My Take by Jim Carl - May 31, 2012
MOULIN ROUGE (2001)
I saw Moulin Rouge with friends while on vacation at Universal Studios in Orlando. Twenty minutes in, I knew I was trouble. Why, oh why, did I agree to see this horrible film? Were these people truly my friends or did they have hidden agendas? What absinthe-soaked cloth tied around my head compelled me to buy a ticket? Could it have been that remake of “Lady Marmalade” which had been playing all summer? It was catchy, I’ll admit. And yet here I was, watching exploding munchkins on carousels and Aboriginal transvestites on trampolines and choreographed dances performed by beat-up hookers with broken ankles. I sat there, publicly fuming, and thinking, “I paid to see this shit.” (If this description is less than accurate, deal with it. We’re talking about memory here. And when dealing with memory what you write doesn’t have to be true so long as it sounds good, ask anyone.) Moulin Rouge was a little too Moulin Much.
People assume I don’t very much like musicals. That’s not necessarily true. Little Shop of Horrors is hilarious. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas has Dolly, and that’s good enough for me. I can even enjoy a good musical number in an otherwise non-musical movie. When Matthew Broderick starts singing “Twist and Shout” during that parade in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, for example, my heart leaps up in my chest. I smile when Elisabeth Shue and the kids riff about the “Babysitter Blues” in that Chicago bar in Adventures in Babysitting. I even loved the ending of Everyone Says I Love You where Goldie Hawn floats in the air. But Moulin Rouge was an all-singing, all-dancing snuff film. With the possible exceptions of Crank 2: High Voltage and Transformers, I cannot think of another movie released in the 2000s that I hated more. This is one of those films they screen in purgatory to make the newly-arrived repent. And to think, I only managed to sit through 30 minutes.
I finally left the theatre and took a seat on a bench on the boardwalk and chain-smoked for an hour in the Florida heat. It was the first time I'd ever walked out of a movie. It was the first time that I didn't care about my movie-going manners among friends. I hated the film and refused to support it and I proved it by walking out while my friends watched. It was liberating.
What about you? Have you ever walked out of a movie because you hated it to much? A movie you paid to see? Tell me about it.