“Not bad for a popcorn movie.”
“Hey, what do you want? It’s a popcorn movie.”
“Meh, I wasn’t expecting much. It’s just a popcorn movie.”
Listen. The summer is coming. And before it gets here, something must be said.
We all love movies. We all love popcorn. So why is it whenever a movie turns out to be a disappointment, we immediately throw popcorn under the bus?
What’d popcorn ever do to you, besides provide you with a buttery, delicious snack to sustain you during your filmed entertainment? Think of all the good popcorn’s done to enhance your movie-going experience…
How many of you first held hands while reaching into the same bucket of that flakey gold? How much fun was it to throw a handful at your buddy as he desperately tried to spot you in the darkened room? And how many cost-conscious dads brought a bag home for late night snacking so as not to let greedy Cineplex owners get the best of him with their overpriced confections?
It’s not popcorn’s fault Gore Verbinski decided to cast a Caucasian A-list star as the Native American sidekick in a reboot no one asked for starring one of those CG twins from that Facebook movie.
It’s not popcorn’s fault that J.J.Abrams thought it would be cool to park the Enterprise underwater and use the bad guy’s blood to cure death.
It’s not popcorn’s fault Zack Snyder couldn’t think of any other way for Superman to stop Zod from microwaving those people, like for instance, flying him out of the building, spinning him around, or simply covering his eyes with his hand, because after all, it’s not like heat vision burns Kryptonian eyelids, right? So why would it burn his hands?
If anything, popcorn comforted you through those bad decisions. In the same way that your body compensates for the loss of one sense by enhancing another, so too, does popcorn reward your sense of taste when your brain has been assaulted by Hollywood’s lack of it.
We don’t make any other snack foods the scapegoat for the activities they’re associated with.
When the quarterly report at the office goes bad due to low profit margins, we don’t say, “Well, what did you expect from a bagel meeting?”
When an old flame reaffirms their decision to see other people during a meet up after a chance encounter in the express line at Target, we don’t say, “Best you could hope for from a coffee chat.”
If a baby throws up on us after feeding, we don’t lament, “Well that’s a milk human for you.”
No other snack food has to endure that kind of pressure. In fact, quite the opposite. We give some snack foods the royal treatment. When we sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” we all agree in harmonic unison that even if the home team doesn’t win – though it would be a shame – as long as we have peanuts and Crackerjacks, we don’t care if we ever go back.
The point is, blaming the snacks we choose to enjoy as we slowly come to realize that we may have put more thought into what we wore to see a movie than the producers put into making it, just isn’t fair.
It’s the same urge some dudes have to punch a wall because they forgot their computer password. The wall didn’t forget your password. The wall kept your computer safe from rain.
So the next time you leave a movie starring Mark Whalberg, or written by David Goyer, or directed by McG, or based on a board game, and you find yourself trying to justify its shortcomings, think back to that theater. Recall the pain. Think about what you saw, what you heard, and what you consumed. Then decide what’s really to blame for your mediocre time.
And what fluffy, yellow morsel fallen from Zeus’s beard was there to help you get through it.
Thanks for your time and enjoy your movies.
Ronald J. Popcorn
Inventor of popcorn.
And weirdly enough, Crackerjacks.