone shares something with me that they hold dear. After all, my wife is the one who brought my attention to Pride and Prejudice, and I’ve loved it ever since. I never would have read it if I hadn’t been willing to put my personal prejudices aside and see if it was actually worth reading. On the flip side, I also try to keep an open mind when someone points out flaws in pieces of entertainment that I love. I once heard someone criticize Speed as a one-trick pony that is never as good once you know the film’s secret. I had to admit he was kind of right, but that still doesn’t stop me from enjoying every bit of it.

So whether you loved Wonder Woman or not, I hope you don’t take anyone else’s opinion of it personally. I try to always offer reasonable justifications for why I like or dislike films so I won’t come across as contrarian or mean-spirited. So if I ever say something negative about a film you love, feel free to call me out about it. But remember, it’s nothing personal.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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