Perfection Vs. Perfection

So, not long ago we went through all of our movies, and made lists of the films which we consider to be our absolute favourites. And through this fun game, I noticed something interesting. There are certain movies that I love which are, in a very general sense, what I think of to be excellent movies. Perfection of cinema, so to speak. But there are plenty of other movies which I love, and love the most, which are not perfect in a general sense, though they are basically perfect to me.

For example: My favourite movie of all time, which I’ve mentioned before, is Dark Harbor. LOVE this film. It is, in my mind, utter perfection. But although it without hesitation makes it to the very top of my favourite movies list, I wouldn’t by any stretch call this movie perfect in an overall sense…perfect to the masses, I guess. I’m not exactly sure why…I seriously love this film, and seriously think it is gorgeous in every way. But I suppose I can see why others would not like it.

Norman Reedus in Dark Harbor (looking incredibly young next to The Walking Dead!)
Photo From:  http://www.aveleyman.com/

On the other hand, I think that a movie like The Silence of the Lambs is a pretty much perfect movie in a more general sense. I definitely think this is a great movie, and it makes my top 25 list. But it doesn’t make the ultimate cut for me. I love it, I get great enjoyment out of watching it, and I think it’s brilliantly executed. And, after all, it’s been a hugely successful film, so obviously others agree! But even so, even though I love the subtle horror and subtle humour, the acting, the music, the whole plot line…it’s not my favourite film, or even one of my top 10.

So I got to thinking…can this reasoning apply to books as well? I think so. Some books are commercially huge, or technically flawless, or emotionally riveting, and yet they can always be not quite good enough. On the other hand, other books can be flawed, sometimes in many ways, and yet they can still worm their way into the hearts of some people.

I was trying to think of an example of this, and I thought about Pride and Prejudice, which I read not too long ago. I loved that book from beginning to end. It was great! I was so pleased with it, and I am really looking forward to reading more Austen now that I have sort of finally “discovered” her. But…I wouldn’t call Pride and Prejudice my favourite book, and it probably wouldn’t make it into my top five, either.

On the opposite end, I always classify Stephen King’s It as one of my favourite books. Now this book is long, and when I read it there was a lot that I didn’t totally understand, or that I had to really struggle to get through at all. It’s also a book that is crude, as many King books are, and it doesn’t exactly have that real “cozy” feel to reading it. And yet, I love that book because I read it when I was around 13, and it took me an entire summer to read it, a summer when I was visiting my sister and thus spent a lot of time alone while people were at work…those kids became my friends, and their adventures were so exciting to me. Despite the flaws of the story, it remains cherished to me because of the memories and the feat of reading it.

So what about you? Do you have any movies and/or books that are great, but not perfect to you, or perfect to you, though you know the general public wouldn’t agree?

And, for those writers out there, what kind of book would you rather write? A book that is good for the masses, one that is noted for being perfect, and is always generally appreciated by those that read it, but maybe not cherished or loved? Or would you rather write a book that is not considered perfect by all, but is considered absolute perfection by some? (Yes, we’d all love to write a book that is both =3 …but if you had to choose?)

4 Responses so far.

  1. just write what makes you happiest…we can't predict what will bring the masses or what will miss with them, but if you stick with what makes you happy and proud, you can't go wrong.
  2. you have silence of the lambs and it….terrifying girl! 🙂
  3. T. Drecker says:
    My favorite movies and books rarely hit anyone else's favorite list. They aren't 'perfect' in that sense, but I love them. As to writing, I don't know if we can really steer that anyway. Who knows what everyone will fall in love with? Sometimes, it's the strangest things 🙂
  4. One of my favorite books is a book that hasn't been published yet. It was written by a friend of mine – and it's such a strange book that he will have great difficulty selling it. But as imperfect as it is, I love it because it moved me inside as few books do.

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