Last week I shared ten of my “buzzwords” when choosing films to watch. While my list of buzzwords is certainly longer than the list of things that detract me from watching certain films, a short list of “deal breakers” still exists. Here are the top ten!

  1. Westerns – This is the one genre that I just can’t get into. I love comedies, dramas, romances, horror and all combinations of the four but something about westerns is very off-putting to me. It’s a pretty unfair deal breaker considering how few westerns I’ve actually seen, but Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) has been the only one that I’ve truly enjoyed.
  2. Vampire – As with many of my deal breakers, there are a few exceptions to this, such as Fright Night (1985). But for the most part, I prefer my horror with a side of tinglers, cat burglars or ghosts rather than vampires.
  3. NASCAR/Racing – I’ve expressed this before, in my review of To Please a Lady. I can’t watch a car drive in a circle for hours on end. I have a pretty high tolerance for boredom and an equally long attention span, but I’m naturally repelled by anything having to do with cars or car racing.
  4. Sports – As a Detroiter, hockey is practically in my blood. As for the rest of the sports, I couldn’t really care less about them. For this reason, films about sports are usually not appealing to me. There are a small, small few exceptions, but for the most part I try to avoid them.
  5. Overtly religious themes – Religious characters or hints to divine intervention are fine, especially in period pieces set in times when religion played a much bigger part in our lives than it does now. For instance, it would be historically inaccurate (to put it mildly) not to include discussion of the Church in a film about medieval life. However, I can’t stand preachy films. Though I respect all beliefs and backgrounds, I have no tolerance for people pushing their beliefs down the throats of others, and overtly religious films seem to do that. Fortunately, these films usually fly under my radar.
  6. Love at first sight – I love cheesy romances, and even cheesier romantic comedies, but they still need to be believable. I don’t believe in love at first sight in real life, so why would I believe it coming from a film projector? The answer is, I don’t.
  7. Gratuitous violence – Explosions, gunfire, thrown fists… if these things are backed up with a very intense and engrossing plot, throw ’em in here and there and you haven’t lost me yet. But if your plot is weak and buildings are being blown to pieces in five minute intervals for the film’s entire duration, you can count me out.
  8. Gratuitous nudity – This kind of goes along with gratuitous violence, as the worst offender is usually action films. I’m fine with nudity on the rare occasion that it serves a purpose in the film’s larger plot, but if it’s there to drum up scandalous publicity/for shock value/for no reason, it irks me.
  9. Jennifer Aniston – I’m a huge fan of ‘Friends,’ but I was never a fan of Rachel or the woman who played her. (I’m a total Monica, in case you were wondering. :P) Still, I could tolerate her on the small screen. In films, however, I can’t. I’m not sure what it is that bugs me about her. I think part of the reason is that all of her characters are very similar, and seem a bit like slightly exaggerated versions of herself. I do enjoy Along Came Polly, but mostly because of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  10. Accidental time travelers – I find it hard to take a movie seriously if a scene is supposed to be set in, say, 1974 but a very, very visible extra is wearing a Katy Perry tour t-shirt in the background. Such inaccuracies make me clock out of the film; though I’ll usually finish it anyway, I find it hard to stay engaged after these errors pop up.

Feel free to leave your own deal breakers in the comments!