Andrea Langworthy's column: Everyone's a critic
When someone is oblivious to the obvious, unaware of something that’s been highly publicized or touted we might ask if the person has been living under a rock.
That’s what I wondered about myself last Saturday after my husband and I finished watching the movie, “Goodfellas.” What had I been doing the last 24 years that I never watched a film dubbed one of the best ever? A film so important it was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress.
In my defense, I did come across the movie about four years ago as I flipped through TV channels — the same thing that happened last Saturday. Both times, I found “Goodfellas” as the opening credits were rolling.
The first time, my husband came home when I was an hour into the mobster movie. I caught him up on what was going on but not long after, someone got whacked. My husband rose from his chair and said he couldn’t watch. What could I do? He’d worked all day and I hadn’t so I took the high road and suggested we find another show.
But last Saturday, when I came across “Goodfellas” again just as it was about to begin, I asked him to give it another chance.
You should know: My husband rarely likes a television series or movie at first glance. Two Saturdays ago, after scrolling through a list of On Demand films and reading the blurbs about those that looked appealing, we finally made a decision. Right after it started, my hubby looked at the clock and stood up. “They’ve been screaming at each other for four minutes and I’m not going to watch anymore,” he said as he left the room.
He did the same thing in 2001 when “Six Feet Under” debuted. I figured he wouldn’t enjoy a drama about a dysfunctional family running a mortuary so I told him I’d watch in the bedroom. He sat next to me and announced he wanted to watch, too. Five minutes into the show, he stood up, said, “Oh, no, I’m not watching this,” and went downstairs.
My in-house critic balked at “The Wire” after we had watched the first season on Netflix. Did the same with “The Sopranos” after season three. Followed suit with “Weeds” halfway through season five. It didn’t matter that each one was a critically acclaimed, award-winning series. Four minutes or 40 episodes, when my husband decides he’s had enough, that’s it.
But when one of our children gave us the entire series of “The Wire” for Christmas a few years ago, my better half was anxious to give it a second chance. By the end of season three, he was invested in the characters and asked, “Why did we stop watching this?”
The untimely death of “The Sopranos” star, James Gandolfini prompted HBO to air an entire season every month for six months last year and prompted my husband to have another look. The second time around, he focused on Gandolfini’s performance and his relationships with the other characters, not on the seedy side of the family business.
As for “Goodfellas,” my hubby gave it a tepid rating of “good.” Wait a minute. Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Joe Pesci and Paul Sorvino star in a Martin Scorsese directed true story about a guy who wanted to be a gangster for as long as he could remember and the best this man can give it is a good? The music alone was worth the price of admission.