This past weekend my husband and I went to see Saving Mr. Banks. Just before we went, I jumped on Rotten Tomatoes to see what the public and the critics thought of the movie.
Granted, I’d heard good things about it from everyone I knew who had been, so this little venture was not going to rescind my decision to go.
The public loved the movie, and the critics had mixed reviews. One critic wrote this:
"Saving Mr. Banks" is a shameless wad of corporate PR, a feel-good, self-serving Disney film about the making of a Disney film.
Uh, duh. Did you note SEE the preview before you saw the movie? Maybe read the blurb? What else did this guy expect???
After I made fun of him (with help from my husband) I got to thinking…if this guy saw the previews and still said this, then he went in ready to hate the film. If he knew nothing about it going in, then this obviously is NOT is genre.
I thought the film was a powerful, feel-good story that both made me cry and cheer. It’s not terribly easy to get both of those emotions out of me in one movie without some sort of battle going on (I’m more the guys from Sleepless in Seattle than the girls), so I applaud the makers.
You see, I don’t mind sap. Especially when a film or a book or a story of some sort is advertised as such. If I think, “This is going to be so cheesy” then I’m ready for it, and I’m there in spite of it.
Which got me thinking even more. As an author, whose first compilation of Babes in Spyland will be out in a few weeks, and whose first novel will be out in April, I want everyone to love my work. I want them to laugh at the funny parts, get frustrated when I’m mean to the characters and cry when things go horribly wrong.
Not everyone will like my books. I have life-long friends who hated my novel, and critique partners that never even read the whole thing.
What’s that old saying? You can’t please all of the people all of the time? That’s the way it is in the business of art. Some people simply won’t like what you’re selling, no matter how hard you want them too or maybe even how hard they try.
So in whatever endeavor you’re in the middle of, remember that if someone isn’t your audience, then they may not like what you’re doing. And that’s fine. Let them go find what they like while people who like what you have will find you.
Bring on the sappy. Or whatever you're going for.