The Weekend of Sequels

May 31, 2011

This past weekend was a big weekend of sequels for me personally and for the country, and I think, from both, we could learn a valuable lesson. Let me start with all of you. This past weekend, The Hangover 2 came out. This had to be the most anticipated sequel for any red-blooded American between the ages of 18 to 30. The first movie was brilliant and essentially made the three stars superstars in Hollywood. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen The Hangover 1. Pretty much any time there is nothing else on, it would be on HBO and I would watch it. Any time I was nursing a 24 hour hangover after New Years, I would watch it. It is just comedic gold. So, when a sequel to this movie was announced, I was pretty excited. However, the more and more I thought about it, the more and more I began to believe this sequel had bust written all over it. How can the same characters get a second hangover and shenanigans ensue again? When I saw the trailers, my suspicions deepened and I knew this movie was setting itself up for failure. Well, I went to see it last night. My reasoning for seeing it opening weekend was that the first movie was brilliant and I didn’t want any one liners of the second movie to be ruined by my friends who can’t seem to stop quoting movies and awful television shows. I won’t ruin anything for you, but if you saw the trailer, they gave you the entire plot. The jokes were recycled and the movie was so formulaic that it was pretty much unwatchable. Of course there were funny lines here and there, but whereas the first movie was one of those once in a generation type comedies, this movie will easily be forgotten (think American Pie 2).

This weekend was also a big weekend for me. Last year, my group of friends from college and I created Lake House, a Memorial Day weekend extravaganza where we rent a lake house and just party all weekend. The memories we created last year will certainly stick with me for a very long time. So, this year, just like The Hangover 2, we created the sequel, and, as opposed to The Hangover 2, this year did not disappoint. This year’s Lake House was a completely different feel from Lake House 2010. First, it was less rowdy. You would think this would be a bad thing, but it created a completely different feel. Whereas last year, where we were so focused on competitive drinking games, this year was different, as there was less competition outside of wiffle ball, basketball, seeing who can get the worst injury, and trying to get into a canoe before everyone else (which has left me bruised all over my body). Second, the house was way different. There were a million different things for us to do inside and outside of the house, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was a classic weekend, and although your first time is always extremely memorable, it doesn’t mean the second time can’t be.

My point of bringing these two events up is to make the point that recreating times in your life is not always the greatest idea. I feel like when you have an incredible experience and try to recreate it exactly, it always ends up disappointing. You have heightened expectations and if any little thing changes, you just end up frustrated. So, with The Hangover 2, they literally followed the exact formula as the first movie, and it was incredibly disappointing. I certainly had an expectation that it would be as good as the first movie, but the sequel didn’t meet those expectations. However, with Lake House 2011, I had expectations that it would be a great time, but I went into the weekend not expecting the same exact thing. The weekend would have been completely cheapened if we had a marker fight on Sunday night like we did last year. There were different characters and different unique experiences that made the sequel to Lake House 2010 just as good, but in an incomparable different way. This is the same mindset I am taking to Washington, D.C. this summer. This summer will certainly not be a re-creation of college just because I am taking my talents back to the D.C. area. Although there are a lot of people from college there, 2 years has passed. People change and so have I (for the record, I am way more awesome). I keep in touch with fewer people outside of my crew. I am just looking to have fun and not worry about making a sequel to college.