Before you read this and conclude I’m some sort of moron, let me just preface it by saying that I almost never read reviews until after I’ve seen a movie or read a book or tried a new restaurant. The less I know beforehand, the better.
Not reading the reviews means I am always surprised. Sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not. If something has won awards or generated a buzz, that’s enough of a recommendation.
But once in a while, this seemingly brilliant strategy backfires. There’s a difference between not knowing what something is about and knowing so little you go into it ass-backwards.
Three things I learned the hard way this week:
1. Mama Mia is not a musical about ABBA. It is a musical set to the music of ABBA. The plot has nothing to do with ABBA. It would have been nice to know this before the curtain went up on Wednesday night. Instead, I spent the first five minutes of the musical wondering what a wedding on a Greek Island had to do with ABBA.
2. A History of Violence is not an arty title for a movie about a man thoughtfully reflecting on his life. It is exactly what it says it is. A history of a man’s violent past. It would have been nice to know this before the movie started last night. All I knew was that it was a Cronenberg film. I thought the title was ironic. Instead, I found myself sitting through two hours of gratuitous, pointless violence. Actually, the first half of the film was pretty good. But the second half was too bloody. As a whole, it was empty.
3. Black hair care products are not just for black people. It would have been nice to know that smooth, lustrous hair could be found in a $5 tub of African Gold Coconut Oil before spending hundreds of dollars on useless high-end salon products. A friend told me she used the black hair care shelf at Shoppers Drug Mart to keep her thick, wavy hair under control. I bought my own African Gold yesterday and am now a coconut oil convert. It really works.
I’m starting to think that maybe a little research isn’t a bad thing.