February 25, 2005
Do these folks have a right to their opinions, no matter how insipid or ill informed? Sure they do. Does the ticket-paying public have a right to vote with their wallet? Of course. But to what end? I mean, the whole point is whether or not you can get past the image of a celebrity on their soapbox and enjoy the performance. Apparently, a lot of people cant. In most cases, however, I can. That is, I can if the skill and talent of the actor in question is good enough.
For example, Sean Penns antics in Baghdad just before the war were pretty embarrassing. Especially since he only realized too late that Saddam duped him into being a propaganda tool. But his award for Mystic River was well-deserved. To be honest, Jeff Spicoli aside, Penn is a brilliant actor and had I let his stupid crap bother me enough I would have missed out on a powerful film. Tim Robbins, another outspoken Lefty, was excellent in that movie as well.
I just saw the remake of Shall We Dance with Richard Gere, J-Lo, and Susan Sarandon. Now, when I see Sarandon (Tim Robbins mate, BTW) screeching away on the evening news about WMDs I instinctively want to retch. But you know what. She was so good in that role that those horrible visions never factored into my enjoyment of her performance.
Whats your point, dude? That youre jedi mind powers are superior to those of the average movie-goer? Well, whoop-di-do for you!
No, no, no. What Im saying is that life is short. I consider going to the movies to be one of lifes special treats. And when you have three kids, the chances to get out of the house and kick back in a cozy theater become fewer and farther between.
I could easily avoid Johnny Depp on screen because he often dumps on the U.S. while sipping chardonnay with his French wife at Cannes. But that means I have to miss out on a lot of films, many of which I would otherwise be glad I saw. I think the key is to let go of the negative feelings that build when I see or hear these ego-maniacs prattle on about whats wrong with everything I believe in or support. I suppose when youre surrounded by an entourage of ass-kissing sycophants who tell you how brilliant you are all day, its easy to think that youre some kind of iconic sage whose every utterance is transferred to the Big Book of Famous Quotes.
Celebrities do need to remember that they bear a certain amount of responsibility that comes with their fame. But if you let them dictate what you will or wont enjoy in your own life, you give them much more power than they really deserve. Something to consider the next time you log on to Fandango.com.
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