I doubt I’ve ever cried more at an ostensibly live-action film than I did for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Art is at least as much about what the audience brings to the experience as it is about what the artist created. Our perceptions, our life experiences, inform how we interpret art in ways the creators cannot anticipate and other audience members cannot replicate. Frankly, it sometimes makes me think art criticism is useless; at the very least, it means the applicability of any criticism is limited.
I mean, not everybody is an admittedly emotionally-stunted fuzzy-faced man-child who grew up without a father (substituting imaginary characters like Optimus Prime for his male role models instead) who realized late in life that the rough, growling pseudo-parent who frequently frightened him (and with whom he certainly had a fraught relationship) was the closest thing to a true father he ever had and loved that person for it who is also in a long-term romantic relationship with a woman he considers much smarter, more centered, and more heroic than himself and sometimes thinking he really doesn’t deserve her while also feeling occasional pangs of a kind of survivor’s guilt from knowing he was the favored child who sometimes took advantage of the better education and the greater (if still messed-up) support he got to occasionally steamroll over his sibling’s needs, so not everybody is going to experience GotGv2 as a deeply personal story that reflects and helps them deal with own traumas. I mean, I cried during the silly “catch” scene while the rest of the theater was laughing.
Well, the rest of the theater except for Robin, who saw her own personal issues reflected on the silver screen. Thank goodness I’m married to someone just as weird as me.
What a way to celebrate our seventeenth wedding anniversary...