Friday night Z and I made plans to get takeout dinner and watch a movie at his place. He had just returned from a 4-day business trip and he was tired from driving all day, but we wanted to see each other since he's leaving again today for several days, this time a vacation, a solo road trip.
One of Z's favorite movies is Sordid Lives, a very funny film about eccentric Southern people. So I suggested we watch Junebug, another very funny movie about Southern people, and one of my favorite movies from the last few years. (J and I were both obsessed with Junebug for a while; we still quote lines from it now and then.) Sordid Lives is a broad comedy; Junebug is subtler, but I still thought he would love it.
I think he liked it. But he didn't seem to find it very funny. His response was more along the lines of "that was thought-provoking." (I hadn't noticed what a quiet film it is until this viewing.) I was disappointed that he didn't love it the way I do. I've seen it many times, and I still hang on every moment. I can't get enough of it, especially Amy Adams's performance. I mentioned to Z that she was nominated for the Oscar last year for that performance, and he seemed surprised, whereas I was appalled that she didn't win.
Anyway, we probably all know that disconcerting feeling, that dissonant feeling. It's like a test. "If he doesn't get this movie, then what else is wrong with him?" It's silly, but real.
Then last night, J and I watched Days of Heaven, another of my favorite movies. I've seen this one a few times too, and it always takes my breath away. I rented it because I wanted to see it again but mostly because I wanted to share it with J, who hadn't seen it. He didn't like it much. He found it unconvincing.
Now, if anyone has passed the test, all the tests, it's J. We've known each other for 15 years and I've never been closer to anyone in my life.
Lesson: the favorite movie test is not a very good test.