( Friday, August 08, 2008 )

Q & A: Video Store Edition

Question: What is the most commonly used phrase in a video store?

Answer: "It's supposed to be pretty good."

Next time you happen upon a video store, go inside, casually pretend to browse, and pay attention to the couples or the parents and their kids or the little old ladies searching earnestly for a movie they'll agree on. I guarantee* 7 out of 10 times you will hear that phrase, or one of its variants.

Some examples of similar commonly used phrases in video stores around the globe:
  • "I've heard a lot of good things about it."
  • "I think it got pretty good reviews."
  • "It's won some awards, too, I think."
  • "It looks good."
Of course, the movie being referred to is, usually, none of the above: it's not good, most people who've seen it agree it's not good, the reviews were mediocre at best, the award in question was from a local Low Budget Low Concept Sci-Fi and Gore Convention that 3 people attended (2 of whom actually made the movie), and the over-the-top-ultra-photoshoped cover is not only the best thing about the movie, it's also a knock-off of a much more expensive and marginally better Hollywood blockbuster.

Case in point: last week I was at the video store and I overheard a discussion that a guy and his girlfriend were having about the movie they were looking at, a discussion in which several of the aforementioned phrases were used verbatim. The movie being considered? Awake.

Between my deep, gut-wrenching sobs and the sackloth and ash ritual I had begun to perform on behalf of humanity and those poor souls--like me--who had subjected themselves to such a magnificently bad "movie", I let out a little laugh, loud enough for them to hear and look my way. I offered them a pained smile and shook my head. They looked at me, looked at each other, looked at the movie . . . and proceeded to take it to the counter, avoiding eye contact with me as they passed. I wept myself to sleep that night, empathizing with those strangers and the painful, heartbreaking, eye-gauging experience they were no doubt sharing.

Please, do me a favour: if you ever hear someone say "It's supposed to be good," and, curious, you look over to see Hayden Christenson or Paul Walker or another actor in their caliber of awfulness on the cover, I beg you, violently swipe every copy onto the floor and scream at the top of your lungs, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they watch!"
(Adding a few tears would work in your favour, I expect. FYI.)

(*There are no guarantees in life, son.)


Blogger Josh said...

While I was reading this, I couldn't help but think that I had read something similar, somewhere else. Then I remembered, last time we were at the video store together we talked about the commonly used phrases and made fun of Walker and Christiansen (I might have defended Walker for his Oscar worthy performance in 2 Fast 2 Furious).

3:19 AM  
Blogger Steph.s said...

Oh Kyle.. you never disappoint! Thank you.. thank you for sharing such deep and humorous thoughts! I have all too often thought the exact same thing!!!

1:53 AM  
Blogger RuthieStewart said...

Oh Dear.

Wow, I just do not know what to say. That was hilarious. I am sorry that you had to cry yourself to sleep over two people's movie misfortune. :)


3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What! You got a problem with Hayden??? Man!!! I can't believe it! I'm reporting you to ...... somebody.


not your dad

7:41 PM  

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