There are so many films that are cultural touchstones that everyone assumes everyone has seen them. Some add so much to the popular vocabulary, you feel like you know them, regardless of whether you watched them or not. Some clips are repeated on TV or in other movies so much you can get the context and reasonably quote them, whether you actually know what you are doing or not.
These are the films that are probably great and would enrich my life, but by now, I know I’m simply never going to take the time to see them:
- Dirty Dancing – I know Baby shouldn’t BE in a corner, but I don’t know how she got in the corner, and the train has left the station on me caring.
- Goonies – As much as I love the Cyndi Lauper theme song, if I didn’t care in the 80s, I don’t see how I would care now that I am three decades more cynical.
- True Romance – Apparently the best movie ever made with amazing quotes. However, I have the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy for quotes.
- Point Break – I swear I have nothing against Patrick Swayze movies. This never appealed even though you’d think surfer secret agents would be a thing I like. Maybe if it had speedos and/or an Annette Funicello soundtrack …
- Schindler’s List – There is a whole category of films that are life-affirming, but lead up to the affirmation through horrific suffering. I support the message and know a lot of people SHOULD see these films, but underneath my cold, dead heart, I’m pretty sensitive squeamish. (See also, 12 Years A Slave, Room …)
- Titanic – If I fell asleep during Avatar and that had blue aliens, what on Earth would keep me awake watching this? Spoiler alert – the ship sinks.
- Breakfast At Tiffany’s – This may lose me my gay card, but … meh. I’m sure it’s awesome, I simply don’t feel any desire to see it.
- Saving Private Ryan – A friend made me watch the first 10 minutes. More than enough. Yet, I loved Platoon – though I was younger and could watch people shooting people.
- O Brother Where Art Thou? – I love the Coen Bros. but nothing ever made me feel this was a must-see.
- Milk – Sean Penn! James Franco! Kissing! I am a bad gay, but real life upsets me enough. I don’t like it in my movies.
Honorable Mention: It’s A Wonderful Life – Friends forced me to watch this about ten years ago. It was fine. Not an angel, don’t care about bells, haven’t seen it since.
There you go. I know one should never say “never,” and people will say “BUT you HAVE to see this one!” But as Gollum says: