I just wrote a post, but then I read what andy and alison were talking about on diaryland I had to chime in…

Of course American Beauty is not breaking new ground on the beauty of a paper bag, the inner ugliness of a hot girl, or the shallowness of the suburbs. There are so few new ideas out there, but to me, American Beauty was just fun. It was great movie craftsmanship that made me not care whether the ideas were entirely new. I bought into it, which means I didn’t think it was pretentious. Though if I wasn’t so in love with Kevin Spacey, I probably would have laughed at the paper bag scene too. I didn’t learn anything new, but I did have fun watching.

It’s a fine line that¬†separates the pretentious from the cool. Even though I love Hal Hatley, I thought Henry Fool was pretentious, like it thought it was presenting new ideas that I had thought of long before (I forget exactly what those ideas were now). Same with Pi. With a movie like that, you end up resenting it because you imagine all the people saying, what a concept, and you’re just thinking, duh, and you think about how stupid everyone else is, and that fact that you’ll never be recognized for your superiority because they’ll always think of this movie as having brought to light the ideas you’ve already thought of. It’s like someone getting credit for an invention that you’ve already invented for yourself.

The most annoying example of this for me is “Tuesdays with Morrie,” which was not only incredibly simplistic, but also so laughably easy to write, and it took advantage of a dying man to boot. The idea that this guy made millions off a book that was completely unoriginal, a book that I or millions of others could have easily written, left a bad taste in my mouth. And I couldn’t help but look down on people who liked it.

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