Okay, it has been a long time since I laughed out loud at a blog entry and read parts of it out loud to my husband. But I did both when I read this entry by Jim McCarthy of Dystel and Godderich Literary Management. The man is hilarious . . . or maybe he was just having a good day. Either way, I laughed my head off.
But he makes a good point. Do you read the books that are critically acclaimed? Do you like them despite being critically acclaimed? Because they are critically acclaimed? Or do you loathe them for the same reason?
Jim mentioned some movies as examples and I'm going to follow suit. (Mostly because I have submissions in too many big houses to bash any of their books, so I'll stay away from books entirely. See, I know PR.;))So first up on my list, the movie The Notebook. Totally snoozed through the whole thing. (I can definitely see how it would be a great book, but the movie just didn't do it for me.) I think I disliked it for two very definite reasons. The first was that I had heard so much hype on it that I expected it to be this incredible, phenomenal movie. Maybe I would have liked it more if my expectations were not so high. And, of course, I saw Fifty First Dates the night before. Incredible movie! Absolutely riveting and endearing. And because both movies deal with memory issues (albeit very different kinds) I couldn't help but feel like Fifty First Dates had done so much better of a job portraying the devastation of forgotten love and the never ending hope involved than The Notebook. It just seemed lesser in my eyes. So between not living up to the hype and the coincidence of a thematically similar movie, The Notebook just crashed and burned for me.
Movies that have lived up to the hype in my opinion: Moulin Rouge, The Kill Bills, the new Phantom of the Opera, the third Lord of the Rings, Chicago (I love musicals, so shoot me;)), The Shawshank Redemption, and the Hours.
Movies that just didn't cut it for me: The Notebook, Forrest Gump, the third Harry Potter movie, the new Star Wars (yeah, everyone groan with me), Down With Love, and strangely enough, Cheaper by the Dozen (now there's a disturbing movie. Trust me, disturbing.)
I don't think that hype makes a whole lot of difference for me. If I'm going to like it, I'm going to like it. I think the effect comes when it is a movie I would have been lukewarm about. If there was a ton of hype and I just wasn't a fan, the hype can make me dislike the movie because I really expected to like it.
So how about you? What are some movies that did or did not live up to the hype? And for those of you whose MS is not out on submission, feel free to name books as well.