Managing Expectations

2016-05-22_TheNiceGuysLet’s talk about expectations. I’m not talking about major life expectations or expectations of a loved one. I’m talking about movie expectations.

The hubby and I will be seeing The Nice Guys today, which we’ve both wanted to see for months. It looks funny, entertaining, has great actors – just the type of movie we would like. But are we building it up too much? Are we going to leave the theater disappointed?

Sometimes a trailer looks so good, but then…the movie just falls flat. Or is downright awful.

Now, I’m not saying that a movie has to be wonderful or the best I’ve ever seen. But I would hope it’s at least mostly enjoyable. I shall define mostly enjoyable as 2.5 popcorns or better (I rate my movies out of 5 popcorns, naturally).

Let’s look at some examples of movies not meeting expectations based on their trailers.

Hail, Caesar! – Original review from February 2016: “Yikes, this was not a good movie! People actually left the theater, which I don’t see very often. Heard another couple fell asleep. I guess the Coen bothers are just really hit and miss now. The trailer made this movie look so good. So, kudos to the trailer maker!”
1.5 popcorn rating

This movie had such a fun trailer – great music, funny clips. Written and directed by the Coen brothers, starring George Clooney and Josh Brolin – what could go wrong? Apparently everything. The movie wasn’t funny, didn’t engage, and was just plain boring. And the “message” of the movie…still working that one out. Expectations – not met.

Moving on to a movie that I did enjoy, but that still couldn’t live up to the trailer.

The Theory of Everything – Original review from 2014: I’d been wanting to see this movie ever since seeing the trailer months ago. Excellent trailer. Ross pointed out it’s probably one of the best trailers ever. Boom. (He didn’t say “boom” – I did.) I really enjoyed the movie and definitely recommend it! I also think both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones deserve all of the accolades they’re getting. But darn it — the trailer is just so good! It’s like you don’t even need to see the movie. (But you do.) 5 stars for the trailer!”
3.5 popcorn rating

Am I crazy on this one? The trailer was so magical and the movie, while really good, didn’t meet that trailer magic.

There’s also the flip side to disappointment, though. Like when you’re not super excited to see a movie, but it turns out better than expected. In recent memory, this happened for Captain America: Civil War and Ant-Man. I don’t think it is a coincidence that both of these are Marvel movies. I personally am over the superhero genre, but for some darn reason I keep going to see these movies! The last Avengers movie was the worst for me. But out of all the Avengers, I like Captain America the best (or should I say I like Chris Evans the best). Still, going into this latest Captain America, I wasn’t very excited, so I was pleasantly surprised when I liked it. As for Ant-Man, Michael Peña made this movie for me.

What do you think? Can I trust trailers anymore? Should I have expectations? My gut says that I will like The Nice Guys, so I’m going in with high expectations. Check back with me later to see if they were met.

What about you? Do you find your expectations are usually about right with movies? Seen anything lately that surprised you in either a good or bad way? Do you even watch movies?

(Oh, and don’t even get me started on trailers giving too much away! That’s a whole different topic.)


Occasionally, Ross and I go to a fancy-pants theater with reserved seating, full reclining chairs and waiters who bring you dinner and drinks. And by fancy-pants, I don’t mean that we wear fancy pants, as you can tell by our less than fancy…pants. Everyone should try a fancy-pants theater at least once. Or twice.

5 thoughts on “Managing Expectations

  1. I don’t usually watch movies but I recently went a Disney cruise and saw 4 movies on there (Zootopia, Captain America, Star Wars and Jungle Book). I think all were about what I would expect based on the trailer except for Captain America, I think that movie was better than the trailer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes trailers don’t express the movie. Here (in Italy) movie is cutted ( like Marvel’s movie Cap winter soldier or xmen days of future past) for political adjustment :-( ) or sf movie don’t pass on tv. But i like trailers! :-)


  3. Oh I get excited with movie trailers! I’m the kind of nerd that’ll shush people during them. But I can’t remember a moment when the trailer was awesome and the movie disappointing.
    Just last Friday my husband and I were thinking about watching Lars and the Real Girl, with Ryan Gosling, and the first 10 seconds of the trailer were enough.


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