So Long And Thanks For All The Nerds
First of all, let me say that I don't plan to do movie reviews very often on this site. To me, critiquing movies on a website is a poor-man's way of coming up with subject matter for discussion without having to exercise any creativity on your own part. It's just too easy. Movies are wonderful and I watch a great many of them (too many, actually), but if you lead a full, interesting life there will be enough things to talk about without having to rely on the movie industry to give you subject matter.
Now that that's of my chest, how was the movie? Strange. And kind of hollow. In a weird way, it was like seeing a band you've loved for twenty years going through the motions on their Third Annual Farewell Tour. Hearing all the old familiar stuff again sort of gives you a warm feeling inside, but it just doesn't give you that same rush anymore that it gave you the first time you heard it, or even the tenth time. Not only is the book The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy over twenty-five years old, but it's been turned into a radio play and was produced on television for (I guess) the BBC; I remember the televised version showing up a lot in college dorm rooms where lived guys who thought that being able to quote every line of a Monty Python movie somehow made up for the fact that at 22 years of age they had never kissed a girl. For a true Douglas Adams aficionado (which, sorry to say, I guess I am--more on that in a minute) there really isn't much that surprises you. Several times I found myself thinking something like "oh, here comes the joke about the sperm whale and the bowl of petunias. Let's all sing along!" And of course, if you're not a Douglas Adams fan, I'm sure the whole think didn't make a lick of sense.
Perhaps I wasn't in the best of moods to see the film. First off, I have to give props to Melissa, who humored me by coming along. It's a real sacrifice for her since she really doesn't care for Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Any movie that includes Elves or dialogue about deflector shields is pretty much a non-starter for her. I had expected the crowds to be rather small, figuring that on a Friday night most of the yahoos that were going to the movies would be going to see XXX (the Ice Cube movie, not porn). Imagine my embarrassment when we encountered a very long line for our movie. A long line full of . . .nerds. Star Trek Convention-caliber nerds. Some of them actually brought towels to see the movie. See, towels are what The Hitchhikers Guide says you have to carry with you at all times if you're going to travel through interstellar space, because . . . oh never mind. Just believe me when I tell you that bringing a towel to see The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is the best was I can think of to let the world know that you're a 34 year old virgin.
What really depressed me was the thought that to a greater or lesser extent, these were MY PEOPLE! While not a full-blown nerd, I myself have strong nerd tendencies at the very least. I mean, I was there to see The Hitchhikers Guide on opening night, wasn't I? True, I had a beautiful woman with me, and I would never in a million years have thought of bringing a towel (A TOWEL, FOR GOD'S SAKE!), but in the end there's no escaping the fact that I am not too many rungs up the evolutionary ladder from these dateless wonders. I'm not sure what Mel sees in me, but I'm not looking that gift horse in the mouth.