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Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it?

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Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it?

Old 01-07-04, 10:20 AM
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Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it?

I thought that Lost in Translation was the best movie I saw last year. It has terrific acting and dialogue throughout, beautiful direction, editing and cinematography and the best soundtrack I've heard in years. I was completely engrosed in watching the movie, I didn't notice anything else in the theater....

I recommended it to all of my friends...and to my surprise, every single one, TO A PERSON, hated it. I'm not talking mild dislike, but full-on hatred.

Some typical comments:
"It was boring!"
"It was weird, I didn't get it"
"It was pedophiliac."
"It had no plot and went nowhere".

Usually, these comments are accompanied by my friends looking at me as if I'm crazy for loving the film.

Obviously, there are other people out there who liked the movie as much as I did: the reviews where universally positive and lots of people on the internet liked it. But, I have yet to meet anyone in the real world who liked it.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with this movie? I guess I like films like Rushmore and bands like Roxy Music: people either completely get what they're trying to do and love everything about them...or they completely despise every aspect of them. There's no middle ground. Maybe Lost in Translation fits into that catagory.

Last edited by Hiro11; 04-13-04 at 03:36 PM.
Old 01-07-04, 10:41 AM
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Get new friends.



Its probably likely that none of your friends liked Rushmore or art-house films in general, so its pointless to recommend such fare to them. 'Getting' a film has a lot to do with the person's background and knowledge - that might sound snobby but its true.
Old 01-07-04, 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by MrN
'Getting' a film has a lot to do with the person's background and knowledge - that might sound snobby but its true.
is is indeed snobby, and regarding some cases, it is also true, but it is not an absolute. just as 'getting' a film (music/story/etc.) does not obligate one to like it. to state a blanket condescension toward the perception or intelligence of everyone who does not enjoy a certain film or genre goes beyond arrogance; it is rather silly and foolish.
Old 01-07-04, 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Jalizarin
to state a blanket condescension toward the perception or intelligence of everyone who does not enjoy a certain film or genre goes beyond arrogance; it is rather silly and foolish.
Not sure where I was being condescending - all I'm saying is, if someone is not used to art-films, don't recommend such fare to them.

Also, when I say a person's background, I mean their exposure to art/film. I should have probably used my thesaurus on that one.
Old 01-07-04, 11:44 AM
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Pedophiliac? Your friends should get a dictionary. Johansson's character was in her mid-twenties and Murray in his mid-fifties. It may be creepy but it ain't illegal, not as if they did anything anyway...
Old 01-07-04, 11:46 AM
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I'm sure there are avid movie-goers with experience to arthouse films that didn't like Lost in Translation. I haven't met or talked to one yet, but I'm sure that one exists. All Jalizarin was saying, I think, was that the standard isn't universal and to assume it is is ridiculous.

Anyway, just make a mental note not to recommend those types of films to your friends, Hiro11.
Old 01-07-04, 12:33 PM
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Some people have the attention span of a gnat.
Old 01-07-04, 01:58 PM
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So what movies did your friends like, anyway?
Old 01-07-04, 02:14 PM
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To put it simply, different strokes for different folks. Movies are 100% subjective. One person's trash is anothers treasure and vice versa.
Old 01-07-04, 02:24 PM
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And that's why we have people who prefer From Justine to Kelly over The Sound of Music, why people think Gigli should be nominated for Best Picture.
Old 01-07-04, 02:25 PM
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And there's nothing wrong with that IMO. No one's opinion on movies is any more valid than anyone elses.
Old 01-07-04, 03:44 PM
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I like a lot of independent/arthouse films but I thought LiT was dull, meandering and did not make me care about the characters or engage me even a little. I didn't hate it, I just think it has been way overrated.

Last edited by movielib; 01-08-04 at 10:23 AM.
Old 01-07-04, 04:25 PM
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why do my friends hate it?
cause they have no taste?
Old 01-07-04, 05:06 PM
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let me guess, your friends are Joe and Jane Sixpack type of people? if so i wouldn't be surprised as it is a film that works on a level above them.
Old 01-07-04, 05:39 PM
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You can't change the taste of people that enjoy movies like
Armageddon and Fast & the Furious.

Just be glad it was made.

