Now that summer's returned, I'm able to spend my days making money, spending money, reading, writing, and not doing homework (okay, well I guess that's the same). And, when I have a few free hours, I'll check my DVR, Netflix, or my own collection for a movie to watch.
Last summer I tried to watch as many new movies as I could, with the belief that most movies are indeed educational in some, sometimes less obvious, way. For instance, The Last Song taught me how many different ways stereotypes can be used, Adventureland taught me that working in an amusement park isn't as charming as it sounds, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London taught me that Frankie Muniz is awesome and no shitty movie could convince me otherwise, Outsourced taught me how many other ways stereotypes can be used, and Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World taught me that Joel McHale might not actually be perfect.
Okay, so obviously watching movies like The Tooth Fairy and Barbie: Princess Charm School and Fantastic 4 isn't going to make you any smarter. Not book-wise, anyway. (I like to think that movies make you more street-smart in a sense. And you get all these little snip-its of trivia or situations that you can relate to in your own life. Like, “Your parents aren't letting you go to the party tonight? Wow, this reminds me of the time when the headmistress at Princess Charm School tried to kill Barbie and her friends. Haha.”)
But movies are a doorway into other worlds and lives and situations and OHMYGOD suddenly you're in a room with Hemingway and Picasso and wow Picasso's kind of a dick and then WOAH now you're standing five feet from where Batman and Bane are fighting and jeez you better back up or something they're really going at it.
I don't know, man. I started out saying that I think movies are educational, then I said they aren't, but I'm still thinking they are. They are. Maybe you don't learn geography or math or science (or maybe you do), but maybe you learn to love or to hate, what you like or don't like, things or people you want to do. Or maybe you're watching the crappiest movie on the lowest budget with the worst acting, but you still get a chuckle out of it.
And then it doesn't matter if you're learning anything or not.