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I am not a film buff

POSTED: September 2, 2014 3:06 p.m.

But I am a movie lover.

Yes, there is a difference between a film buff and a movie lover.

My love for movies is a well-known characteristic of mine among my family and friends. One of the quickest ways to my heart is to either give me a movie, watch a movie with me or a combination of the two.

For me, going to see a movie is not a cop-out or last resort for a date night; on the contrary, it’s the ideal date night. Movie theaters are some of my favorite places on earth.

I have a definitive list of my Top Ten Favorite Movies of All Time (for most of which I own some sort of apparel or other merchandise), and I enjoy most every genre—with the exception of horror, because, due to my passion for enjoying movies, I tend to get sucked into them (and as you can imagine, this doesn’t work out so well for me in horror films).

One of the first things I do when visiting someone’s house is peruse their movie shelf, and I love hosting themed movie-viewing parties and movie marathons for epic film series such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars.”

A couple of years ago I hosted a viewing party with themed snacks for my most favorite movie of all, “The Princess Bride,” on the 25th anniversary of its release, and this coming Nov. 5 will be my sixth year hosting a viewing party for my fourth-favorite movie, “V for Vendetta” (with red- and black-themed food, to go with the movie’s color scheme).

In fact, I’ve barely settled into my new apartment, but this weekend I’m hosting a Robin Williams movie marathon, and I’m making plans for a mid-September “Toy Story” trilogy marathon.

In short, I don’t think anyone can dispute my adoration for movies of almost all kinds. It’s simply understood.

Too often, though, people assume that just because I am such a huge movie fan I should also know everything there is to know about cinema and Hollywood.

Apparently, since I love movies, I’m supposed to know: the history of filmmaking in America; the behind-the-scenes stories from the production of every movie known to man; all awards any actor has ever been nominated for or received; all movies any given actor has been in; the identity of any given actor upon conversational mention or sight of a photo; the filming style of any given director; the differences between any books and the movies made from them; and the list, of course, goes on.

Wait. Since when did professing to love something immensely mean that you had to know every little detail about it? 

Certainly, a true love and passion for anything does typically lead to an increased knowledge about it, even if just through exposure—and that’s the case with me and movies. I do know more than perhaps the average person about the movies I love most.

But so many times, I’ve gotten shocked expressions from people who ask me about my reaction to the most recent Academy Awards, or what I thought about some director’s latest movie and how it compared to his or her other films, and I tell them, “I don’t know.”

I can see it all over their faces: “But…I thought you loved movies!”

Since when does a lack of knowledge concerning the number of awards some film received mean that I can’t thoroughly enjoy said film? That I can’t shed tears of happiness or sorrow and want to watch it again as soon as I’ve finished viewing it the first time?

Just calm it on down. Not all of us have the time or desire to read every article published about the creations of Hollywood—interesting though they can be when I sometimes do take the time to pay attention to them.

But just because I don’t necessarily know much about the frame rate employed in the making of most films nowadays doesn’t mean I’m not a true movie fan.

Because I am. I love movies. For real.

I’m just not a film buff.

There is nothing wrong with being a film buff, of course—but there’s definitely nothing wrong with not being one, either.

So here’s to all my fellow movie-lovers out there who don’t know the release dates of every movie for the next five years.

Keep watching. Keep laughing. Keep loving.

Keep spreading the cinematic joy.

 

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