I Don't Read Movies, Thanks

I'm not really a movie person- they're long, I like to move around, I frequent the facilities often, and sometimes I get sleepy. Movies with subtitles are even worse (minus ten more points if they're in back and white... I can hear the peanut gallery now), and dubbing is incredibly annoying.

What? But you love reading!

Reading subtitles is not the same as reading books. When watching a movie with subtitles the viewer must pay attention the whole time, meaning I can't grade papers, play Angry Birds, fold laundry, or flip through a magazine. It's really hard for me to justify spending two hours of my time in front of my least-favorite dust collector, so multi-tasking eases some of the guilt (nowadays I watch less than five hours of TV a week; it's just not for me, although I totally understand the appeal).

Another problem I have with subtitles is missing out on what's actually happening in the movie from a visual perspective- I feel like I'm spending all my time reading the dialogue, rather than focusing on what the characters are doing and what the setting looks like. I know I'm missing subtle nuances that provide additional information about relationships, schemes, and personalities. That longing look he gave her as she boarded the train? Oh, I missed it because I was reading the damn subtitles. The antagonist switching the babies so that her child would grow up wealthy? No clue, reading the stupid-ass subtitles. I know that some sort of visual perception phenomena is supposed to occur, where reading and watching can be done simultaneously, but it just doesn't happen for me. Perhaps I should schedule an appointment with the developmental specialist.

And, let's face
it- movies with subtitles (Japanese monster movies excluded) are often such cerebral films (at least the ones my husband buys and tries to get me to watch), adding a whole other layer of inconvenience. While I don't like "hahaha he got kicked in the balls" movies (i.e. Grown Ups), there are times where I'm watching a movie to relax and don't want several road blocks preventing me from doing so. Subtitles and two and a half hours of thought-provoking dialogue (that I have to read)? Umm, how about we watch Garden State for the ten billionth time instead?

There ar
e a few subtitled movies, though, that I do like. Che Guevara's biopic was great (really long), but mostly because he's my historical-figure crush, and because I know some Spanish. I love Amelie, the whimsical French romantic comedy. I'm sure there are others, since I used to keep my preference to not watch subtitles more of secret from my film buff of a husband (who, I guess, thankfully doesn't regularly read my blog, since I'm sure this post would lose me a few of my carefully stocked bonus points). I don't have a problem with subtitles- I don't think they're stupid or that the people who enjoy movies with them are weird, I just can't sit still and focus on a TV or screen that long.

I do feel a little guilty- I appreciate culture, I enjoy art, I like to surround myself with things with meaning. Aren't intelligent people supposed to like subtitled movies? Okay, it passed, back to being a subtitle-hater.


  1. I don't really enjoy movies with subtitles either. I love movies with stunning scenery and costumes, with actors that really have a presence on the screen. I don't want to focus on words across the bottom of the screen and miss out on everything else.

  2. im with you on this one except babel was i good movie i found. not all of it was in subtitles. but i ha v e a feeling it might not be your type of movie though if i like it