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March 3, 2014 | by  | in Arts Film |
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How to Choose a Movie in a Flat

A Sunday-night flat-bonding movie night seems like a bright and brilliant idea (and everyone loves to crash on the couch). Yet somehow, the process of actually choosing what to watch carries with it a very high risk of being dramatically unsuccessful.

To begin with, picking even the genre of the movies proves to be problematic. If half the group are your classic hipsters who seem to pick films based on which are most likely to bolster their cultured reputation, yet the other half are willing to shed out $15 to see Robocop, a bit of a conundrum emerges.

Even if you finally convince everyone that crying over The Notebook is really what they’re in the mood for, there emerges the further question of whether you then go for one that’s actually decent, or a shit one for a laugh.

Unlike with your family, or even your best friends, forming a consensus with the people you endure dishwasher and cleaning-roster drama with involves an underlying pressure to follow social protocol.

Of course you want to impress these flatmates, politely win some friends and not be shunned from the group for an inconsiderate and misplaced film choice.

There are a variety of methods open to you:

Elimination: This never works. Most likely, 4/5 people have already seen the narrowed-down choice, and everyone seems to sit there thinking about the movie they would prefer to be watching (no fun). No one’s satisfied; next.

Nomination: A process which is heavily dependent on the person. There’s always a people-pleaser who fails to see that no option will satisfy every individual, and by trying too hard ends up picking a shit movie so everyone goes to bed anyway, imminently leaving them to take the rejection personally. Either that, or your hipster flatmates picks an obscure arthouse film in an attempt to convert the rest and boost their ego. The inevitable hopeless romantic goes for a romantic comedy like He’s Just Not That Into You which they naïvely think is a bible for real-life relationships. Or someone who gets their kicks out of nostalgia trips convinces everyone The Little Mermaid can never be watched to excess.

The power of suggestion: Unfortunately has the potential to backfire. I have made my whole flat watch Four Lions together on the basis it was so hilarious I was in tears when watching for the second time and no one laughed. Not once. I like to think they have basic senses of humor.

Roster: Making it a privilege to pick a movie may work a dream. By earning the right to determine what dominates those final hours of the flat’s week, not only are you prepared in advance, but you can’t complain as their consideration in taking the initiative to bring in everyone’s washing means you need to reciprocate. Even if it means you sit through The Shining and a cockroach is capable of making you scream.

To avoid the above trials and tribulations, you have two options.

1. Create a list at the beginning of the year so there’s no waffling. Or at least allocate different genres to each week. Half the battle is when you can’t decide to go for something like Silence of the Lambs or Easy A.

2. Don’t bother watching the same movie at all. With technology these days, an innovative option is to all sit together, plugged into your own individual laptops. Hassle-free and ever so social at the same time.

However, it can be wildly successful. Last year, This Is the End managed to bond my flat together on a whole new level. Nothing like watching Michael Cera blow cocaine into someone’s face to bring people together. We were talking about it for weeks. So give it a try.

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