I’m a movie tagline junkie, I love em. Those crafty little advertising catchphrase or slogan can make or break a movie The best ones make us want to rush out to the theater to see the film immediately, while a poor tagline can turn us off even if the movie is good. In some cases of course the movie is equally as bad as the tagline as in “The Lone Ranger.” Its tagline was definitely as bad as the movie . I mean “Never take off the mask,” what kind of tagline is that? Definitely didn’t make me want to see the movie. Oh I eventually got around to seeing it and wished I hadn’t. And what about “Les Miserables” classic novel, outstanding Broadway play that gets made into a feature film and the best the creative advertising team comes up with is “It’s cheaper than seeing it on Broadway” as a tagline? Really?
Speaking of weak taglines look at the tagline for the academy award winning film “Gravity.” “Don’t let go.” That’s it? You’d think they could have come up with something a bit more dramatic, something more along the lines of the tagline for “Alien,” “In space no one can hear you scream.” Now that was a great tagline. I’m especially fond of sci-fi taglines. Remember “We are not alone” from one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”? It ranks right up there with “Alien”and “Star Wars” famous “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”
Another of my favorite sci-fi taglines is “The truth is out there” from my second favorite sci-fi TV series of all time “The X-Files.” It was on a poster of a darkened sky hanging in Mulder’s office, do you remember it? It was near another poster of a flying saucer hovering in the sky that read “I Want to believe.” Yeah Mulder and Scully were quite the team were’t they? My number one choice for TV sci-fi is “The Twilight Zone.” Rod Serling was the master. I don’t recall any short tagline for the show but Rod’s intro at the beginning of each episode was a tagline in itself. “You’re travelling through another dimension. A dimension, not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
So now you’re probably expecting to read something about UFO’s, extraterrestrials, time travel, strange encounters or an X-File caper perhaps. Well I’m sorry to disappoint, but you’ll find no Mulder and Scully story here, no flying saucers, space invaders or beings from a far off planet with a healing touch. In fact what I want to write about has nothing to do with outer space and everything to do with inner space, our own.
I was sitting here looking at some movie trailers trying to decide if there is anything I want to go see tomorrow when I came across the trailer for the recently released “Son of God” The tagline is “Their Empire. His Kingdom.” It’s not a bad tagline. It works and is memorable enough, but I would have thought they would have come up with something more sensational and dramatic like the one for the new “Noah” movie, “The end of the world… is just the beginning!” It was while thinking about these two movies and their taglines that I began to wonder about my tagline. If “My Life” were a movie what would the tagline be?
Of course I realized immediately that my movie would have to have a fitting title if I expected anyone to watch the film, something like “I Am Legend” but quickly realized I’m not. I thought that “Damaged,” “Lost” or maybe even “Clueless” would be appropriate titles but after kicking titles around for awhile I settled on either “Lifelong Journey” or “The Good Life”. So with the title out of the way I started trying to figure out a tagline? I thought maybe “an epic tale still in the making” might work but found it a just a bit pompous. Then I thought maybe “The Ultimate Trip” the tagline from “2001 A Space Odyssey” was good, but too short. I considered the line from Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get,” but that still didn’t cover it and was way too long. Finding an appropriate tagline for your life isn’t easy.
I guess I could have gotten creative and made up my own tagline, but I chose instead to look at taglines from past movies. After considering several including “Every dream has a price” from “Wall Street,” “Eternity is closer than you think,” from Star Trek, and “He’s out to prove he’s got nothing to prove” from “Napoleon Dynamite,” I settled on the tagline from the very irreverent, religious themed movie “Dogma.” “It can be hell getting into heaven.” Yeah that one really wrapped it up, my life in a nutshell.
Let’s face it folks, for many of us our lives are one constant struggle to do the right thing, live good lives and earn our way into heaven. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school for eleven years. I want to be saved and go to heaven. But the journey isn’t easy. We are constantly confronted by life’s many temptations and fall victim to her enticements. Sometimes we get wrapped up in all the greed and bullshit and have to battle our way back to the straight and narrow. Sometimes it may take years, even decades to make our way back to our senses and back on the road to paradise again. Yeah, “It can be hell getting into heaven.” the perfect tagline.
We are prisoners of our own device, we create our own hell through the choices we make and by forgetting one very important tagline “We are not alone” from the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” God is always there with us, patiently waiting for us to journey inward and discover Him, quietly sharing our burden, carrying us through the hard times. God gave us a free will and allows us to make our own choices, right or wrong. It’s how we learn and how we grow. At this point in my life I believe I’m on the road to heaven and although I still have my faults, I’m working on them. With that in mind I think “The Good Life” is an appropriate title for my movie. Yep I can see the ad now “The Good Life” “It can be hell getting into heaven.” Coming soon to a theater near you
Just a Thought…