I've been musing on Avatar since I saw it (impossible not to). It made me realize a couple things. One is exactly why I hate 95% of movie comedies so passionately. Old ones, new ones, ones in the middle... sure, there are some exceptions, but they more often than not leave me cold. I've never been able to put into words before why I hate comedies. Well, it all has to do with why we go to the movies. Or more specifically, why I go to the movies. Most people I know don't feel this way. But I do not go to the movies to laugh. I do not go to be amused. Those are probably the last reasons I'd go to see a movie. I have plenty of laughs at home. Life is full of laughs. This morning, I was at my sister's, and all we did was talk and laugh for an hour or so. I'm quite fulfilled in the giggle-department in real life. I don't want or need that in my fiction.
I know I've talked about this before, but I go to the movies for one reason: to escape into a fictional world. The more completely I can escape, the happier I am. This is one of the reasons why I believe in seeing movies on the big screen, because, I'm sorry, it ain't the same when you're sitting on a couch watching a film on television, or worse, sitting at your desk chair, watching a film on your monitor. I do it, but the screen is small and my peripheral vision takes in the rest of my living room. There's cars driving down the street, the dog wanting out, the cats wanting on my lap, and a hundred other things to pull me out of the moment. I HATE being pulled out of a movie by real life. Hate it. Passionately.
Which brings me back to comedies and why they don't work for me: there's always an awareness that they're targeting you, trying to make you laugh, aiming at an audience that is outside the film. And I don't want to be outside.
Which brings me back to Avatar, and why it is the perfect movie for me: it immerses me in its fiction, and the beautiful 3D? Pulls me in even more. I was there, running along a tree branch or diving off a cliff. One of my first despairing thoughts when it ended was "I don't want to go back to 2D movies now." I disappeared completely into this movie, and that is what I want out of my films. I don't come out of a comedy with a heightened sense of being alive, with my adrenalin kicking, with wanting to take off at a sprint through the parking lot, whooping just for the sheer joy of it. I don't soar when I come out of a comedy. And I need to soar. It's why I go to the movies. I still haven't come down off the high of seeing Avatar. I probably won't for awhile. And I wouldn't have it any other way.