Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is "Fast & Furious" Worth Your Time?

There is a new film out this weekend called "Fast & Furious," which is sequel or the latest installment in the "The Fast and the Furious" franchise. The movie is doing very well, and I am happy for it, congratulations, these are difficult economic times and I want everyone to do well, but you won't catch me spending my hard-earned dough on it.

Because it has a stinking ampersand in the title.

There has never been a good movie with an ampersand in the title. Think about it: The worst "Batman" movie? "Batman & Robin." Worst movie about an obnoxious dog? "Marley & Me." "Town & Country." "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover." "Dungeons & Dragons." The list goes on. If they don't respect the audience enough to actually go to the trouble to spell out the word "and," they don't deserve your money.

The easiest way to show contempt for your audience is to put an ampersand in the title of your film.

If you're writing a note to someone, and you decide to substitute a "+" for "and" to save time, that's fine. I don't have a problem with that. But ampersands are different. It's difficult to properly draw that ridiculous little squiggly line, and so much easier to just write "and." And what are you saving yourself, anyway? Two characters? Please, just write the damned word.

A handwritten "+" is okay, in certain situations, if you must.

I have felt this way since I was a younger man. In fact, I told my high school girlfriend how I felt about it, and she told me I was being ridiculous. "Who even has an opinion about ampersands?" she sniffed. "I do, and it's important to me," I insisted. "I don't think about it all the time, just when I see a title with an ampersand in it." "Well, stop it," she said.

Three months after we had that conversation, she ran off with an ampersand. Two years later, they were living together, and they had two asterisks. So I ask you: Who was being unreasonable? Her or me?

Dammit, I hate ampersands.

I'm sure that "Fast & Furious" is no good. "They're too fast, & too furious, to even bother writing out the word 'and' in their title!" If so, I will be too fast, & too furious, to stop at the theater and watch the film.


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