Last week, I wrote a review of the film Interstellar in which I was, in many people’s opinion, overly critical. I panned the film. I panned the performances, I panned the story, and I panned Christopher Nolan’s directing. And let me be the first to admit that maybe I got a little carried away at times. But what most people don’t seem to understand is that I’m only hard on the movie Interstellar because my father was hard on me.
Now, I’m not trying to make any excuses for my actions. I know I can be demanding of Interstellar, and sometimes that pressure can be a little overwhelming. I’m simply trying to explain that when I criticize Interstellar for being “an epic slog in which no one seems to know or care where it’s going, least of all writer-director Christopher Nolan,” it’s because my old man used to say stuff like that to me all the time when I was growing up. It’s just how I was raised.
So, when I say things like, “Interstellar is insufferably tedious, overambitious, and weighed down by dialogue that somehow manages to be even more mind-numbingly expositional than certain portions of 2010’s Inception,” I’m not trying to be mean. Where do you think I picked up that kind of stuff in the first place? That’s right: my dad.
I know I can be demanding of Interstellar, and sometimes that pressure can be a little overwhelming.
You know, your whole life you keep telling yourself, “I’m not my father. I’m not gonna be my father.” Then you look up one day only to find yourself excoriating Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster offering, just like your old man used to do to you whenever you forgot to fill up the tank after borrowing the car.
Does that bother me? To watch myself be as hard on Interstellar as my dad was on me? Sure it does. A bigger man might not have carried this baggage with him. But I’m not that man.
Just understand this: It’s not that I don’t love Interstellar. I love Interstellar very much. I just have high expectations for it, because all throughout my childhood, my dad had high expectations for me. And when I let him down, boy, he really let me have it. So, when Interstellar promises to be Christopher Nolan’s 2001, and instead delivers 169 minutes of overly sentimental, Shyamalanesque schlock, I find myself reacting in the same way my dad did when I’d let him down.
With anger. With disappointment. With two stars out of four.
So, next time I say Interstellar is “the blockbuster blunder of the year,” or that “not even an A-list cast and dazzling special effects can save this overwrought sci-fi debacle from exploding on liftoff,” or that “Matthew McConaughey’s performance is forgettable at best, unforgettably mediocre at worst,” remember that it’s all because of my father. And not because I don’t love it. As mad as my dad could get—and he could get mad as hell—I know that he loved me. And I love Interstellar.
I love Interstellar more than anything in the world.