Here’s the scenario. You are having a good time with your friends talking about life and someone eventually goes: I just watched this movie; it’s soooo good. You have to watch it.
Or maybe you are on a date and your company for the evening says: have you seen [insert mainstream movie]? I definitely recommend it. Also, you look great tonight. Just like that, a perfect night becomes pretty to the all too common Recommendation Burden and You. Are. Tired. Of. It. All you want to do is get out of the conversation. So Gary’s here... with 10 excuses sure to get you out of watching any movie recommendation.
Straightforward, to the point, and will likely stop the conversation right then and there.
2. I don’t have time.
An oldie but a goodie. Obviously, you do have the time. But they don’t know that.
3. That seems heavy, bro.
Clear approach and emphasizes your weakness in handling serious material. That said, expect them to give you a binkie and blanket for your birthday.
4. I’ll put it on my list of movies to watch.
Smart. Not dismissive, but it does obligate you to watch it before the end of time.
5. What’s it on?
The trick here is that WHATEVER platform they say, you don’t have it. But everyone has Netflix, they may say. Not you. I’ll let you use my password. You don’t have a computer. We can watch it together. You do not exist. Capiche?
6. I don’t really want to watch a white movie.
This one works, because 99.9999% of the time, it’s a white people movie. (This fraction has been rounded down to fit the screen.)
7. Sorry, I only like good movies.
Disclaimer: You will DEFINITELY offend any person you are talking to with this one. ...Buuuuuuttt they’ll know you don’t respect them enough to like good movies. As a consequence, they probably won’t ever talk to you again, but hey! No more recommendations!
8. My great grand-uncle’s dying wish was to never watch that specific movie.
No one will want to try and unpack that trauma, so you are basically in the clear. If that person tries to recommend another, just say, “My other great grand-uncle’s...” because there is no limit on great grand-uncles.
9. I’m an empath and can’t handle that type of commitment to characters.
In this case, people will be so impressed with your ability to connect with human beings that they won’t push you to watch it.
10. Dang, I recently went celibate...but with movies.
Now, this one is two-parter: While the person you are talking to is disoriented by the statement you just made, run away. If you get questioned later, say you ran because you were too tempted by the recommendation and you would have broken your promise to God.
With these go-to’s in your arsenal, you can easily stick to the movies you want to watch. No need to branch out of your comfort zone. No need to engage with a piece of art that someone wanted to share with you. No need to expand your mind or taste for better. And those will be the tenets you live by. Speaking of tenets, if y’all haven’t seen Tenet yet, you really should!
Gary Simons is a senior in the College majoring in Psychology and Computer Science, and minoring in Film and Media Studies.