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Stop referencing a movie like everyone else has seen it 11 times.

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It’s a moment that can be unsettling: you reference something very specific in a movie you’ve seen too many times, and the people around you, even if they’ve seen said movie, stare and have no idea what you’re doing. We are talking

“I’ll meet you outside,” I usually mutter, accidentally walking into a closet.

We all have those movies that we watch over and over again, to the point where we start to develop a deep understanding about them where we can answer obscure trivia questions that nobody asks, and we could probably recite the entire script if somehow a casting agent asked us.

I’ve probably seen Good boys more than the number of flavors of Baskin-Robbins, The murder of Jesse James more than the number of provinces in Canada, and you can probably recite every line of dialogue from Glengarry Glen Rosswhile annoyingly mentioning the differences between the original play and the script.

please look away

Nothing in this brings me a sense of pride. It hasn’t helped with a job or a relationship or anything pragmatic. What he has done is make him make jokes or references to these movies that only a person who has also seen them in double digit numbers could understand. Since most haven’t, they look at me like I just pooped on the floor.

There’s a line between referencing a movie in a common way that most people understand and then making a deep allusion. Let’s take a movie that a lot of people have seen, like The Godfather.

When most people refer Godfather movies, it’s usually something perfunctory like “Put down the gun, take the cannoli” or maybe “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Some may say “Just when I thought I was out…they put me back in.” But you shouldn’t be referencing Godfather III. Better pretend it doesn’t exist.

because i have seen The Godfather Too many times when I’m chatting with a friend about someone who isn’t there, I jokingly say something like, “I’ll never see him again.” Nobody gets it.

It’s the scene after the cannoli scene when Sonny asks about the guy who was killed, and Clemenza replies, “I won’t see him again,” and then continues stirring the sauce. If he knows the reference, he’s fine, but he shouldn’t.

When the reference and the film are dark

Still, the only thing worse than making an overly specific reference to a common movie is when you make an esoteric reference to a movie that’s unconventional in the slightest.

It happened at work recently. We were talking about viruses and hackers, and I said that my favorite hacker is the one invented by Stephen Glass in the movie. Broken glass. No one knew what the hell she was talking about, and they shouldn’t. Few have seen the film. Broken glass, and even fewer people have seen it more than once. But it’s good, I swear.

Why do we watch movies over and over instead of watching a new one? Probably because it feels like stepping into a lukewarm bath: the familiarity is comforting, we know what to expect, and there’s little risk of being disappointed when we otherwise take a chance on a new one.

Clearly this is not a better way to live or watch movies. So if you are this type, understand that you will end up unknowingly making references that no one understands and getting left out. Their looks will burn a hole in your heart, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll see something different later that night.

Although probably not.

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