Nearly six months ago, my wife and I decided to get a Netflix subscription. Many of our favorite television weren’t going to have full seasons due to the writer’s strike. Some, like 24, didn’t have seasons at all. We thought that this would be a good time to catch up on the classics that we missed through the years. It’s worked really well in that regard… We switch off picking one movie that we’d like for the other to see and every so often we come across one that we both missed.
I’ve been choosing movies like Fight Club and Momento – ones with a great twist from what you’d expect. I would have had 12 Monkeys at the top of this list if I didn’t already own it already. I’ve also been trying to catch her up on more traditional classics like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. The Indiana Jones movies have been tough to get recently, so I’m going to switch to the Godfather. Some say that I should have started with the Godfather, but I belong to the Peter Griffin school of thought when it comes to the movie.
Energi Gal has been choosing movies that she feels will add a little culture to my life. As usual, she’s been right. We started with Ghandi. In a sad reflection of my public school system, I was not familiar with the tremendous role he played in our world. I’ve always heard of him and I had developed a bit of knowledge, but our text books always seemed to focus on the United States. Even then, they’d go from the past to the present often ending around far before Ford’s assembly line. Ghandi spurred me to read a lot more on Wikipedia.
It hasn’t all been history lessons though. My wife has been big on musicals lately. She transitioned from Ghandi to Evita – keeping with the historical figure theme. I loved it. It was a great story and Madonna was great in it to the point we couldn’t think of anyone else who could have pulled of the role. We also saw Hairspray and Hair (unrelated musicals, if you don’t know them, but both very good). Next up was Chicago. Maybe I didn’t give it full attention as I was writing at the time, but I didn’t agree with the message it was sending (I didn’t think “he had it coming”). Recently she’s got things going in the right direction again with Phantom of the Opera. I loved that as well. Soon she’s going to piece together that my favorite television show is a musical and my myth of not liking musicals will be busted.
So you’ve been following thinking, “What does this have to do with personal finance?” My wife knows that spending $100 a piece on two theater tickets is not something that fits very easily in our budget. When watching the movie, she often laments, “the play is always better.” I try to explain that I’m not spoiled by that experience, so getting the story with million dollar sets and actresses works for me. If you look at it from that perspective, Netflix has saved us hundreds of dollars. However, I try to look at it as the value that I get for a dollar spent at Blockbuster or Redbox. In that comparison, we don’t watch enough movies to get a great value out of Netflix – it feels very fairly priced for what you get.