Being There (1979)

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who think the movie Being There is funny and those who do not. They should probably not be friends, and they definitely should not marry each other. The gulf between them is just too immense to be bridged.

It is worse than that. Those of us who do not think this movie is funny can barely stand to watch it. The movie consists of one joke, of which there are countless variations. A man, Chance (Peter Sellers), who is mentally retarded, is mistaken by everyone he meets as being important, wise, clever, funny, romantic, etc., depending on the circumstances. But for those of us who despise this movie, this one joke is not funny, not even in the first instance. In fact, it is irritating.

And it is still worse. Not only are there people out there who think this movie is funny, but many of them also think that it tells us something profound about human nature. But the human nature in this movie has no connection to reality. It is obvious to us from the very beginning that Chance is a simpleton, and that means everyone else in the movie has to be something of a simpleton not to realize it.

And because the movie hits us over the head by having Chance walk on water, I guess we are supposed to discern a spiritual message as well. I hate to think what that message might be.

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