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Film: I Know You’ll Love it

By Henry P. Raleigh
ART TIMES Summer 2015

Drawing for I Know they will love it by Henry P. Raleigh

At one time or another I imagine every film aficionado has unwittingly run into this social contretemps. Simple enough on the face of it such a misstep can lead to devastating consequences- long time friendships irrevocably destroyed, marriages strained to the breaking point, neighbors joined in combat. It may begin innocently, a random search over Netflix offerings, an idle scan of HBO-GO, a boot-legged CD, no matter old, new, independent you stumble upon a movie that knocks your socks off, a fem, not one of your ordinary Hollywood crowd pleasers and shamefully by-passed by critics, ignored by the gabbling bloggers. It is you with your critical acumen and finely tuned sensibilities that recognized and uncovered a true work of cinematic art.

Surely this discovery should be shared with those near and dear to you- or close enough, at any rate. That they, too may experience the joy of viewing this masterpiece and be admiringly grateful too that it is your remarkable critical acumen that has made it possible. Say no more, a date and time is set, an audience of near and dear assembled, and the fateful words spoken - I know you’ll love it.

Oh, should the matter end right there- a power outage, an alien invasion, a sudden mudslide- but no, the cinematic masterpiece so cleverly found by you begins its journey before an eager, expectant audience and you happily anticipate their reactions of aesthetic bliss.

So OK, not much registers at the opening scene. You wouldn’t expect that, of course, but the next scene will open their eyes all right. You wait their gasps of awe (or boisterous laughter- the movie may well be a comedy, you know.) Strange, there is little response save for shuffling of feet. Stunned? Overwhelmed? Here we are half way through the film and still nothing unless that restless foot tapping can be counted as a form of repressed admiration. Yet the poorly disguised whisperings that follow cannot easily be excused. What’s wrong with these dummies? Have you so wrongly credited them with intelligence and taste? To think that you have been wasting your time attempting to culturally guide these dolts. Superhero and vampire movies are good enough for the likes of these, I can tell you.

At the film’s conclusion you call for, somewhat belligerently it must be admitted, the audiences’ reaction. You are met with a mumbled chorus of “Yeah, fine, OK, sure, any beer in the kitchen?” Well now, this shows you what people are really made of. The next time you arrange a cultural soirée it will be an Adam Sandler special. And I know they will love it.

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