by Ken B.
The great British director Stephen Daldry once said something I didn’t quite like when I first heard it. He noted that when showing one of his films to test audiences, he observed how they would go along with it, enraptured by the plot and characters at every plot point. Then critics would see it, and write about how foreseeable and pointless a lot of those same elements were. He concluded that “regular” people were a far more accurate reading over the success of that film than critical impressions. At first, I dismissed this as another filmmaker slighting critics because they weren’t all writing the raves he thought he deserved. However, after watching more movies like Instructions Not Included, I sort of understand where’s he’s coming from. This is certainly a movie that works better if you haven’t seen too many movies. If you have, it may come off as overcooked, mawkish, and manipulative, and the heart and soul hidden behind the storytelling problems will be lost. Continue reading