I began to ponder: What’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen?
I decided not to consider movies that everyone agrees are bad. I would only select movies that were either critically acclaimed and/or well-loved.
For me, it’s a 3-way tie.
1. First up is 1991’s The Man in the Moon. Every girl I knew raved about it. Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars and used the words “poetry,” “purity,” and “perfection” to describe it. It stars Reese Witherspoon and Sam Waterston, both of whom I adore.
And yet I despised it.
You know what’s even worse? About a year after I first watched it, I was traveling overseas and was debating between trying to sleep versus staying up to watch the in-flight movie as I was passing over the Atlantic. I voted for the movie, even though I saw my choice was Man in the Moon. I subjected myself to it AGAIN. I thought, “Maybe I just missed its beauty during my first viewing…I’ll give it another chance.” Wrong. It was just as awful the second time. I so should’ve picked the nap.
2. Next is 1996’s The English Patient. Winner of 9 Oscar awards.
Once again, I should’ve known better.
My friend Renee—who can totally pick out movies for me because she’s known me since I was 5—warned me not to see it. But I thought it looked just like Out of Africa, which is one of my favorite movies ever.
Renee was right. I thought English Patient was an overwrought, incoherent, pretentious, seemingly-never-ending mess. I’ve never doubted her since.
And of course I loved that Seinfeld’s Elaine thought English Patient was terrible too, and spent a whole episode being scorned for her counter-cultural views. Just like an Old Testament prophet, crying out in the wilderness.
3. Speaking of the Bible, my third choice is 2006’s Facing the Giants.
I might lose my White American Evangelical license for saying this, but I really did not like this movie.
Not because of the lower production quality. Actually, I was impressed that Giants was as well-shot and -acted as it was, given its miniscule budget.
My beef with Giants is with its story.
I may be biased because of my own struggles with infertility. And I’ll admit I often dislike movies that tie up the plot in a too-neat bow at the end.
But I actually felt anger as I finished watching Giants, because from my perspective it portrayed a shallow, Americanized view of God and the Christian faith.
I know my opinion is the minority one among Christians. Giants is a huge favorite within my community. So fellow believers, I hope we can agree to disagree on this one?
What about you? What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?