Sunny with a Chance of Cynicism: Gravity Inspires Anxiety

Libby Salemi, Columnist

Over fall break, my parents and I visited my older brother in Ann Arbor for a fun little lunch date. As per usual, we discussed all the normal things families discuss: football, the weather and what movies and shows we’d been watching. My mom brought up the idea of maybe going to see the movie Gravity that afternoon, to which Alex (my brother) and I both promptly responded, “Absolutely not, fuck no, you’ve got to be kidding me.” I asked him why he was less than inclined to see it, feeling almost positive his answer wouldn’t be the same as mine, but I was pleasantly surprised when he said, “Oh my God, are you kidding me? It’s just Sandra Bullock floating around alone in space. Like, just screaming and running out of oxygen with no one else for two hours. That’s the scariest thing possible!”

I finally found someone who agreed with me about this movie, and he’d been right by my side for 20 years. Alex and I are both into suspense movies and even thrill rides, but he’s much less timid about these things than I am. This was why it surprised me so much that this movie looked to both of us like one giant stressful panic attack. I’ve read reviews of it, checked out the Wikipedia page and watched several trailers, and I could not agree more with what he said. The movie just looks like an hour and a half of freaking the fuck out. From what I’ve gathered, Sandra Bullock’s character is working with George Cloo- ney’s character on some routine work in space for some kind of satellite. Then everything goes horribly wrong, and they lose contact with Earth and the satellite they were working on. They now have to travel to another satellite and figure out how to get back to Earth without fucking up or losing all their oxygen. Will they make it? Fuck if I know, I’ve been too much of a pansy to watch anything more than the trailer.

For some reason, this movie, which should be renamed “Sandra Bullock Floating Around and Making Me Feel Scared and Insignificant,” is critically ac- claimed. Apparently it’s some kind of visual masterpiece with superb acting and tone. What- ever. I still don’t want to see it. And yet…

I want so badly to see this movie for the same reason I keep playing that Slender Man Eight Pages game, even though I know it’s just going to end with me screaming and slamming my computer shut. I need to feel that weird, fear-based adrena- line rush. I have no idea why, but I have to do it. The curios- ity has been getting to me for far too long, and I need to know if I can handle Sandra Bullock’s scary space adventure. Also, since I’m trying to do that whole film major thing, I should prob- ably see one of the films that’s supposed to be the greatest of the year. But mostly I need to feel Sandra-Bullock-space-fear.

My plan is to go see it this weekend with a few friends for support. Hopefully we’ll make it through the whole thing without peeing our pants. I know that I’ll struggle with this challenge. If you see me over the weekend, and I appear to have soiled myself, you’ll know why. Until next time, I’ll be in a constant state of tension as I prepare my body and mind for this panic-inducing experience. Wish me luck.