I promised to raise this question a few weeks back, when everyone (including us) was linking to LOVEFILM’s list of movies people lie about seeing. I assume there are more people who lie about liking movies than do about seeing them. And what better week to think about this than the 70th anniversary of “Citizen Kane”? Given that it’s rated on so many lists as the greatest film of all time, I expect the pressure to agree is enormous. Maybe not as enormous as the pressure to feign excitement about a single terrorist mastermind’s murder (or the pressure, now that people are trying to make it controversial, to not call it “murder”), but pretty tremendous.
Then again, because of “Citizen Kane”‘s prominence a lot of people seem okay with calling it “overrated” or flat out hating it (I claimed to hate it after my first time seeing it, years before I really appreciated it and then later grew to love it). The only evidence I can find, though, that people lie about liking movies is this old message board. And of course it has the following posting: “I pretended to be keen on Citizen Kane because a guy I was dating was crazy about this movie. I found it to be pretentious and overrated, but I didn’t tell him that; it would have been like saying “Gee, your baby is ugly” to a proud papa.”
So if there are any of you cine-liars out there, I anticipate the lies are commonly told to significant others or want-to-be significant others.
Perhaps the pressure is greater if you’re in film school or even a film critic. What if you’re one of the odd few who doesn’t particularly like “Inception” or, god forbid, “Toy Story 3,” and you don’t want to be put in the corner with Armond White. Maybe you genuinely think films from the 70s, like “Bullitt” and “The French Connection” are boring and aren’t as brave as the young guys from Film Pulse. I’ve never really been a liar and I was often more of a coward in my youth, so I simply never told any peers that I wasn’t into “The Seventh Seal” or “The Seven Samurai” back when I was in my first years of film school. I guess keeping your mouth shut can constitute a lie, or at least a form of pretend.
Don’t be scared to comment on this one, as you’re perfectly permitted to be anonymous. Have you ever lied about liking a movie?