Friday, May 02, 2008

An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

Jesus, are you trying to kill me here? Seriously, guys, when a person rents The Savages, Atonement, and Lars and the Real Girl all at the same time you really ought to include either a complimentary box of Kleenex or a gallon size drum of Prozac with the DVDs.

Because that person will start off with Lars and the Real Girl thinking "Boy, this looks like one really quirky indie comedy right here!", only she will end up being depressed after only a few minutes of watching it. She will once again realize how insanely talented Ryan Gosling is but feel frustrated because she never ends up actually connecting with the character of Lars and instead just thinks that it's sad enough that this guy is so withdrawn and isolated to come up with the concept of Bianca, but even sadder that we're supposed to expect the whole town to go along with the idea for 90 consecutive minutes. Sigh.
Then that person will pop in "The Notebook" and hope to be cheered up by a hunkier, less crazy version of Ryan Gosling and she'll remember what a piece of crap Hallmark/Lifetime pablum-fest that movie is (even WITH the kiss in the rain) and end up throwing the DVD across the room.

Then, later on, she'll try and watch The Savages because if there's one thing that never fails this person it's Philip Seymour Hoffman. Plus, with Laura Linney to boot, how can this movie be a bad thing? I'll tell you how, Netflix. It's about a brother and sister who have to put their dementia-ridden father into a nursing home. Um, nothing funny or quirky about that, not even in a dark-comedy sort of way, is there, Netflix? It's just dark. And more depressing. And very tiring.

So finally, this person will watch Atonement. Because surely a beautiful period film with James McAvoy (who, if you'll recall, Netflix, this person once referred to as "Mr. Yum-nus" from The Chronicles of Narnia) can't be all bad, right? So this person will watch the film and start to feel better because even after a horrible lie made in childhood, things ultimately end up alright and our two lovers are brought together again - OH WAIT THEY NEVER GET BACK TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY BOTH DIE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE DEATHS AND NOTHING CAN EVER BE PUT RIGHT AGAIN....ahem. Sorry, Netflix.

You see where I'm going with this, Netflix? Be careful what you mail to people in those little red envelopes. Just sayin'.
Your movie fan,



Jen said...

I think if Netflix cared about how many depressing movies it was sending out a once, they'd have to delete my entire queue.
Let's see -- scary, depressing movie 'The Orphanage', check; documentary on the holocaust, check; documentary on the destruction of Tibet, check; documentary about people jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge - check.
By the way -- If you had consulted your dear friend who gets paid to sit around watching this stuff, I might have saved you some of the trauma.

Dave said...

I saw Atonement the weekend I moved back to Paris in January. I was already feeling depressed about having to go back for yet another term at school, and...yeah, it was a bit much! I was lucky I had a couple of "Quantum Leap" DVDs back in my hotel room to cheer me up. Too bad they couldn't send ol' Sam back to leap into the little sister and have her say nothing had happened.