There are benchmark moments in every film fans life. It may be witnessing something great, such as a once in a lifetime performance by Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men, it may be something visually spectacular such as the special effects in Terminator 2. It may even be the reboot of an existing film franchise such as Batman and James Bond.
All encompass a moment and set a benchmark. This is what Dan In Real Life did for me and a few of my mates. Friday, a cold winter evening and we wanted to go to the Huddersfield Odeon after college. The plan was to head off from college meet up with another of our friends and catch a bus to the Odeon (about 10 minutes out of town.).
The only problem we had was what film to watch? We had deliberated a fair bit, but there just didn’t seem to be anything any of us really fancied on. We speculated that there may be a chance that Hitman featuring Timothy Olyphat would still be on. Even though it had been out for ages and was probably due a DVD release.
When we got to the Odeon, no Hitman and still no decision as to what we wanted to watch. We had to make a choice now. Whilst we debated amongst one another, the gentleman at the box office recommended Dan In Real Life. May as well we thought, what’s the worst that can happen? The reviews have been positive, It’s got Steve Carrell who is a pretty funny guy and well at least it’s a comedy so should be fun.
After buying our tickets we headed off to gorge ourselves on Pizza at Pizza Hut while we waited for our film – pleasant evening thus far. Having been fleeced at the concessions stand, we took our seats and eagerly awaited the start of the film.
It never came. The film never started we sat for 20 odd minutes into the film waiting to be humoured by something funny or even mildly entertaining. Then we turned to one another with the thought of what had we done?
Everyone was getting restless, the other film goers at the screening we’re starting to throw stuff at the screen and at each other. A few others had fallen asleep and I was glancing at my watch every two minutes.
The comic moments were cringe worthy at best, the acting as wooden as a lumberjacks haul. Steve Carrell what was he doing to himself? Is this the same film as the one the critics had seen and praised?
The film was a disaster; it set a benchmark for all the wrong reasons for me and my friends. It was a lesson learnt, as we would never head to the cinema without having planned in advance.
It’s become an in joke amongst us. “You don’t want another Dan In Real Life incident do you?” Is the common line used before choosing a film. We also have a running joke that should anyone ever ask what film we watched that evening; we would claim it was Hitman.