Nov 26, 2011
What Do YOU Say?
Lisa Alexander - Hello, everyone. Lisa the Intern here. Yes, I still exist, I'm still alive, and I still hold the unpaid position of "intern" even though I've graduated college and could certainly use a solid income... but that's another topic for another day.
Today's topic, ever so predictably, is the new movie. I would guess that you've seen it by now, unless you have the misfortune of living someplace where it isn't showing yet. So what do you do when someone asks you about it?
It came up multiple times during my Thanksgiving holiday. Family members would specifically ask me about it, or just pose a question when I happened to be in hearing range, and I had a hard time balancing my answer. I think my sister got the (incorrect) impression that as a Muppet fan I was disappointed, although she did relay to a cousin that I gave the movie a "thumbs up" (which is an understatement). Meanwhile, my aunt and two other cousins attentively sat for what could have easily become an hour-long lecture if my mom hadn't been dragging me out the door.
So what do YOU say when The Muppets comes up in conversation?
Do you stem your fandom and leave it with a simple, "That's a great movie! You should really see it."
Or do you get up on your soapbox and launch into a speech about how you've been tracking this movie's existence for the past four years, and how it was made by a bunch of hard-core Muppet fans out to prove that comedy doesn't have to be rude and puppets can appeal to adults, and how anyone can enjoy this movie, but the more you know about Muppets the more you'll get it, and how incredible it is that characters we haven't seen since the '70s are suddenly major players... And if you DO get on that soapbox, how long is it before your audience--I mean, family--loses interest?
Or do you try to show your folks that, although you're an Obsessed Muppet Fan, you do not blindly love and adore every single thing the Muppets ever do? This is the tactic I took with my sister, with the mixed results I mentioned before. I could have launched into a speech, of course: how there were some minor things I would have done differently, but that could be said about pretty much any Muppet movie ever made. (Case in point: Miss Piggy's hairstyle in Muppets Take Manhattan. I realize the afro was "in" at the time, but... seriously?) But then I would've ended up with a very bored listener. So instead all I said was, "There were some things I would have changed... but overall I enjoyed it." Which made for a painfully short conversation.
Ultimately, how much you profess your love of the new movie depends on your audience. (Note that I presume all of you love the new movie. It's hard not to.) How much you say depends on how much they know about the Muppets, and how much they already love the Muppets. Someone who can barely tell the difference between Rowlf and Fozzie won't appreciate how awesome it is that Thog has returned and Uncle Deadly is Tex Richman's henchman (hench-phantom?), but you can say, "This movie has characters we haven't seen since the '70s, and it's awesome."
The most important thing now is to recommend it. If someone asks, say yes, they should see this movie, because it is worth their time and money. Disney can do all the advertising in the world, and every possible source can give The Muppets great reviews, but nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. Tell your friends and family to tell THEIR friends and family to tell THEIR friends and family to see this movie so that it can be as big of a hit as it deserves to be. And that will send a very clear message, to Disney and to the entire world, that we want more Muppets.
Oh, and while you're out there promoting the movie, you might also want to advise people to bring tissues.