Why I Couldn’t Watch Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

I couldn’t do it. I tried, trust me I tried, but I just couldn’t watch Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. I have already heard one “Why? How could you not watch it?” since sending it back to Netflix, so allow me to explain with my four main reasons for not watching Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.

The Title: There’s something a little off regarding the title of the movie. The film’s name isn’t Precious. It’s Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Look, I get it. You want to drive up your book sales and maybe you think that your audience is made up of a bunch of mouth-breathers who won’t be able to figure out why they can’t find this book named Precious. I imagine the following scene happening at a book table along Brooklyn’s Fulton Mall:

Customer: “I’m looking for Precious by Sapphire.”
Sidewalk Book Dealer: “Here you go.”
He points to a copy of Push.
Customer: “No, idiot. You know, the book about the fat girl that’s abused by her mom and raped by her dad. They made it into a movie.”
Sidewalk Book Dealer: “I think you mean Push.”
The Customer shoots him an angry look.
Customer: “Man, what kind of scam are you trying to pull? I said Precious, not Push.”
Sidewalk Book Dealer: “Perhaps I can interest you in one of these books by Z.”

Do we really need this obnoxiously long title? Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire isn’t the only film that was originally a book to have its name changed. The Ghost Writer was based on a book called The Ghost, but it’s producers didn’t feel they had to name it The Ghost Writer: Based on the Novel The Ghost by Robert Harris; No, Now You’re Thinking of the Patrick Swayze movie; No, Not the Marvel Comic Book with the Guy Riding a Motorcycle While His Head is on Fire, That Was Ghost Rider – No, No Say It With Me – Writer, Not Rider.

Perhaps the producers thought the extra long title made the movie sound more high-brow. “Look,” they said, “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a huge title and that won an Oscar. We should get in on this.” Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire did receive a best picture nomination, so who am I to argue with results?

The Oscar Factor: Me, the week before the Oscars: “I need to see all the best picture nominations!” Me, the week after the Oscars: “Meh.” It’s amazing how quickly interest in Oscar nominated movies can drop off. We’re talking about a speed faster than the drop off in interest I had for ABC’s Flash Forward. That’s fast.

The Mariah: Little known fact: Mariah Carey’s role in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire was originally supposed to be played by AARP sex-kitten Helen Mirren, who had to back out at the last minute to do another movie. This worked out great for Mariah Carey. Her performance in this movie has been hailed by critics as one of the main reasons people need to see this movie. One problem: I really don’t care about Mariah Carey. Now I didn’t say I don’t care for her, no I just don’t care about her. My Mariah Carey apathy is at an all-time high. Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire might be a career turning move for her as an actress, but in my eyes she peaked with her team-up with Boyz II Men on One Sweet Day and it’s been downhill ever since.

Times I watched One Sweet Day for this post: 2.
Times I watched Precious: Based on the
Novel Push by Sapphire for this post: 0.

The Story: The biggest hurdle to get over to actually watch Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire is the story itself. Here’s the first line from the Netflix sleeve: “Viciously abused by her mother and pregnant by her father…” After a long day of work, this is a hard sell. If it was a stressful day at the office, I didn’t need the story of a girl who is pregnant by her father thrown on top of it. And if it was a great day at the office, I really didn’t need this story to end my night on a sour note. The weekend was out of the question; there were always too many options that all seemed more fun that watching a girl get raped by her dad and abused by her mom. Just typing the last half of that last sentence brought me down.

Not even a Lenny Kravitz appearance could help it leave the sleeve.

I want to know who buys Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire on DVD. I have some questions for those people. Whether or not you’ve seen it, do you really want to own this movie? Doesn’t that imply you would want to watch it more than once? Did you not read the description on the box? Are you also a cutter?

When you take these factors into consideration, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire really had no chance of escaping its Netflix sleeve. I’m just glad that I came to this conclusion when I did. Who knows how long Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and I would have had our little staring contest before I relented and finally sat down to watch it? Would it have even have made it into the blog this year, or would it carryover into next year?

To quote Mr. Owl: “The world may never know.”