What a great film that was, and hopefully it will be nominated at Oscar time.
Old 01-07-04, 06:12 PM
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I loved Lost in Translation because of 2 things:

1) I absolutely love being in Japan
2) The film reminded me a bit of Wong kar-Wai's Chungking Express and Fallen Angels

I can totally relate to the confusion that foreigners get when they go to Tokyo because as big and cosmopolitan of a city it is, very few people speak English and much it's very easy to lose your way there. But I really liked the fact that the film's themes are closely patterned to the films I mentioned which are loneliness amidst a immensely-populated city and a brevy of what-could-have-beens.

Funny thing is that most of my friends did not get Lost In Translation because for them, it was overhyped too much and not a lot of Japanese culture was dwelled on.
Old 01-07-04, 07:00 PM
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because they are idiots.

get new friends.
Old 01-07-04, 07:19 PM
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I probably would not have liked this movie had I not known what type of film it was going in (from internet, reviews, etc). There is something to be said about expecting a dialogue/character driven movie as opposed to accidently discovering one (when you might not be in the mood that minute/hour/day/week for patience or thought.
Old 01-07-04, 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by Grizzly
let me guess, your friends are Joe and Jane Sixpack type of people? if so i wouldn't be surprised as it is a film that works on a level above them.
You're right. It's not possible for intelligent people to dislike this film.

Just because someone doesn't like a movie doesn't mean it's necessarily "working on a level" above their understanding.
Old 01-07-04, 07:47 PM
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People have different tastes in all things in life. I've long ago given up on trying to make people "see" a film my way. I do personally think that certain films "speak" to people based on their life experiences and particular themes and emotions which touch a particular chord with them.

Everybody asks me if I think THEY would like a particular film, and I usually make a judgment based on their track record of films I know they've liked. I don't even bother recommending "arthouse" films anymore.

(On a side note, I'm very disheartened because the 8-screen local arthouse which I visited weekly has also GIVEN UP. Apparently, this crowd did not buy enough food to stuff their faces and they didn't make enough money at the concession. They will be converting to a bargain, second-run theatre. )

That being said. . .I loved "Lost in Translation" and it would make my Top 3 for 2003.

And another thought . . .perhaps your friends' expectations are thrown off by the presence of Bill Murray. They wanted something other than the more subdued, gently humorous tone of his performance.

Last edited by rkndkn; 01-07-04 at 07:50 PM.
Old 01-07-04, 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
To put it simply, different strokes for different folks. Movies are 100% subjective. One person's trash is anothers treasure and vice versa.
This is only resonable reply here. Why must everyone who doesnt agree with you be considered a stupid teenager who has ADD and watches Fast and the Furious? I didnt shit my pants over Once Upon a Time in America. I guess I should take Adderal.
Old 01-07-04, 08:23 PM
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I loved Lost in Translation, probably one of my all time favs by this point, but different strokes for different folks. Doesn't necessarily mean your friends have bad taste.
Old 01-07-04, 11:00 PM
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Re: Lost in Translation: why do my friends hate it?

Originally posted by Hiro11
I recommended it to all of my friends...and to my surprise, every single one, TO A PERSON, hated it. I'm not talking mild dislike, but full-on hatred.
This is surprising to me also. One would think at least some might've thought it was (at least) okay.

Usually, when I recommend a movie, I'll gauge the recipient of my enthusiasm. Character-driven indie films are not for everyone, so if I like a film, I'll let the person know what they're getting into. I did this with Ghost World and got pretty good results.

I feel it's my duty to inform people of movies I think are worthy of viewing but I don't want to set them up for disappointment.
Old 01-07-04, 11:16 PM
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cause they aren't friends.. burn them. burn them to the ground!

Different strokes for different folks. Your friends wont always like what you like and you shouldn't expect them to. I saw this when it first came out and loved it. I can understand why some people don't like it.. it's not for everyone.
Old 01-08-04, 12:06 AM
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I didn't like it either so sue me... just cause you think a movie is genious doesn't make me or anyone else stupid or wrong

anyway I consider this a great example imo of a movie that has tons of great scenes and great acting lots of clever ideas, but that doesn't make it a great movie, it didn't work for me as a complete story, and despite the fact that I would love being in bill's characters shoes at his age, the romance aspect of it made me cringe literally

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