One’s expectations under assumptions cannot be counted on and can be very dangerous when those assumptions are grounded in feelings and hunches – equally unreliable affectations. That’s my attempt at sounding cheekily philosophical about something that happens on a daily basis. People make a few assumptions about me such as that I’m too nice, lack confidence, that I apologize too much or that I’m too innocent or sheltered. Granted, some of these are facts but people assume further things about me based on those facts. I try to not make too many assumptions about things or people but ultimately I fail in that. I make snap judgements on certain films because I assume them to be of a particular (usually, annoying) genre or if they have performances by certain actors. Then there are the times I am pleasantly surprised and proven wrong.
I had to watch Apocalypse Now (redux) a few years ago for a class and assumed/told myself that it was going to be the most boring screening in the world because I had disliked it when I first saw it in my grade 12 English class. When I randomly rented Pieces of April I had only done so because the blurb on the back made it sound interesting. I had no knowledge of Katie Holmes as an actress capable of going beyond Dawson’s Creek and was pulled into the film because of the cross-related relationships and their varying levels of intensity. More generally still, I assume all “chick flicks” are vapid, hyper-sensitized and lacking both a sense of relateable realism or fantasy that people (me, mainly, I guess) have no connection with.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding was on tv the other night, along with other offerings such as Jezebel, The Godfather, and a string of Charles Laughton movies. The assumption that I know some people would make of me would be that I would watch the Laughton movies, or The Godfather, or just anything else. Just because I’m in Film Studies I must be a film snob and only watch old movies, or classics, or whatever. But here’s the thing, as vacuous as Greek appears to be to some, it’s quite spot on with regards to some attitudes in non-Anglo cultures. My point being, obviously, that it’s unfair to make assumptions until you see or do something for yourself. Simple enough with simple examples. Yet, apparently not.
I could list some of the things I’ve done, which may or may not be surprising – frankly that isn’t my aim. I’ve been bandying the world about but I think it’s difficult for people to feel open-minded enough to not make assumptions. Do, watch, try or even ask – just once, and then see what happens. If you don’t, you’ll never really know and where’s the fun in a sure thing? All the things I did or still do, the good/bad, legal/illegal, don’t actually matter because they’re not me. Don’t assume you know a thing until you learn how to learn about it.