Saturday, June 28, 2008

"I prefer to watch shitty movies so I can feel good about myself. There is nothing better than sitting in bed and enjoying a shitty comedy. I laugh at the bad jokes and I smile as I convince myself, as I often need to, that my work doesn't suck as bad as what I am watching. It gives me the confidence to make movies. I call them movies to have the flu by -- movies that are great if you need to kill time while sitting in bed with the flu." -- Judd Apatow.

I do the same thing, but for different reasons. Aside from not wanting to waste a good film when you're feeling sick and/or sad (you don't want to associate the film with a bad day or a bad event), when you're sick, your tolerance becomes lower and your standards become almost non-existent. Everything is entertaining, sad, or funny. The Fog is terrifying at 3am in the morning when you're half asleep. And as for things being funnier when you're sick...

When I was about eleven, I was out of school for about two weeks due to a flu that became phenomena. I distinctly recall lying on a couch in the study under 'the sick blanket' (a thick, comfy quilt that was reserved for when you were sick) and watching a random episode of Tiny Toons. Even at eleven, I knew that Tiny Toons was mainly mediocre, with hints of cleverness and growing pains that paved the way for Animaniacs and Pinky & The Brain. Anyway, I'm watching this random episode of Tiny Toons, and every single punchline had me laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe. It was the weirdest thing I would experience for many years.

Ages later, last year, while I was home sick from work during the period that my wife was pregnant, I caught a nasty case of 'sympathy symptoms'. In this case, emotionalism was my symptom. I knew something was up when I caught the denouement of Batman Begins and watered up a little during the final scenes at the charred remains of Wayne Manor. It only got worse. I was watching various episodes of The West Wing, seasons 1 and 2 (the episodes with commentary), and I swear I watered up at every single emotional beat, happy and sad. It was the strangest thing...

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