I absolutely adore movie trailers. I could watch them all day long and feel very inspired. However, most of the time I find that they are far more impacting than the actual movie, which is quite disappointing.

In the book Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, he made a comment that struck me. When two of the characters kissed for the first time, it was the most passionate, exciting kiss they ever shared. However, it was not because of their great love for each other. It wasn’t even because it was the first time. It was amazing because they knew nothing about each other, and they were projecting on one another what they imagined was the perfect person. 

It was at this point that I realized watching a movie trailer is the exact same as being seduced by someone on a first date.

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Caught Up In The Moment

The first time you see the trailer, it’s new and exciting. It’s all dressed up in its finest shots. It only shows you what it wants you to see, not necessarily what it really is. With the quick glimpses of adventure, romance, and real emotional drama dressed up with a great song, it’s everything you want in a movie. It’s perfect.

Behind the Illusion

Everything seems wonderful at first, but then you get to know the movie a little better when you actually go see it. The pacing is off, the plot predictable, the acting unbelievable. How could you have fallen for the trailer? How could you have wasted not only $8 of your money but also months of anticipation on something so horrible? How were you so easily deceived?

Learning the Lesson

It’ll never happen again, you promise yourself. Next time you won’t get your hopes up. Expectations will be low so you won’t get hurt. And for a while, it works. You guard yourself when you see a great trailer, thinking that you won’t get hurt because you’re being cautious.

Until one day it happens again. A truly spectacular trailer comes out promising to be a fulfilling film. And you allow yourself to hope. Why? Because deep down you want to believe that one day a film will come along that is everything you ever hoped it would be.

Seducing Trailers

When I see a trailer, I project my expectations on the movie in the same way that people do when dating. Sometimes after watching the movie and being disappointed, I go back and watch the trailer again to regain that feeling I had before the movie ruined it for me. It’s a shame. Sometimes I would rather just hang out and enjoy the glory of illusion. At least when it comes to trailers…

Anna Karenina:

This trailer broke my heart. It promised me that it would be real and honest. But in the end it was just a masquerade.

The Great Gatsby:

This trailer has completely seduced me. I can’t help but hope that it will be everything it promises. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope this movie doesn’t break my heart.

What movies have seduced you and lied to you?

Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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