By Jack Walz
LOS ANGELES, CA — In an effort to better understand middle-aged audiences, a team of researchers from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts sat down with Mom to observe her choosing a movie. She had no idea how to use the remote, so someone had to slowly click through all of the streaming services and read brief descriptions of movies that caught her interest.
The team began with Amazon Prime Video. Right away, Mom brought up the anal sex scene from Fleabag and claimed that anything on this “raunchy website” was out of the question. Moving on to Hulu, the researchers noted her disdain for Pete Davidson, whom she saw in the photo for Big Time Adolescence. It was Netflix or bust.
Believing it to be their best bet, the team started in the Critically Acclaimed section. However, Mom made it clear that anything over ninety minutes was simply “too drawn-out” for her liking. This ruled out 93% of the category, leaving only the supernatural drama A Ghost Story (2017) and the classic comedy Groundhog Day (1993).
Mom didn’t want anything with excessive violence, or any violence at all for that matter. No non-linear plotlines, absurdity, self-reference, or essentially any element commonly found in postmodern cinema. Therefore, the Critically Acclaimed section was out.
They moved on to romantic comedies. One by one, Mom ruthlessly shot down every movie in the section.
She made sure to let the researchers know that she “heard from a work friend that Alex Strangelove is super weird.”
In regard to all of the movies starring up-and-coming actor Noah Centineo, she commented, “Aren’t we tired of the whole ‘coming-of-age’ thing?”
“Bradley Cooper? Ugh, nobody’s eyes are REALLY that blue.” This was her remark on the 2010 film Valentine’s Day.
Mom was completely striking out. Upon analyzing the results of the three-hour-long movie search, the team calculated that only 5% of the entire filmography on the world’s largest streaming service was up to her standards. This 5% included Hitch (2005), Shrek the Musical (2013), and Tootsie (1982).
The researchers noted Mom’s choice of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), despite her having seen it nine times already.