Popular Movies That Put Me To Sleep

Anyone else need a nap?

It is such a rare occurrence for me to sleep through a movie I deliberately sit down to watch that I recall each and every one.  I’m completely serious – I know, going back years, which movies have inexplicably put me down for an unscheduled  nap.   I love naps and I love movies, but the two are not a good combination.  Here are two recent, popular movies – one critical darling and one critical whipping boy – that I just couldn’t make it through:

1) Toy Story 3

I know, I know – everyone loved it.  Adults cried, children clapped their little hands with glee…and I fell asleep fifteen minutes in.  We all know and love Woody, Buzz and the gang by now and this installment, bringing a close to Andy’s years of playing with his animate toys, is filled with charming, heartwarming moments that all but the most callous find sweet and adorable.

Well, count me callous.  Toy Story 3 just didn’t capture my attention, my imagination or my nostalgia gland.  It wasn’t like visiting old friends one last time for me, it was more like rehashing acquaintances that I had already spent more than enough time with over the years.  It bored me, I fell asleep and woke up for the tear jerker finale.  I didn’t cry.

Now I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, it just isn’t for me.  Oscar will love all over it and that’s fine – Pixar does great work.  But if it had been my choice they would have quit after installment number 2.

2) Dinner for Schmucks

Don’t get the wrong idea – I’m not comparing Dinner for Schmucks with Toy Story 3.  But they were both popular and I really did set out to watch them both.  I thought my teens would have fun with Dinner and I’m never averse to really stupid humor.  Especially when it involves the adorable Paul Rudd and the fabulous Steve Carell.

Rudd stars as an up-and-coming businessman with a girlfriend he loves and a job where he feels the desperate need to get ahead.  When the big boss invites him for a dinner where each guest is to invite the biggest idiot he or she can find, he balks.  But after (literally) running into Carell’s character, his ambition gets in the way of his compassion and he finds himself attached at the hip to Carell’s bizarre Barry.  And that’s where I dozed off.

I woke up at the end where all hell breaks lose at the big dinner, having missed all the mayhem and supposed laughter in between.  I just wasn’t interested enough in Rudd, his girlfriend or Carell to make it through the mid-section.  My teenagers thought it was funny.  I couldn’t get into it on any level – not funny, not touching, just blah.  The extras on the disc were fun, though, as we learned just how much improv went into the final product.  Maybe they needed more scripting.  Or a different premise.  Or I needed a cup of coffee.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Now you may love either or both of these movies, but neither one did a thing for me but act as an effective sleep aid.  I write this for those of you, like me, who have been unable to stay awake through movies others rave about or groan over.  It isn’t you!  Some movies are just not made for some people.

To prove that I am not a chronic movie sleeper, here is a list of the movies during which I have fallen asleep in the past 20 (I’m serious – 20) years.  It’s damn short.  I’ll start with the most recent and work back.

Avatar.  Saw it on DVD.  The story sucked, the visuals were mundane on the small screen.  I’ve already seen Dances With Wolves.  I hate James Cameron.  I enjoyed my refreshing nap.

A Serious Man.  Sorry, Coen Brothers – this thing was a complete snooze.  Literally.  I saw this in the theater and I take my theater money seriously.  But this just depressed me to the point of catatonia.  With snoring.  I’ve opined about this one before.  A serious disappointment from A Serious Man.

The Visitor.  Starring Richard Jenkins (who I adore) in an Oscar nominated performance as a lonely man who comes out of his shell to help two illegal immigrants he finds living in his spare apartment.  I have no excuse for this one – I should have loved it (and my viewing companion did love it), but I fell asleep on and off throughout.  This is the only one I can really chalk up to fatigue.

Eragon.  I saw this in the theater.  Not even the one with the super comfortable seats.  I told my son I would take him after he finished the book.  We liked the book!  It’s all fantasy and magic and blatant Lord of the Rings rip-offs – it should have been great fun.   I lasted five minutes and gave myself whiplash nodding off.

Bowling for Columbine.  Sorry Michael Moore.  Unlike a lot of people I don’t have anything in particular against the man, but I don’t find myself engaged by his style.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Not just once, I’ve fallen asleep during this at least 3 times.  I’m a girl.  It’s Monty Python.  I don’t get it.

Annie Hall.  Woody Allen + Me = A Match Made in Hell.  I don’t even try anymore (but I did like Hannah and Her Sisters – the exception that proves the rule).

And that, my friends, is it.  I stayed awake through Another Year.  Through The Darjeeling Limited.  For the love of God, I made it through The Happening.   I am not weak.  But I’m not Wonder Woman either – I have my breaking point and every one of these movies hit it.

So what have you slept through?  Come on, if I can admit to falling asleep during everyone’s darling Toy Story 3, some of you must have some snoozes in your own movie closet.   Did Gandhi send you to the Land of Nod?  Sandman strike during The Social Network?  We’ve all done it – what’s your Secret Snooze?

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  • George Bounacos

    February 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Of all things, I kept dozing during The Matrix. I finally forced myself to watch it for the tech pieces because the plot was constantly telegraphed. Had the same issues with Eragon. Um, GWTW. I can't […] Read MoreOf all things, I kept dozing during The Matrix. I finally forced myself to watch it for the tech pieces because the plot was constantly telegraphed. Had the same issues with Eragon. Um, GWTW. I can't stand Gone with the Wind Read Less

    • Anonymous
      to George Bounacos

      February 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      The Matrix? I would make fun of you, but I totally understand - if it doesn't catch you, it doesn't catch you. I would comment on Eragon, but I can't. I slept through it.

      • George Bounacos

        February 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

        Once I made it halfway through the first one, I watched the two sequels in the next week. It was getting past that part to enjoy some of the effects and wooden acting, err, fight choreography.

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