Looker has a post that nicely evokes the crushing, poignant moment when you realize the movie you are watching wasn't worth the effort it took to get to the theater. At this point, the question becomes: To walk, or not to walk?
The Siren almost never walks, which may prove she's an optimist after all. Or it may prove she's an indolent little thing at heart. Maybe both. It definitely proves I'm stingy with film dollars and plan carefully before I go to the cineplex. I can recall only three movies I ever walked out on. All of them were in the days when I'd see four or five movies a week, and so could afford to view a few stinkers.
The Moon in the Gutter. The music swelled, and for the third time, Nastassia Kinski turned around with one tear rolling down her face. The Siren said to her companion, "I don't have time for this," and went out into the East Village night to grab a drink, a decision she's never regretted.
Once Upon a Time in America. The Siren knows there are many cinephiles who admire this one. Well, I did not like it, Sam I am. Here's the point where I walked: Robert DeNiro rapes the girl of his dreams, Elizabeth McGovern, in the back of his limo after a party. He gets out of the limo, the chaffeur drives McGovern home, he's alone on the beach, the violins sigh ... and I realized that Sergio Leone wanted me to feel sorry for this guy.
Rather than comply, I left.
(Years later some people tried to tell me that I had seen the first-release butchered version, and really I needed to see the uncut version. So instead of 140 minutes of linear structure, misogyny and straining for the The Godfather's profundity, I'd get 226 minutes of flashbacks, misogyny and straining for The Godfather's profundity. I think I was better off the first time.)
One of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. My tenderhearted, well-mannered roommate had an unaccountable love for slasher movies and I went thinking it would be some kind of a campy diversion. I have blanked out whatever it was that made me leave, but I told him I was going home and I did. After that we stuck to attending the middle-to-highbrow stuff together and he took dates to the slasher movies.
That's it, near as I can remember. I don't think the time I stomped out of the living room while some relatives were watching Jackass counts. (God I hated that movie. It wasn't enough that I wasn't watching. The idea that anyone, anywhere, let alone in the same house, was watching it was well-nigh unbearable to me.) It's certainly much easier to turn off a DVD player than to walk out of a movie. There are a few I wish I had walked out on, including Broken Arrow and Baise-Moi.
So the Siren asks her patient audience: ever walked out on a film? what was it? Anything you should have walked out on, but didn't?