The Movie Buff Dilemma #1–“You Like That?”

By: Matthew J.R. Kohler


The theatre is the essential place to enjoy a film.  Not only do you get to see a film on the big screen, but you are also witnessing magic.  Sure, that might be too high of praise (considering the large amount of bad movies that come out); still, it’s true for the good ones.  About twice a month, I try to experience this enjoyment.  But if I’m seeing the movie with someone who’s not a movie buff, I dread these three words after it ends: “You like that?”

Calling yourself a movie buff can be a curse.  And it’s a double-whammy if you’re a filmmaker.  Seeing a movie with non-movie buffs/filmmakers can be a nightmare.  Every time, the stage is set for my failure.  Typically, there is about five of them, and they’re all ready to fire that 3-word round.

The question feels harder to answer each time.  It’s like telling someone at the gym who uses their back to bench press: sometimes you shouldn’t say anything.  And that is what I’ve tried to do, but boy are they clever.  Instead of giving me time to think before I give my essay on the movie, I am put on the spot when I hear, “You like that?!”.  It’s sad that all I can think about is Kirk Cousins yelling that in my ear.

Now I know what you are thinking, “Gosh Matt, you love films and are outspoken; you should love to give your opinion!”  True, I do love to attack films I don’t like (The Dark Knight), but it’s different when everyone around you is going to see a movie for fun.  That is the biggest problem, how do I turn off my critical side, so that I don’t spoil everyone else’s good time?  It’s especially difficult when the movie is terrible; you have to fight every urge to turn to your relative/friend and say something like, “Boy, looks like the lighting director called in sick for this scene.”  And soon after that, you’re thinking about starting a podcast devoted solely to bashing the movie, in the hopes that someone out there will actually ENJOY listening to you.  So what do you do when normal people want your opinion on a film?

Well, the simple “I enjoyed it” always works.  Now, if you don’t like lying to the ones you care about, then you need to switch to plan B—the bathroom.  Hopefully, going to the bathroom for ten to fifteen minutes will make everyone forget that you even saw this movie.  Give it a few more minutes, and they may even forget that THEY saw the movie.  The biggest score would be if your friends start talking about something completely different, allowing you to walk away, scot-free.  It’s bullet proof!

So why does everyone want to know your opinion?  Better yet, why do they need to know right after the film ends?  Isn’t that why you bring your lady friend—so you don’t have to talk to her?  Also, what happens if she doesn’t care about movies as much as what you do?  Well, then you might be saying to yourself, “I wouldn’t date her anyway!”  Don’t lie to yourself, especially if she enjoys the essential things in your life, like Bruce Lee.


Pictured: my date, asking, “You like that?”

john candy

Pictured: me.

Throughout the movie, not only will you be thinking about the bathroom because you are terrible around women (that’s just me….I think), but you are also thinking, “please don’t ask the question”.  She could ask to marry you, and THAT would be better than asking you about the movie.  Who on their first date wants to hear you talk about how the main characters weren’t developed enough for you to care about them, especially when it’s an action movie?  Or better yet, who wants to hear someone talk about the breakdown of the fight scene and why cutting so much destroys the chemistry of the two fighters?  If you were bored watching it, then how do you think she will feel listening to you?

“You like that?”  How do you get rid of such a common question?  Never allow anyone to know that you enjoy movies “a lot”.  The reason?  They will want to debate with you, and prove that you are wrong in that YOU DO, in fact, like that.