They do, however, have a staff that seems completely unconcerned about deterring people away from renting movies. “Have you seen this before?” they ask, as they check a movie out to a customer. “It’s horrible!" They have no compunction about decrying bad movies at the check-out counter, and regularly have long and intricate conversations about the merits of this movie over that movie. They will even critique a movie as it is playing on the video screens.
Tonight, I went up to the counter with three movies. Two guys were discussing the merits of new releases. One professed to have very low standards but still hated the Borat movie. "Have you seen this one?" the big guy at the register asked, holding up one of my movies.
"How about this one?" he held up my second movie.
"That wasn't too bad either," said Comrade.
The third movie required reinforcements.
"That one looked boring," said Comarde.
“Well,” said the big guy, “I like Kirstin Dunst, so I thought it was o.k; but that was the best review in the store. Cindy saw it. Hey, Cindy!” He called across the store. “Cindy,” he yelled, “what did you think of Marie Antoinette?”
A blond woman, one who had tried to steer me away from the Bridget Jones sequel (I should have listened), popped her head above the DVD shelves. “Nothing at all happens in that movie,” she yelled back. “Nothing!”
“Yeah,” big guy agreed, “She drinks. She eats cake. That’s it.” He said this as he’s handing me my rentals to leave.
“Then, I’ll just drop by the liquor store on my way home,” I said. I mean, really, how do you respond to that?
Most people might think this is rude, or that these guys should mind their own business. Their manager might even tell them to keep quiet because they could hurt rental sales or some such. Me, I love it. These are people who watch a lot of movies. They have this crappy retail job that can’t pay much more than minimum wage, but they have a passion for it that you just don’t see at the grocery store or McDonald’s or in any other service type of field. Don’t say that we didn’t warn you. Capitalism be damned, the movie sucked!