Sunday, December 5, 2010

Different Tastes

We've set up our Netflix account to receive three DVDs at a time. Typically we arrange our queue to receive one movie for me, one for my wife, and one for both of us or for the entire family. Since my wife's movie choices rarely interest me, and vice versa, we often find ourselves in separate rooms of the house (her in the living room and me in the office) watching totally different films. Usually she's watching some sort of semi-current romantic comedy and I'm watching an off the wall sci-fi movie made fifty years ago. The sad thing is that my wife is often disappointed by the movie she chose while I have a blast.

Just over a week ago Mrs. Atomic Spud started watching Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008). I believe the plot of Miss Pettigrew involves some British governess who gets fired and finds a new job as the secretary of an American actress, blah, blah, blah. I decided to spend my time on something good instead, so I watched Creature with the Atom Brain (1955) in the office. My movie, having significantly more radioactive zombies than my wife's, was therefore the superior film. At about the halfway point the wife realized she had little tolerance for Miss Pettigrew and turned it off. One advantage of Netflix is that you pay a monthly fee so you don't feel like you've wasted too much money when you just don't like a film.

Tonight Mrs. A-Spud watched Failure to Launch (2006). Contrary to the title, the movie doesn't involve a ship or a rocket or anything else that is actually launched. Like Miss Pettigrew, it's yet another chick flick with an almost completely non-descriptive title that some filmmaker thought would be clever. Anyway, Failure is apparently about an overgrown child who lives with his parents. The parents eventually hire an "interventionist" to try to get him to go out on his own. Per the formula, the two fall in love, etc. In other words, it's another movie whose plot description translates to "blah, blah, blah" for me. I, on the other hand, watched another piece of fine cinema; i.e., The Brain that Wouldn't Die (a.k.a. The Head that Wouldn't Die) (1962). The wife got through all of Failure, but she didn't much care for it. In contrast, I got pretty much what I asked for; a psychic head that wouldn't die, mad science gone wrong, a corrupted scientist's desperate search for a suitable replacement for the head's ruined body, as much gore as you could get away with in a film made in the 1950s (but not released until the early '60s), etc.

I'm not sure I entirely understand my wife; she keeps giving chick flicks a chance despite being disappointed much of the time. Maybe it's to compensate for the fact that many of the movies she actually enjoys have more violence, spaceships, aliens, monsters, robots, magic, or superheroes than the films that women are supposed to like. Unfortunately, I just can't get her into any of the older and more arcane films that I like so much. If I could then maybe she would dump movies like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day from our Netflix queue and replace them with something good like Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.

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