The Story Behind Anything Nice to Say
In 2020, I started a YouTube channel called Anything Nice to Say.
The idea was to watch the movies that no one liked, the movies everyone thought were bad, but had never actually seen.
I’m a pretty critical person. The origin story for quite a few writers is that they, once upon a time, read something and thought to themselves, “I could do this better.” Then, they set out to do it. That requires a critical, maybe even cynical, disposition.
I’m not one to always look on the bright side of life.
I noticed, though, that there are a lot of movies I like that people seem to be pretty negative about.
I like the 1999 Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick. I like 2016’s Ghostbusters. I think The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie that exists in a universe where Star Wars movies exist.
During the summers of 2004 and 2005, I worked at a movie theatre which meant I got free movie tickets. I saw pretty much everything that came out those summers and, when the ticket is free, it’s surprising how that changes your viewpoint on a movie. There’s no value judgment. I remember seeing Dukes of Hazzard with my brother in an otherwise empty theatre and I thought it was hilarious.
I questioned whether or not Razzie awards are really warranted. As a disaffected Millennial, is it our default setting to hate everything?
Yes. I think it is. I think we’re so obsessed with proving that we are ‘cool,’ ‘hip,’ or part of the ‘in’ crowd, that we pretend to hate things because everyone else hates them.
Besides, you can find plenty of reviews on the Internet where people tell you why you shouldn’t like something.
I remember a moment with my father, after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. We walked out of the theatre and my dad said, “I didn’t like that movie.” I said, “Neither did I.” And, he said, “Why didn’t I like it?”
I proceeded to explain to him why, from a story standpoint, he didn’t like the movie, encompassing character motivations, the heroes’ journey, and character arcs.
It’s easy to convince someone not to like something by making the implication that they are stupid for liking it.
You aren’t stupid for liking something that was intended to entertain you. Alternatively, you aren’t smart for hating something that everyone else hates.
I’m not going to try to convince you to hate something you like. If you like something, like it. If other people hate it, well, they aren’t you and their opinion doesn’t matter. What if they just filed divorce papers before they saw that romantic comedy? What if they thought the movie was going to be a terrifying action adventure but what they got was a family-friendly romp?
It’s easy to criticize because nothing is perfect.
At Anything Nice to Say, we encourage you to like what you like.
It’s just a movie, after all. And, if you enjoy it, what does it matter what anyone else has to say about it?