The other day, I went home for the weekend and to catch up on sleep and on Saturday night, catch up with my older sister. Â We were sitting on her couch contemplating what to do for the rest of the night when suddenly, she got this mischevious look in her eyes that made her look like a third-grader with a secret to tell.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Oh nothing,” she said, like there was definitely something. Â “Just…I feel like watching a really girly, really sappy movie. Â Would you be up for it?”
“You bet!” I remember saying. Â I was relieved that she didn’t tell me she had cancer or something. Â But afterwards I thought about the trepidation she must have felt before asking me about what to do for the night.
And it got me thinking, as an avid cinephile and bibliophile, why are some people so ashamed of watching films or reading books that are in a genre? Â What’s so bad about chick-flicks and chick-lit that makes normal people scrunch their faces and avoid asking you to watch them?
Does calling a movie a ‘film’ elevate it to some sort of high status? Â Does ‘Literature’ confer a sort of sacredness to texts that ‘Thriller’ does not?
As someone who loves serving up some Austen, Tolstoy, Baudrillard, or Borges from time to time, I will also admit that I have read ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ waaay too many times to count.
And I’ve laughed out loud every time.
That is something that reading Baudrillard has never made me do (except when I’ve laughed at Baudrillard to avoid crying because I have no idea what he is saying).
I am not saying that one is better than the other. Â From time to time, I NEED challenging literature in order to assure me that my liberal arts brain can still function. Â But from time to time, I think even the liberal artsy should get down from their marble column and descend into the pages or film clips of the genre book or movie and not be ashamed of it.