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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Dumbing down nostalgia helps to make ‘Rough Night’ — a funny, funny movie

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Tapping in to nostalgia, nostalgia for the movies, is something of a genre unto itself, a pervasive species that benefits from its repetition but not from actual recognition.

It is certainly hard to resist the urge to reach into that old Rat Pack and see one of my old friends. I know, I know. I’ve seen those movies over and over again, maybe 300 times, or what? I didn’t really need to see “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” again.

I know that movies often die when they have been playing in theaters for a while — so very stultifying to come down to popcorn, drink and the storyteller rather than the art, though the art may feel removed from the plot, or the characters, or the theater itself. (I don’t miss going to the movies anymore, though sometimes I do when I’m feeling a little nostalgic.)

You can’t really blame me. I’ve got nine lovely children, most of whom are smarter than I am, and who can offer me a few more entertaining ideas than “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” or “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

That does not mean, however, that I do not miss, as if for the first time in many years, going to see a movie. I still go for the same reasons I used to.

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