Hollywood, I hope you can hear me.
This is a memo to all the directors, producers, stars and starlets.
I can sum up my message in one sentence: I don’t care if you had fun making your movie.
I want to clear this up before the onset of the summer blockbuster season, when Tinseltown makes most of its profits by releasing one behemoth after the next.
It needs to be said now, before celebrities like Tom Cruise, Michael Bay, Scarlett Johannson and even Sylvester Stallone are deployed on the publicity circuit to hawk their latest sensational motion pictures.
It won’t be long before our television screens are crowded with Hollywood A-listers doing interviews on late-night shows and no matter whether the host is Jimmy, Jimmy or Dave, there’s one thing you can be sure every interviewee will say: “I had a ton of fun making my new movie!”
For some reason, it’s important for Hollywood personalities to let the moviegoing public know how much of a treat it was to be on the set every day.
If you’re even an infrequent TV viewer, you will have noticed this trend, too.
If the film features George Clooney as the star or director, there will also be an anecdote about how Clooney played a prank on the person while the picture was shooting.
It could be a superhero film. It could be a comedy. It could be the latest Transformers sequel. Regardless of the genre, it was a sheer joy to make.
But here’s the thing: I don’t care.
No one does.
It’s great that the cast and crew had so much fun. However, that’s not a factor in MY enjoyment of the movie.
All I’m looking for this summer is to be entertained.
So dazzle me. Make me laugh. If you’re really ambitious, make me think.
But you can be sure of one thing: If your movie sucks, no one is going to care how much fun you had.
No sane individual is going to walk out of the theatre and say “Well, that was a complete piece of crap. But I’m just glad they had fun making it!” This has never happened in the history of moviedom, and it never will happen.
You see, these are tough times. Movie tickets aren’t cheap. And some of this summer’s movies ARE going to suck. With each movie that sucks, Hollywood’s lustre is diminished. That will be one more ticket buyer who decides to stay home the next weekend. Or who doesn’t feel so bad buying a cheap bootleg DVD.
I really have no clue why it’s so important for stars to let us know about the bags of fun they had. I guess it’s to make their lives look even more fabulous than we already think they are. In Hollywood, even mundane work is fun!
Actually, it’s only decades later, when the star of the movie releases a tell-all autobiography, that we find out the real story. That’s when we find out making the movie was in fact a special kind of hell.
But I digress.