Alphabetical Movie – It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
We all have them, right? The movies that we are supposed to like but we just…don’t?
Take Ben Hur, for instance. Man do I dislike that film. That awesome chariot race? It’s definitely better than the pod race in The Phantom Menace but that is faint praise indeed. I just think it’s long. Really long.
I don’t dislike It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World the way I dislike Ben Hur but try as I might, I sure don’t like it.
As a movie lover, it almost feels unfair. I feel like I’m missing out because I don’t love a film so well regarded by so many. I keep telling myself that if I watch it just one more time, maybe I’ll see the what I’ve failed to see every other time I’ve watched it.
I mean, my kids like it. They like it so much that they’ve sat through the film multiple times. Heck, when it was time to watch it as part of the Alphabetical Movie Project, I told the kids and they were genuinely excited to watch it with me. That was great for them.
So why did I consider watching it such a chore? I’ve watched far worse films as part of the Alphabetical Movie Project and I will watch far worse ones. Heck, I like some of those films more than this one. Hardly seems fair. Why would I be more interested in watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull than I would be in watching It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World?
There’s no excuse for that, is there?
Except, try as I might, I can’t find a sympathetic character in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. I may not be nuts about most of the story decisions in Crystal Skull but I still like Indiana Jones. I want him to get away from the bad guys.
What do you with a movie where the last thing you want is for anyone in it to get what they want? Maybe I want Spencer Tracy to get the loot. Maybe. Mostly I keep hoping that they’ll get caught.
And they don’t get caught. For three damn hours they don’t get caught. The film feels more like an endurance test than anything else.
Yet I keep beating myself up over the fact that I just don’t like this movie featuring – well – most of the best comedians of their era since I really feel like I should like it anyway.
If I wasn’t a movie buff, it wouldn’t bug me, I think. I’d be comfortable that I don’t have to like every highly regarded film. I’d be content to think that Ben Hur is boring and It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World is not very funny and way too long. As it is, I keep trying to find what I’m missing.
Thing is, that is a good quality. I keep trying to find what everyone else sees in good movies. Sometimes, one of these movies gets through to me and I finally see what I’ve been missing the whole time.
I had such a moment watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in a movie theatre. Once I saw it on a big screen, the movie finally made sense to me and I understood why it was considered a masterpiece.
I’ll be honest, though. I don’t think that’s going to happen with It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
Oh well. At least my kids like it.