Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why does Netflix think I'm an asshole?

Haven't blogged for a couple of days now--turns out I had a bit too much fun at my birthday. Or so I'm told, for I remember shockingly little of the night. Not in one of those bragging oh-dude-I-got-so-wasted type of ways, but in a more concerned, I-need-to-stop-doing-that way.

Highlight of the night (or so I'm told): there was apparently one point in which a pantsless Jesse had to be tackled by his older brother because he kept trying to bite someone he felt had wronged him.

Hmmm...when you write it in the third person, it doesn't sound as bad. But that's not the point of all of this.

The point is that Netflix thinks I'm an idiot.

I don't know how many of you use Netflix, but I recommend it if you're a movie-watcher. I usually don't shill for things, but I've really come to enjoy it. It has a huge selection, and doesn't garner most of its profits from murdering people like G.E.-owned Blockbuster does. Plus, you can be really lazy and only have to go to your mailbox to get movies.

My only problem with Netflix is that on its welcome page it recommends movies you might like. It actually does this in two columns. In one column, it tells you that others who have watched a certain movie also liked these other movies. For example, because my roomate put Syriana (which is a pretty good flick, all told) on the list, Netflix recommended Munich. Or because of Lost in Translation, it recommended Broken Flowers, because they're the same movie. These make sense--they are similar movies, and if you like one, chances are fairly good you'll like the other. Thank you Netflix, this is certainley a helpful feature when I'm looking for new movies to watch.

However, there's another generic column simply titled "Other Movies You Might Enjoy." Now, I suppose they should emphasize might, because I have no fucking clue how they came up with these. For example, they list The Notebook, a shitty fucking movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. Incidentally, if you don't know who Nichoas Sparks is (because you aren't a pre-teen girl or an over-weight house wife), you really should check out his stuff. It's hilarious in the way he takes trite sentimentality to an art form. But that's beside the point.

Why would it recommend this to me? Have I done somehting seriously wrong and my karma is being balanced out in the form on Netflix suggestions? Is it because I enjoyed the movie The Believer in which hunky young Ryan Gosling turns in an impeccably understated performance as a Jewish neo-nazi? Did they confuse my love of good cinema with a love of an actor who occassionally has to eat and therefore do terrible movies? Why, netflix?!? Why do you do this to me?

And if you think this is a fluke, please read the full list of movies Netflix thinks I would enjoy: The Corpse Bride, Just Like Heaven (starring that delightful Reese Witherspoon!), Flight Plan, Raising Helen, Scary Movie 2 (this one is possibly more offensive that The Notebook), Elizabethtown, and Wild Things.

How emberassing...

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