Movies on my shelf: The Godfather

by Bryan

The Godfather is one of those things that I always wanted to know about when I was in high school but only got to know about in college — and have tried, desperately, to pretend that the movie (series) is some fundamental part of my upbringing when the fact is it’s simply not. Sure I like and appreciate the film(s), but I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep if they went away forever. I could do without it easier than I could do without Major League, which probably tells you where I’m coming from as a movie reviewer. I suspect I’m in the minority with that particular comparison, and for that I’d probably blame television and growing up with a single mother. Roger Ebert recently tweeted something to the effect that kids like good movies until you take them to Transformers or some crap American blockbuster like that; I was, for all my braininess, a consumer of the Hollywood Movie System and didn’t know better. Now that I do know better — and it took 32 years for it to really sink in — I still love Major League, but I’ve already topped out my appreciation for The Godfather. Why? Because for years, The Godfather was the movie I wanted to understand, so I watched it over and over (over a period of years and not, like consecutively) and grinded every nuance I could “appreciate” into the ground. I wasn’t alone. Bill Simmons made a habit of doing shit like this, as did Ravi and others of my friends who really wanted to love the movie. But at this point, what can I say about it that hasn’t been said? It’s the Mona Lisa, and I feel like one of the hundreds of people crowded around it, trying to take a photograph. I can reconstruct it from memory, and it brings me no real joy. The theme song has been playing in my head since I devised this little blog conceit in a fit of boredom, and I have a headache. (The Godfather Trilogy is at the top left of my movie shelf, which is why it came first. It is there because it comes in a jet-black box, and my movies, like my books, are color-coded. You can take the weed out of the boy, but you can’t kill the stoner.) I’m not calling The Godfather a bad or even less-than-great movie. I just can’t imagine popping it in anytime in the next five years. Stuck in the corner, it’s a museum piece.