Don't Look Up: If You Didn't Like It, You Are Part of the Problem (sarcasm)

 No matter how much I like a movie, there are bound to be people roaming the surface of the earth that feel the opposite.  The same can be said for music, theatre, books, or any other form of art.  Not liking something simply means that it didn't connect with you.  We all have different personalities, preferences, and histories, so we are bound to have differences of opinion.  That, however, is all it is.  Just differences of opinion.

Netflix's massively popular film Don't Look Up (an allegorical movie about climate change) seems to have left people forgetting that fact.  People who haven't enjoyed it have been attacked for not being concerned about climate change.  If you didn't like it, you are obviously part of the problem.  If you didn't connect to it, then you are to blame for not enough being done to save the environment.  This logic is about as illogical as an illogical logical argument can be.  Perhaps that sentence wasn't my finest hour.

Movies are art, and they are entertainment.  To not enjoy something doesn't automatically mean that you are opposed to its message.  Recently, on The Movie Breakdown Podcast, Chris and I reviewed Jojo Rabbit, a film that both of us consider the best film of 2019.  It is a film about a young boy who desperately wants to be a good Nazi, but ends up realizing that is something that is incompatible with who he is.  Writer and director Taika Waititi's movie is incredibly anti-Nazi.  

When it comes to critical acceptance, Jojo Rabbit has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 80%, and I've never heard anyone come to the conclusion that twenty percent of critics must automatically be pro-Nazi.  A lot of people just didn't like the film, for whatever reason.  There is nothing at all wrong with that, and them disliking a film doesn't mean that they are opposed to the themes and message.  

The discourse around Don't Look Up has taken on a level of tribalism.  If you're not with this, you are obviously against it.  Director Adam McKay and writer David Sirota have both posted tweets that have feed this problem.  McKay said if you're not anxious about climate change, then Don't Look Up won't make sense and you are like a robot.  Sirota tweeted that if you didn't see the fact that a movie about climate change was the number one film on Netflix, then you are obviously one of the characters in the film that it was making fun of.

I don't want to judge people, but these comments solidify the problem.  If this film's message isn't connecting with you, then you are a robot or a fool.  Personally, I believe climate change is a big issue.  However, I didn't feel like this film actually approached the issue very well.  I guess that means I'm someone who's being lampooned in the film.  Forget the fact that it heavy handed story telling that bluntly bashes the viewer over the head, the problem must be with me, and not with the incredibly ineffective story telling that's on display in Don't Look Up.

I didn't like the movie.  Who cares?  So what?  It doesn't mean that all of a sudden that makes the movie less enjoyable to personal for others.  It really doesn't matter at all, and it certainly doesn't make me a climate change denier.  A number of years ago, American Sniper had a similar issue (at least I think it was American Sniper), where if a critic didn't like it they were automatically considered unpatriotic.  A movie is more than it's message.  There are so many different factors to the filmmaking process that contribute to the overall product.  If people don't like a movie, that's all it is.  They are people, just like you and me, who simply didn't connect to a film.  They aren't automatically some sort of enemy of society.