Despite the fact that my family members should have owned stock in Dan Brown's bibliography given how much of it they read, and of course the rest of the world devoted years to discussing the historical possibilities of his fiction, I never read The Da Vinci Code. Quite frankly, I'm not much of a reader, owing primarily to the amount of time I spend writing, but the last book I curled up with was one about the diminishing intelligence of the American people, although for the life of me I can't remember what it was called.

In any case, I had no particular feelings about the fact that Ron Howard was adapting Brown's best seller into a feature film, with the possible exception of my superficial determination that Tom Hanks' hair was simply terrible. But when I didn't have to review or cover it professionally, I decided not only that I would save my money for something more worthwhile (I mean, Poseidon came out two weeks prior), but that The Da Vinci Code was going to be a movie that I would never, ever see.


Admittedly one of my pet peeves as a critic is seeing films that maintain even the vaguest pretense of historical accuracy; movies like The Last King of Scotland and Miracle at St. Anna are infuriating because they suggest that their story is based in reality, or at least don't devote much attention to clarifying that it's completely fictional. The Da Vinci Code was pretty quickly debunked even before it was adapted into a film, so I wasn't especially concerned that it was positing an authentic portrayal of history or Catholicism or anything else. But I was nevertheless annoyed by folks who wondered, almost always aloud and within earshot, whether or not some of it could possibly be true.

But the main reason I elected never to see the film is simple: I had no interest in its subject matter whatsoever. I don't care about a murder mystery, I don't care about Catholic corruption, and I don't care about albinos, at least not cinematically. Moreover as an entertainment journalist, there are so many different things that I'm assigned to cover whether I like them or not, and that responsibility kind of forces you to familiarize yourself with all of these properties and franchises that you may or may not care about. As such, it's a little bit refreshing to recuse oneself from participating in something that qualifies as a bona fide cultural phenomenon, and so even if the movie's terrific or terrible, controversial or hopelessly conventional, I enjoy the fact that I'll never see it, and with any luck, will never have to.
CATEGORIES Cinematical