What Happens When You Realize Your Favorite Movie Is No Longer Your Favorite Movie?

fight-clubMy world came crashing down tonight at 6:53 pm.

I was cooking dinner, and I decided to check my TiVo to see what I would watch while I ate. However, to my horror I discovered that I had nothing new to watch. I was all caught up.

So I turned to my slim DVD collection, which is mostly comprised of my favorite movies from 10 years ago and before (that’s when I stopped buying DVDs). The last time I was in this situation, I had pulled out several DVDs to consider, and it was that batch of movies I considered tonight. They were:

  • Fight Club
  • Star Wars Episode V
  • The Prestige
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Starsky & Hutch (I know, that one doesn’t fit in, but I like it!)

The most notable movie for me on this list is Fight Club, because it has been my favorite movie since I first saw it in the theaters my freshman year of college (1999). It has so many lines, moments, and scenes that connected with me on a level I didn’t know a movie could reach. Plus, I love movies with twists.

I lingered on Fight Club tonight as I decided which DVD to watch. I haven’t seen it in years, and there’s no logical reason why I wouldn’t want to watch my favorite movie, right?

I picked The Prestige. Not necessarily because I like it more than Fight Club, but my desire to watch it was greater than my desire to watch Fight Club. As I put it in my DVD player, for the first time I admitted to myself that Fight Club is simply no longer my favorite movie. It’s a movie that will always have a special place in my heart, and it’s still in my top 20, but 2016 Jamey is a different person than 1999 Jamey. It’s time to move on.

I know I’m being melodramatic by saying it “rocked my world,” but it honestly hit me pretty hard. Life has many more questions than answers, so there’s a level of comfort in knowing the answer to anything, even if the question is, “What’s your favorite movie?” It’s like when you find out that a long-running joke–something you’ve always relied on for a good laugh–simply isn’t funny any more.

So for now, I’m going to proceed without a favorite movie. I’m sure one will emerge at the right time, but until then, I’m a free agent.

Have you ever experienced a realization like this, whether it be a long-running favorite movie, book, musician, game, etc? How did you realize it was no longer your favorite, and how did that impact you?


8 Responses to “What Happens When You Realize Your Favorite Movie Is No Longer Your Favorite Movie?”

  1. Nice thought on an everyday event.

    I think it happens all the time. Fight Club is one of my all time movies, and my favourite movie is a place caught between memento and ninth gate, but I keep changing it based on my mood.

    My music however is where it hit me hard. I have a true Deep love of British protest punk / rock from the early/mid 80’s, and I just woke up one day thinking “Why is none of it on my playlists in Spotify?”. I did not even have the feeling that they should be there. I know I will bring out the old record player and play some of it at one point or another.

    Was I shocked? Not really that much, just moved on without much thought to it, and I was more surprised at how easy that was.

  2. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Thanks for sharing! It’s interesting how you came to that realization about how your musical tastes had changed.

  3. Matt says:

    I’ve found that I have a really hard time claiming anything as my absolute favorite because it changes depending on my mood, or the situation. Even something as simple as color, I find I have to ask “For what?” because my favorite color for a car isn’t the same as my favorite color for a sofa, a table or a picture frame.

  4. Randy says:

    Somewhat related, my mom has this quote painted on a wall in her hallway, surrounded by movie posters and other memorabilia:

    > People who like movies have a favorite. People
    > who love movies couldn’t possibly choose.

    I think about that quote a lot when I reflect on my personal preferences or tastes in different forms of art and entertainment.

    (Also, for what it’s worth, Star Wars V has been my favorite movie for a very long time. 🙂

  5. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Randy: I like that perspective. Perhaps it’s time for me to simply not have a favorite, as I love a lot of movies for different reasons. 🙂

  6. Katy says:

    I had a similar experience a few months ago with my “favorite” tv show (Dr. Who). I have the most recent season recorded on my DVR, but keep passing it up for other options. There aren’t any standout moments or reasons I can think of to explain my not wanting to watch those episodes, and keep telling myself I’ll get around to them eventually.

    Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually watched Fight Club in its entirety. I think my parents didn’t give me permission to watch it when it was in theaters (I was only a sophomore in high school at the time), and then later I remember trying to watch it, but falling asleep every single time. I should probably add that to my list of movies I need to watch.

  7. Chad Ingham says:

    The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. My personal favorite. I think the characters of Tuco and Blondie and their relationship is amazing. Not to mention the great story and quotes. I was so happy to see Tuco in Colt Express. He’s my go to character in that game.

  8. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Katy: Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s a little weird how it happens, isn’t it? You keep choosing other things ahead of the thing you thought you loved the most. Weird.

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