Film Buffs vs. Movie Lovers: Can the Intellectually Elite Appreciate what the Rabble Conjure?

It’s that movie with Brendan Fraser where he lived in a bunker all his life, versus The Piano–which will come out on top?

The Piano, definitely.

The Piano, definitely.

I’m tired of being spat on by my friends who do not enjoy movies and think I’m being stupid when I do.

I’m tired of being spat on by my friends who do not enjoy films, and think I’m being snooty when I do.

Okay, my friends don’t actually spit on me. Not on purpose, anyway. I think.

I’m sure you know the difference between a movie and a film. Movies are entertaining, but they don’t typically stand up to a lot of analysis. Films, on the other hand, stand up to analysis from a variety of angles and yield more juicy artistic this-and-that’s every time we watch them. Sometimes we can’t even enjoy a film without actively engaging seven different parts of our brains. And sometimes that’s amazing. But sometimes we just want to turn our brains off and watch Brendan Fraser swing around on a vine and say funny things to talking animals.

Because he flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

Because he flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

I like both. (Movies and films, I mean. Not Brendan Fraser and talking animals.)

Confused? Okay, look at this list:


  • Braveheart — movie
  • The Seven Samurai — film
  • Black Swan — film
  • The Green Hornet — movie
  • The English Patient — film
  • Forrest Gump — depends on what mood I’m in
  • Anything Leonardo DiCaprio does — film
  • Anything Natalie Portman does — film
  • Except for Your Highness, which was an awesome movie.


We are many, not few–we lovers of the sacred and the profane. The artistic and the unoriginal. The Seven Samurai and The Mummy. (Go Brendan Fraser!) Our appreciation for the most banal and beautiful of human creations doesn’t end on the screen, though. No, we also love the Beatles–both the early and the later stuff. We like Mozart’s country dances and Queen of the Night, but we also like that one song by Justin Bieber (you know the one), and when Justin Timberlake brings sexy back, we just gotta get down.

Do not overanalyze where sexy went. Simply rejoice that it has finally returned. We have waited so long . . . oh, so long.

“Oh,” say our intellectual hipster friends, “I cannot stand Twilight. The way it glorifies abusive relationships to young girls. And the writing is terrible! The movies are worse. Kristen Stewart cannot act and Robert Pattinson isn’t good-looking.”

But we don’t care about Twilight’s flaws. We love it for everything it is, and do not stress about what it is not, or the potential effects on generations of young girls, or the ramifications for society’s values, or the future of literature as an expressive art. And yes, Robert Pattinson is pretty good-looking.

And his hair actually looks pretty good here.

His hair actually looks nice here, too.

And it just may be that we’ve found the secret to enjoying the moment no matter what we’re faced with. I certainly feel happier when I’m appreciating something than when I’m making a detailed outline of why it sucks. Making a “this sucks” outline makes me feel superior, but feeling superior makes me look down on people, and that makes me feel like a dick, and then I don’t feel so good anymore. Feeling superior doesn’t foster a sense of connection to other people or the world in general.

And isn’t that kind of the point of art and entertainment? To make you feel that stuff? To connect you with other people and make you feel good?

That said, we don’t indulge in the banal and simply claim to enjoy the ecstatic–know what I mean, kids? We take the time to develop real appreciation for the artsy films. For good wine. For Bach. We read Moby Dick from cover to cover, slowly, several times. Why? High art (to use a value judgment–so sue me) transports us. It requires more attention, and develops us in different ways. It enriches us as human beings, and deepens the level to which we can see into life as it happens all around us.

What do you think? Do you think that if we get to a certain level of intellectual development, we really can no longer enjoy things that don’t meet high artistic standards? Or can we still enjoy our time among the rabble?


L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites.

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