By Liam Grogan

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the movies with my brother, Brady. 

As two young boys, our itineraries mostly consisted of bombastic superhero movies and juvenile comedies. To be completely honest, I still think those are the best movies and I stand by all our choices.

What stuck in my memory more than the actual movies themselves, though, are the discussions we’d have on the way home. I call them “discussions,” but really, it was just two brothers yelling at each other. 

The thing about Brady is that he would love every movie we’d watch. Even if it was the most objectively catatonic turd of a film ever produced, he would walk away and find some way to sing its praise. And I, playing the role of critic, would be ready to challenge him, and it would inevitably lead to an argument on the sidewalk outside the theatre. 

So, who was right? Brady or Liam, the optimist or the pessimist, the fan or the critic?

He was. 100 percent.

Before going to any movie, I would check its Rotten Tomatoes score to see if it was worth my time. Doing this had the effect that I would conform my opinions to what everyone else was saying about it. 

Checking Rotten Tomatoes created this feeling of superiority, like I couldn’t possibly be wrong if the whole world agreed with me. It was also really, really stupid.

This brings me to a bigger picture. I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but I know it’s more than just a few of you: IT IS OKAY TO LIKE THINGS. 

For some reason, society has decided that it’s “cool” now to hate things. YouTube videos claiming that universally-beloved television shows or movies, like “Friends” or “Forrest Gump,” are somehow terrible. Yet, they still rake in millions of views. 

Newsflash — hating on pop culture doesn’t make you smarter, it just makes you a cynic.

Most relevant to this trend — and something I’ve noticed a lot recently — are people claiming that Marvel movies are downright bad. I’m just gonna clear this up once and for all: no, they’re not. 

There’s no denying that the Marvel movies are certainly flawed, but the idea that these unproblematic motion pictures are somehow “bad” is just silly. I have no time for people trying to prove themselves superior by convincing me otherwise.

I’m not innocent from this either and I was part of the problem for a long time. But whenever I think back to leaving the movie theater with Brady all those years ago, I remember the big smile he’d always have when the movie ended. 

I want to feel that joy again, and I bet you all do too.

So let’s all strive to be a little more optimistic, like Brady. We won’t regret it.