Doggonit!

Dear Maryuary,

How can I never meet any more people who say their favorite movie is Reservoir Dogs? I think I’d be a lot happier

Signed,

Not That Again

* * *

Dear NTA,

Yes, I understand your concern; you’d like to filter out sociopaths masquerading as film buffs from your circles. There is a group of people, mostly young-to-youngish men, who proclaim their love of Reservoir Dogs with the same ferocity with which Mel Gibson yells “They may take our lives, but they will never take our Freedom!” in Braveheart. It seems the excessive violence and torture (done in a thoroughly artistic manner, of course) of Tarantino’s ode to tough guys can transmit Manliness and testosterone to its audience like an x-ray machine transmits electromagnetic waves. We should all be wearing lead vests when we watch.

The truth of the matter, you may be surprised to learn, is that, although there are a few people who aren’t psychotic and legitimately love the film, many others who latch onto the safety of Harvey Keitel’s machismo are actually frontin’. In fact, an anonymous poll taken in 2005 by Stanford University’s Psychology department of those who announce Reservoir Dogs as their favorite film (we’ll call them twardatffs) showed that upwards of 65% actually prefer any number of other, less gruesome films with significantly less hip soundtracks. When those polled were asked what their favorite film actually is, these were the top five answers:

  1. When Harry Met Sally
  2. The Land Before Time
  3. The Parent Trap (original version)
  4. Ishtar
  5. The Parent Trap (Lindsey Lohan version)

Other answers ranged from Benji Come Home to Terms of Endearment.

Hopefully these facts help you overcome your annoyance with twardatffs at least a little bit, but unfortunately there is nothing to be done about their ubiquity. Twardatffs have a way of infiltrating even the most restricted social realms, in part because there are many topics that may come up in the process of making a new acquaintance before one’s taste in film. You may, for example, learn that one enjoys the poetry of Mallarmé, admires the paintings of Mondrian, or has actually read Lyotard’s The Post Modern Condition, and falsely gain the impression that he or she is an interesting, sane individual before he or she divulges the ear-slicing truth. The best tactic in this situation is diversion—change the subject until you can exit the conversation gracefully.

Yours,

Mary

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