Re-EXPeriencing My Love of [All] Movies

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Two weeks ago the Republican National Convention ended, and I needed a distraction from reality. After looking through my collection of movies I’ve seen a million times, I turned on Netflix to find something else. Criminal Minds didn’t seem appealing; neither did Fixer Upper. So I turned to the movie section and found that two of this year’s Oscar-winners had been added: The Big Short and Spotlight. Thursday night I watched The Big Short and Saturday afternoon I watched Spotlight. Neither ended up being very distracting from reality. Spoiler alert: they’re both based on true stories and kind of depressing. But they were both excellent and very deserving of their golden statues.

That’s not what I’m writing about today, though.

I enjoyed watching both movies because they were good. But what I enjoyed more was that they reconnected me with my love for movies—all movies.

Once upon a time, I went to the movies almost every weekend. If there was a new movie coming out that I wanted to see, I saw it. That was when the only thing I needed to spend my money on was fun things because I was a teenager and had no bills. Nowadays, I have to choose my movies more judiciously. And because I almost always go to the movies with my husband Terry, we go to something we both want to see bad enough to spend the money on. That means we almost exclusively see superhero/sci-fi/action/adventure movies.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, X-Men, you name it. I will gladly go see a movie with 100-foot-tall monsters destroying cities. But just as I don’t want to exclusively read books about wizards and dragons, I don’t exclusively want to watch movies with those things, either.

Watching The Big Short and Spotlight last weekend reminded me of two things: I can watch whatever movies I’m interested in, and I can do it by myself.

I have gone to the movies alone before. I saw Mad Max: Fury Road by myself just last year because Terry didn’t want to go with me. But that translates to home, too. I can turn on a movie I haven’t seen when Terry goes to bed and enjoy some me-time and excellent visual storytelling. I can get a Redbox DVD and see something new that isn’t on Netflix whenever I want. And it doesn’t have to be something that Terry wants to watch with me. We don’t like all the same books, music, or food. Why should like all the same movies?

In case you need the reminder like I did, remember to take time for yourself, especially in this contentious election season. Watch a new movie you’ve been wanting to see, just for fun, and just because you want to. It’s a worthwhile two hours.

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