This year, I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm keeping track of every movie I watch.
I've always saved my ticket stubs when I've gone to the theater, but I've never actually written down every movie I've seen in a year. But at the end of 2008 when everyone was blogging about what movies they had seen over the course of the year, I found myself trying to remember, and guessing, and wondering about my movie log. This year, I'll know for sure.
And as I've been keeping track, I've confirmed what I thought last year anyway: while I like to watch new and new-to-me movies, most of my film time is spent revisiting my favorites. Yep. I'm a Rewatcher.
I've started wondering if others fit this pattern as well. Do you find yourself returning to familiar favorites often? Introducing them to friends, or thinking of some quote and then feeling compelled to watch the whole thing? Does some event or circumstance go along with a certain movie for you?
For me, some favorites that get a lot of play include the movie from which I've taken (and modified) my post title. In You've Got Mail, which I tend to watch when autumn comes around (Don't you love New York in the fall?) or anytime it's replayed on TV, Tom Hanks says "I bet you read that book every year" about Pride and Prejudice. (The BBC film version of which I happen to turn to whenever I am really sick, along with Laura.) I also seem to go on a Civil War kick maybe once a year, which leads to reviewing the whole Ken Burns' documentary, often followed by Gone With the Wind, which occasionally leads to the excellent The Making of a Legend. Add to all that the frequent plays of other favorites. And somehow I'm never bored with them.
I know there must be people out there like me, but I'm sure there are other movie watching types as well. Here's a few profiles I've sketched out:
This type is content to watch the same movies over and over again. If the film was great the first time, why wouldn't it be great to watch again? Perhaps this person is comforted by the familiar, viewing favorite movies as old friends. Maybe he or she is delighted to discover new insights or nuances in the films that got worn out in the VCR. (And yes, this person still has a VCR. And doesn't want to re-buy everything on Blu-ray.) Maybe in an unsure world, the Rewatcher is pleased to know that some things always remain the same. This doesn't mean you will never get a Rewatcher to sit through a previously unseen film, but you'll probably have the most success if the new movie features actors he or she already loves. And if the Rewatcher likes the movie, it will quickly be added to the replay queue.
Polar opposite of the Rewatcher, this type thrives on always finding something new to watch. They have no trouble at all picking up a random rental, borrowing from friends, or trusting that anything on TCM is worth adding to the DVR. This type is found waiting in line on opening night, wanting to be the first to see and review anything new. While this doesn't mean that the Explorer has no standards, he or she is probably pretty open-minded, finding something to like in almost any film. This type has a never-ending, out of control Netflix queue, and would usually prefer seeing something fresh, or something not watched in a while, instead of viewing the same favorites month after month.
The Picky Viewer:
Here's someone who doesn't mind waiting to see what the consensus is about a film before watching it. This person doesn't want to waste time on junk. He or she may take a chance on the recommendations of friends, if they haven't been burned by being disappointed in their taste before. Perhaps they rely on Netflix Movies You'll <3, or a critic they tend to agree with, or perhaps they only rely on their own judgment, being able to tell from the previews if a movie is worth their time. And if they don't like a movie? Look out. This type is critical. But that just may be the only pleasure the Picky Viewer can derive from watching a sub-standard film.
The Movie Date:
This is the most passive of movie watchers, content to go along with more opinionated friends and family when choosing movies. This doesn't mean that Movie Dates always like everything, or that they don't have their favorites, but in general they are the quiet ones more easily entertained, happy watching whatever as long as everyone else is happy.
What do you think, do you fit into one of these categories? Or are you a hybrid of the above, or perhaps in a category I didn't come up with yet?
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