Thursday, March 30, 2017

When in Doubt, Talk About Movies

by Cass Cannon
What do you say when you say “Hey, watch this movie.”?

Sure, you say the effects are cool. Maybe that the score was unbelievable and the acting was downright Hitchcockian. But what’s there nestled between the lines? What do we actually mean when show someone something we care about? At least for me, there’s nothing kinder than getting a movie recommendation. A recommendation essentially says, “I experienced two hours of joy and I want you, YES YOU, to experience the same.”

And we’ve all been there, eagerly watching a friend watch a film we’ve selected from countless others—every snicker, eye roll, and facial expression rewrites a story we love and casts our chosen friend (or sibling or lover or weird neighbor) in a warm glowy limelight that makes their reactions the most important review we’ve seen yet. It’s how dorks like us forge connections. How many of you readers out there have that tried and true social rule “when in doubt, talk about movies” for parties where you may be feeling less than confident?
We do it because it’s how we show we care. For whatever reason, donning the mask of your favorite movie lets intimacy run freely. I’ve made very genuine friendships that are so entwined in the color pallets and beats of cinema it’s hard to tell where the movies end and the connections begin. And that’s what makes this website, podcast, and community so special.

Patrick Bromley, our bold and fearless leader, has dedicated an admirable amount of time to creating one of the kindest, supportive, and inclusive communities on the internet. And I’d bet money on that. When I was first invited to write for F this Movie!, and later chat on the podcast, I was so anxious. What did these smart, movie encyclopedia cinephiles want with some weird queer kid who still hasn’t seen the Godfather II? I read and reread my reviews, carefully engineering every sentence to be lock-tight. Frankly, I wanted your guys’ approval. I wanted to be able to hold my own among the hosts of a podcast I’d been listening to for so long.
And, really, I had absolutely nothing to fear. Patrick and the rest of the F this Movie! writers have fostered an environment where we all can share our opinions and literally no one is disrespectful. Go ahead. Look at the comment sections. Can you think of even one out of line comment? Have you ever heard of a place on the Wild Wild West of the Internet to be this way?

I bring all of this up not just to pat each and every one of you lovely readers on the back (although if I could, I absolutely would), but to raise a proverbial glass to the man of the hour. Patrick, the care you put into this website and community is singular. From raising over seven thousand dollars for the Magnolia Tree Foundation to checking in with your readers and frequent commenters, you truly are a master. And I am proud to call you my friend. I think what you have accomplished here is great, and no small feat. F this Movie! is a lush oasis in the toxic-every-fedora-festooned-man-for-himself-wasteland (coming to theaters next summer) and we should all be proud and feel warm and fuzzy for being included.

Happy Birthday, Patrick, and thank you for recommending and recommending and recommending. We love you!


  1. Since becoming a fan of the site I've watched lots of movies I never would have bothered with before, and having just turned 40 a couple weeks ago I know I'm in the right (newly old) demographic. I can't say I'm a huge fan of Phantom of the Paradise yet, but Kuffs is pretty underrated. #slatershrug

  2. Here, here, Cait! Well said! Not to pat we, The Commentariat, on the back either - I think the wonderful community that's been fostered here is very much a reflection of its wonderful creator and all his wonderful friends. As someone who popped his internet commenting cherry on the Slate political forums literally on 9/11 until I quit entirely in 2004, it was the oasis of F This Movie - almost literally an oasis, it was mostly deserted when I found it - that brought me back and made me realize I could actually have interesting and rewarding conversations with strangers on the internet, many of whom I now consider friends. It's pretty special stuff and I know it's had an impact on who I am, and I'm sure others would agree. I know it's not lucrative and it's easy to see a lack of financial success as a type of failure (as lamented in the last podcast) but man, I just think Patrick is such an impressive cat.