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They say opposites attract. Fortunately, people are less like magnets and more like Venn diagrams, distinct yet overlapping. Barry and Julia Wurst, husband and wife cohosts of So I Married A Film Critic (which is better than marrying an ax murderer, depending on your perspective) approach films very differently. But they both love movies. 

Barry is the professional film critic, and Julia is the “I” who loves him. At any moment Barry is ready to get into the weeds with things like mise-en-scène, sound design, history, and themes. Julia? She just wants to enjoy the movie. Which isn’t to say that she isn’t every bit as savvy as Barry, just maybe not as particular. She knows what she likes, what she does not, and will clearly articulate why.

Where Julia really excels is in summarizing the movie throughout the podcast and keeping Barry on track. Between the two, she’s the storyteller. If you don’t mind spoilers, even without seeing the movie you can still get a good sense of things and enjoy the conversation.

In their discussion of Over The Top (the 1987 Sylvester Stallone vehicle, a movie they both love without apology), Julia laughs at Barry’s frustration with the main character’s name constantly changing. Then the next thing we know, he’s drawing comparisons to critically acclaimed films even I’ve never heard of. For all of his knowledge, Barry is hardly a snob.

One episode might be about a classic Alfred Hitchcock film (Notorious), or a childhood Disney Channel favorite (Flight of the Navigator), or whatever they just saw in the theater (Top Gun: Maverick). Their discussions also sometimes lead to more personal stories. Barry remembers the first time he saw Field of Dreams with his mom and the connection they felt while watching. Julia doesn’t remember the first time she saw Army of Darkness at a party, but she does remember the nachos were fantastic (and who doesn’t love nachos?). 

Not every movie they discuss is kid-friendly, and some episodes are tagged for explicit language. They don’t dwell on the tawdry or go out of their way to be profane, but in their enthusiasm the conversation sometimes gets a little colorful. It’s never political or religious, though. This show is all about taking delight in the stories.

The writer of Proverbs notes that the person who finds a good spouse finds something good and receives favor from the Lord (Prov. 18:22). One hopes that we can all find someone special who loves the things we love in a complementary way. As long as the things we love are things like movie watching and not ax murdering. (Barry Wurst)

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