Friday, January 29, 2010

The music/movie personality profile

This week I did not see a movie theatrically. This is a rare thing, but sometimes the slate of new release films is just too bleak and I don't have the courage to face them. So, I apologize to my regular readers for not having a movie review.
But I think I'll take this opportunity to write a bit more casually and candidly with you. After all, although I haven't met many of my readers, we still have a relationship as do all writers with their audience. If you are a first-time reader, welcome, how are you today?

Recently, I, and a lot of people I know, have been trying online dating. This includes the rather odd process of reading through people's profiles and judging them on a photo and the scant bit of information they have chosen to share about themselves.

One of the first things I check is where the person's taste in movies and music lies. This may sound superficial, but then again this whole process is a bit on the shallow side. You can learn a lot about a person based upon what they like, probably far more than any introductory paragraph they may write.

The other day, I was asked to weigh in on a profile. The person was disappointed that the woman in question was a big fan of Cyndi Lauper. This did not meet with his approval and he was going to toss her into his "no" pile. I think this was a mistake. Regardless of what one may think of Lauper as an artist, she is an idiosyncratic, fun and unique performer. If Lauper is someone's favorite artist this may be a good reflection of their own personality. Like Lauper, they may also be quirky and fun.

This got me thinking: Is it possible to define a person based upon their favorite musician or favorite movie? In a way, it would be like using one's taste in music and film as a horoscope or a Chinese Zodiac.

I tried this theory out on myself. My favorite band is The Beatles. I asked a friend what that said about me. The response was that The Beatles were an eclectic, multifaceted band living on a creative edge, so therefore perhaps someone who chooses them as a favorite is a well-rounded individual and a forward thinker. I'd like to think I am both these things.

My friend's favorite band is Nirvana. I told him I believe this meant that he has a pop sensibility that was in direct conflict with a desire to remain an outsider and that he was grappling with big ideas and big emotions. My friend liked this assessment. Perhaps there is some truth to this theory.

If you add in a person's favorite movie you get a more complete picture of a person's personality. Coincidentally, my friend and I have the same favorite film: “High Fidelity.” In both of our cases it is an accurate reflection of our obsessive interest in music and movies and of our bad luck with love.

I tried out my theory with one other friend. Her favorite band is Depeche Mode. Not being as well versed in Depeche Mode as I probably should be, I asked her how she would define the band. She said dark, creepy, introspective and intelligent. These were all aspects of her own personality too, but didn't quite bring across the whole picture. I felt my theory deflating.

But, there was still her favorite film to consider. She cited “One Crazy Summer,” a 1980s comedy, that incidentally, like “High Fidelity,” stars John Cusack. What is it with me, my friends and John Cusack? The film is goofy and off-beat with a central character in search of true love. Pair this with the Depeche Mode personality profile and this was another fairly accurate appraisal.

There is clearly more research necessary, but I think I'm on to something here and I'm asking you loyal readers to continue the study. Give it a try on yourself, family and friends. What do your favorites say about you?

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