Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man is one of my exploding heart movies.
I always enjoyed Spider-Man. I contend that it is the most fun superhero movie ever made. But I usually stopped thinking about it past that point. However, something changed this most recent re-watch. I was watching the movie on an airplane and noticed I was having a deeply affecting emotional experience. Now I love Spider-Man. How did this happen?
Spider-Man is a movie I love because it nails the sensibility many people in their late teens and early twenties have that something is missing but we don’t know what that something is. As explicitly stated in dialogue, it’s a movie about figuring out what type of person you are going to become as an adult. In Spider-Man, I can identify with not just Peter, but also Harry and Mary Jane. They all want more and are awkwardly becoming adults. I passively had this reading when I first saw the movie but now it’s all I can think about.
While I was watching the movie it made me think back to who I was at the time the movie was released. This is where my heart started to explode. I was 19 years old and in college, testing things out. I was learning how to define myself. Should I be a frat guy or a regular guy? Should I major in Business or in Journalism? Am I a big drinker? What type of girls do I feel most comfortable around? Who are my friends? etc. I was figuring it all out similar to the characters in the movie. It was a movie that was speaking to me directly in its point of view but I was too close to the situation to realize it at the time. When I watch Spider-Man now, I realize that the movie felt and thought like me back then. This $140M budgeted summer blockbuster from Sony understood me better than I understood myself. That’s fucking crazy.