Movie Forums Top 100 of the 2010s - Group Watch

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Watched Thirst Street. Thought it was decent watch. I found the female lead unlikeable.i didn't mind her choices, how much ever bad they were, kinda made her feel not the typical reel character.


Thanks for the recommendation @crumbsroom



I think we should be concerned about anyone who reviews Thirst Street and notes that they found Gina likable.
Unlikable characters is like calling a movie boring for me. If you donít like a movie itís an easy target. Iím not saying itís always invalid, but for most film fans itís easy to point to hundreds of examples of movies you like where the same criticism could be used.
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mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
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In most cases we want characters to be understandable. Even if they are terrible people, you want to understand why they do what they do. If you don't, then it usually ends up being a waste of time since you're just confused and annoyed by their actions. The worst kind of character in my opinion is one who's supposed to be likable, yet their behavior constantly demonstrates the opposite. A prime example is Andie McDowell in Four Weddings And A Funeral. It's a good movie generally, but God her character drove me crazy. Eventually her manipulative bullshit had gotten so bad I was left wondering what the hell Hugh Grant even sees in her.



Complaining about unlikable characters is...fair, I guess. Like, if the film you were watching wasn't the pleasure seeking vehicle you hoped it would be, I guess it's fair to criticize that aspect.

I've just always found it odd how most of the people who use that criticism tend to use it for characters with relatively low stake flaws ("This character is a bully", "This character is rude to their family", "This character is a bad parent", etc.) and ignore it for films with murderers as the main characters like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Le Samourai, Pulp Fiction, etc. The main characters in those films are far worse than Gina is.

Overall, I think unlikable characters can be just as complex, layered, and interesting as likable characters, so I feel that dismissing those films with "I found them unlikable" is oftentimes barely scratching the surface of the complexities of those characters.
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In most cases we want characters to be understandable. Even if they are terrible people, you want to understand why they do what they do.
I would say that Thirst Street accomplishes that.



I think it depends. If we're supposed to like them (or at least sympathize with them) and we don't, the criticism is valid.

If we're not supposed to like them, it can still be valid to criticize on the grounds that you/we don't typically enjoy stories centered around bad people.

If we're not supposed to like them, but you literally never like (or, more likely, never really give a chance to) stories centered around bad people, then I think we loop around to it being a problem (so to speak) with the viewer, since it seems extreme not just to prefer some types of stories, but to be functionally incapable of appreciating or enjoying any others. That suggests, at minimum, an inability to occasionally step outside oneself to evaluate things.

This isn't meant to describe anyone, just riffing off the concept being discussed.



Anyways...

Current candidates to host the next round:

Takoma11
Miss Vicky
gbgoodies
WrinkledMind

You guys have about 24 more hours to watch the film.



SeŮora DelMonte, she go BOOM!
With the WC starting in under an hour and up to four matches per day I doubt I'll get much time to movie-watch over the remaining weeks until the deadline so I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank Speling for both coming up with the idea and running this thread - a great idea, a shame I ended up not being able to contribute more to it but enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks also to all those that took part and offered up nominations
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terrible, 0/5, not enough puppies.



With the WC starting in under an hour and up to four matches per day I doubt I'll get much time to movie-watch over the remaining weeks until the deadline so I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank Speling for both coming up with the idea and running this thread - a great idea, a shame I ended up not being able to contribute more to it but enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks also to all those that took part and offered up nominations
Glad you enjoyed this thread! Also, be sure to submit your ballot



See the issue for me is that when I say a character is unlikable, I don't necessarily just mean that they're bad people. I mean that I don't like to watch them. I don't require characters to be people that I would like in real life. There are plenty of movies with terrible people in them that I enjoy, but what I require in a movie is that it follow characters that I want to watch. Maybe I want to watch them because their terribleness is kind of funny or because their terribleness is creepy and intriguing. Or maybe I like the way their terribleness works as a balance to a character who is good. For me, Gina was not funny, or creepy, or intriguing. There also was no balance because I found Jerome equally off-putting and so I didn't really care about the horrible things she did, not even on a wanting bad things to happen to him kind of level.



mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here
Spot-on. I haven't seen Thirst Street, but what you describe is exactly why Margot At The Wedding is one of my most hated movies ever. Margot isn't fun to watch, she's not interesting and I don't give a shit what happens to her. In fact pretty much all of the characters in it seem to be that way. They are shitty people who never learn anything plus are complete and utter bores to watch.



