A Fear of Whales

What is the best movie ever?

Go on. Leave a comment. Which movie is best?

Not your favorite movie. I want to know the best movie. Objectively.
This is another one of my favorite conversation questions, along with “What is best in life?” I feel like it tells me so much about a person when they answer, and if they answer and how much prodding it takes.

My favorite answers come immediately, as if the responder had already thought about it. Usually they offer something that would hardly be considered “best” by most critics. something like “Dumb and Dumber”

Others will think about it for a while and then offer something like the Highest rated film. Something like “Citizen Kane”

The people I have the hardest time getting along with are the type who will refuse to answer. They will dig their heels in and refuse to name a movie because nobody can say any movie is best. I find that obstinate, and a bit insecure as if they resent being asked a difficult question when I’m supposed to be following a script that contains only questions like “how are you” and answers like “fine”

But I’m learning that those people in the third group may have more evidence going for them than I originally realized.
I mean I always knew that it was kind of an unanswerable question (if you already knew the answer what fun would it be) but I had been operating under the assumption that there actually was a best movie out there somewhere, and the trick was that we couldn’t escape or bias far enough to learn what it is. After all, there are better movies, and worse movies, one of them must be best. Right?

Howard Moskiwitz says no.

Apparently, according to his findings, you can’t sell, “the perfect car” for example. Making a car faster doesn’t make it better, and there is no optimal level of speed for a car. You won’t find a bell curve, where people like cars that go 200 and no more. Some people like fast cars, some people like safe cars, some people like roomy cars. And the best you can do, is build a kind of car that your competitors are not building to appeal to people who have so far been unsatisfied.
So prior to Moskewitz there were two kinds of mustard, French’s and Guilden’s and they were both yellow. But it turns out yellow is not the ultimate mustard, it’s just the ultimate mustard for some people. so now there’s 30 mustards to choose from in your store.

Same thing with cars, with mustard, with movies… So what about churches?

Presbyterians think that God chooses who is saved and who isn’t Methodists think that’s our choice, and Lutherans think it’s something in between. Could it be that this is… a matter of preference?

Certainty we feel that way about worship styles right? I can have a guitar or a choir at my church and that’s all okay, but where’s the line? We can’t believe the Resurrection is just figurative and the bible is flawed if we want to!

…Or can we?

Is is possible that even where one should draw the line between negotiable and nonnegotiables… depends?


I think it is.

I don’t know if it’s the case, but I think it’s possible.
Also, Die Hard: Best movie ever

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus