The Humbling Effect of Paul Blart: Mall Cop

There are moments in life where you have to accept that certain things cannot be grasped. The concept of eternity. The distance between galaxies. The depth of love a parent has for their children. Now I add another; the appreciation that baby boomers have for the film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

I don’t want you to think that this idea simply popped into my head, recently. I didn’t just decide to write about this observation after a few hours of thought. No, this observation has been in development for over a year, and after many critical exchanges.

My father was the first middle-aged person to say to me, “Hey, did you see that Mall Cop movie? It looks funny.” Of course I responded that I had not seen it and couldn’t imagine why he would have any interest. I brushed this off, and prepared to let the whole matter go.

Then I heard from a friend that his father asked him the same basic question, which implied that there was a definite interest in the film from the older gentleman. Later, if I recall correctly, my friend’s father rented the film and enjoyed it.

I began to make a connection in my mind. Perhaps there is something about this movie that attracts the older generation. But I still didn’t have enough evidence.

Eventually I sat down and watched the film in its entirety. It wasn’t very good. This didn’t surprise me. And still there were no clues as to why anyone over thirty would be drawn to it.

As time passed, I noticed the film all over the place. It was on posters in the video store. It was on internet advertisements . There were entire shelves devoted to it at Walmart. Clearly, someone was buying this movie. There had to be an audience keeping it alive.

The final piece of evidence came tonight, when another friend admitted that his own mother had expressed interest in the film. And yet after all of this evidence, I am helpless to figure out why the baby boomers are so drawn to it. Helpless.

There are certain things we will never grasp, and it is best to accept it. I do not understand the allure of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I never will. At least not for another 20 years.


One comment

  1. Katy · June 7, 2010

    This made me laugh out loud. It may help further your case to know that my own mother didn't just rent it, she went to the theater to see it (if I remember correctly).

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