Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Morning Musings: The Power of Expectation

Do you ever find expectations seriously affect your enjoyment of something? Either for the better, or the worse? The more enjoyable outings or events of my life are usually the most spontaneous ones - those spur of the moment, "Hey, let's go do this!" sort of things. Whereas a lot of long planned events end up disappointing me. I've often thought about this, and come to the conclusion it's all about the expectation. The further away an event is, the longer I have to think about it, which means the longer I have to form an expectation about how it will turn out. The event may turn out all well and good in the end, but may not feel like it was as successful as I was expecting when I've had a long time to wait for it. Although the negative is also true - sometimes I have terrible expectations for something, only to find it wasn't that bad afterall! 

A few weeks ago, I watched the movie "The Tourist" with my mum and my friend. We really enjoyed it. We found it funny and enjoyable. I spoke to my sister the next day, mentioned we'd watched it and her reply was rather incredulous: "Oh really? That's supposed to be rubbish." 


Later I trawled through some reviews, and yes, it appears this movie was not rated very highly. (The average rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes, for example, is 1 star!) My friend, my mum and I couldn't work out why. We thought it was great! 

I'm guessing it comes down to expectation. I didn't have any, to be honest. We were just browsing the video rental shop for something to watch, and "The Tourist" was something none of us had seen, and appeared to be interesting enough. We were not looking for something mind blowing, just something to pass the evening. 

I'm also guessing that most people would have certain expectations about a mystery type movie staring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Maybe thoughts of "Mr & Mrs Smith" would cross people's mind, and so they might have expected more action. We found most of the humour in "The Tourist" was in the dialogue, and it helps if you know a little bit of Spanish or Italian :)

Naturally, there's the possibility that my mum, my friend and I all have strange tastes in movies, or we're just easily amused, and that the movie truly is rubbish.  But I wonder, what would have happened if we'd heard about the bad reviews before we watched the movie? Would we have enjoyed it less? Would we have bothered watching it at all?


Would love to hear of any pleasant surprises you've had - particularly if they relate to the book world!

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