IMO: all criticisms of a movie are equally legit. The more those criticisms are spelled out, the more illuminating and informative they become. It's fine to not like a movie because you can't stand a character. It's equally fine to like a movie because the character is a slime ball. Reviewing a film as 'engaging' is as fair game as reviewing a film as 'boring'. Both are one word descriptors of how the movie made the reviewer feel. As always more in depth reasons why a film was 'engaging' or 'boring' helps explain one's reasoning to the reader.

What I don't think is right is: labeling people who don't like the movie with some insulting label. I've seen this done on MoFo far too often and even if it's done as a generality it can be a trigger and hurtful to others. It's an insecure person who needs to put down other people to justify their own views.



mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here
I agree. I can take issue if the person dislikes the movie for some bigoted reason (Which unfortunately happens often with ones starring LGBT+/minority characters), but if it just wasn't their thing then that's that. I admittedly let my emotions get the better of me occasionally, but am staunchly against stereotyping people because of their preferences. Star Wars fans start frothing at the mouth if you happen to think the new trilogy has redeeming qualities, throwing around labels like "real fan" or saying you have awful taste. Similarly I also can't stand when someone really loves a movie, and snarkily tells every person "You didn't get it" or "This movie is OBJECTIVELY better than that one" if they dare not feel the same way. For example, I posted about how Cemetery Of Splendor is a boring and pretentious piece of crap, and when I mentioned Tarkovsky as someone who's better at meditative cinema they refused to believe me and for some reason thought "But you like Star Trek" was a valid argument. Good grief.



Unlikable characters is like calling a movie boring for me. If you donít like a movie itís an easy target. Iím not saying itís always invalid, but for most film fans itís easy to point to hundreds of examples of movies you like where the same criticism could be used.
Right.

I mean, I didn't like Gina. I felt sorry for her at times. I thought that the movie did a good job of showing us her thought processes and where they go really wrong for her. The way that she tries to chase a life she wants, but ends up alienating everyone along the way.

We have a student in our building right now who is like this. She repeatedly crosses boundaries, she makes other kids uncomfortable, she sometimes lashes out at others. By any metric, I don't think you can call her likable. But she is a real person with real feelings, and it's a really unfortunate expression of her desire to have people like her and care about her.

Like Yoda says, calling a character unlikable seems strange to me as a criticism unless the framing of the movie clearly indicates that you're supposed to like and root for the person. I think it's pretty clear from the outset that we're not supposed to like Gina, but rather observe the slow downward spiral of someone chasing a dream that just isn't going to happen.

I do understand the criticism that a character was unbearable to spend time with. Sometimes no matter how well acted or well shot or whatever, it's like "I do not want to watch this person for another minute!"


Anyway, in case it wasn't clear, my original comment was just a joke and not some sort of attack on Wrinkled Mind for noting the character's unlikability.



Agreed, but I don't think anyone here has been insulting in this discussion. Admittedly, complaining about unlikeable characters isn't a criticism that I understand that well (most of the time) and I think it's the kind of criticism that's hard to convince me of, at least compared to some other criticisms I commonly see since most people who use it mean it in the sense of "This character should've been likable".

However, I'm definitely open to letting people elaborate on why they took issue with that aspect. For instance, I think Miss Vicky gave a fair explanation for her stance up above, so no issues there from me.



... Admittedly, complaining about unlikeable characters isn't a criticism that I understand that well (most of the time) and I think it's the kind of criticism that's hard to convince me of, at least compared to some other criticisms I commonly see since most people who use it mean it in the sense of "This character should've been likable".
That's probably true, that many who say they find a character unlikable mean the character should have had more redeemable qualities. Though there could be other reasons, like the one Miss Vicky gave which is also an understandable reaction.

I've watched movies where I hated the character so much I wanted to reach through the TV screen and slap them. Maybe they were meant to be that way, or maybe they weren't, actually it wouldn't matter to me. What matters to me is if I hate them to the point of ruining the movie then that's just the way I feel.



That's probably true, that many who say they find a character unlikable mean the character should have had more redeemable qualities. Though there could be other reasons, like the one Miss Vicky gave which is also an understandable reaction.

I've watched movies where I hated the character so much I wanted to reach through the TV screen and slap them. Maybe they were meant to be that way, or maybe they weren't, actually it wouldn't matter to me. What matters to me is if I hate them to the point of ruining the movie then that's just the way I feel.
That's a fair reason as well.

I can't think of any examples off the top of my head right now, but since it was brought up, I'm sure I could come up with some characters I found uninteresting and dull in the past. Assuming those characters I find uninteresting happen to be unlikable as well, I think my criticism for finding them unlikable would just be because I found them dull and uninteresting, not necessarily finding them unlikable due to some actions they did which I found bad or immoral.

I think this is what you and Vicky mean though, so all's good