Tag Archives: james l brooks
Nope, not gonna touch this one. Too easy.
It’s easy to pick on classics. In fact, by virtue of being considered ‘classic’, they’re almost assuredly not as good as they’re said to be. Anything so beloved is automatically suspect. This is not contrarianism; it’s healthy skepticism. In an age where most people still aren’t atheists and science is constantly hindered by new age nonsense, skepticism is beyond necessary.
I figured I’d apply that maxim to culture and pick the ten most overrated classic movies ever made. But, like I said, it’s easy to pick on the big ones. Casablanca, The Godfather, and Gone With the Wind all have their place in history, but that doesn’t make them better than Back to the Future. And they aren’t. Not artistically, and certainly not in our collective hearts.
However, here, rather than just list the most acclaimed classic movies and call it a day, I really wanted to hone in on some particular titles that I find obnoxiously overrated:
Field of Dreams. The undisputed king, for sure. But here’s ten other great ones.
It was a really tricky thing putting this together because they’re ranked on niceness, not goodness. Number two and number five are the best movies on the list. But they aren’t the nicest.
Niceness is even harder to define than coolness. Niceness is a warm and fuzzy feeling that a lot of art can generate. Probably the most popular example would be Norman Rockwell paintings. Niceness, like coolness, taps into our primal brains somewhere. We’re wired to feel it because it connects us to each other. But the problem with niceness is that it borders so heavily on cheese. Cheese done right is transcendent. But cheese done wrong is, well, cheesy.
Jokes, almost inherently, aren’t funny. We all know scores of ‘classic’ jokes from the aristocrats to dead babies to chickens crossing roads. None of them are funny. But, in the right context, we’ll laugh at them, because the joke isn’t what’s funny—the idea of the joke being told is. It’s that extra layer, that prefix, that meta, that deeper meaning, which gives a joke life, and makes it funny, and makes you truly laugh. (Laughing simply because you’re ‘supposed to’ is why sitcoms are popular, despite their unfunniness.)