In case you’re not already aware, a new “Spider-Man” movie hit theaters today (July 3). It is “The Amazing Spider-Man,” starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and directed by the perfectly qualified and aptly named Marc Webb.
There are a lot of things to like about this movie going in, five very specific things in fact, if you’ve been paying attention to our coverage here at MTV News. And despite all these likable elements, I’m having a hard time moving past my attachment to them to embrace the Webb/Garfield reboot. I loved Sam Raimi’s first two “Spider-Man” movies, and I loved Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. It’s like being hung up on someone that you know is not good for you.
Come with me on this melodramatic journey through the five stages of grief or irrational attachment (or whatever fancy phrasing therapists are using today) as I try to leave the past behind me via a few ideas from this handy “Get Over It” guide from WikiHow.
Think Through Everything, But Not Obsessively
This one’s a toughie, because as an entertainment reporter, I’m supposed to obsess and over-analyze, which is probably what got me to this point to begin with. But why am I so attached to Raimi and Maguire? Because “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2” were the first comic book movies (along with Bryan Singer’s “X-Men”) that I experienced in a theater (Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was just a touch too young for Burton’s “Batman,” and then too into teenage-girl things to pay attention to “Batman Returns”), and we all know that being moved by the theatrical experience of a comic book-based movie is a thrill unlike any other. Anyway, now I’m spoiled because we’ve had a slew of terrific comic book movies and I will likely not have that “first” thrilling experience with a “Spider-Man” movie again — or so I think.
Talk to Your Friends
This is a handy one because, conveniently, a lot of my friends are also movie critics who share very similar opinions on the whole sense of déjá vu in play, so they understand a couple of my hang-ups. The wheel has not been reinvented, but we have all agreed that there is something new and delightful about Garfield’s and Stone’s interpretations of the characters (along with their adorable real-life romance) — a fact that the actors themselves have noticed via audience reactions at screenings and premieres.
“I’m really happy that people are responding well to the love story, because I think Gwen Stacy is such a special character,” Stone recently told MTV News at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. “I’m very excited that people seem to be responding well to that. Hopefully.”
Remove Memory Triggers
Another good tip! It’s probably time I take down the “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2”-themed collage in my office and move it to my apartment. Just kidding! I don’t have a collage — but I do have a People magazine photo of Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe with their arms around each other beaming at the camera circa 2002 that I can probably take down. Also, I have not given in to the urge to re-watch the Raimi films since the new one was announced, so that’s something. Perhaps I’ve subconsciously made room for “Amazing.” And you’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve made no mention of “Spider-Man 3,” so I’m well on my way!
Out With the Old, In With the New
Speaking of Maguire, Dunst and Dafoe, they have all happily moved on. Maguire and Dunst have expressed their support and encouragement for the new actors, with the “Great Gatsby” star going so far as to conduct an interview with Garfield pegged to “Amazing” for VMan magazine. It’s obvious from Maguire’s questions for Garfield that he is genuinely interested in seeing the “Social Network” star’s interpretation of the character. He also offers up some sage advice in dealing with the phenomenon of being an overnight celebrity tied to a successful blockbuster release. So, if they’re cool with it, so am I.
Let Go of Negative Emotions
This little exercise really has been unexpectedly therapeutic. WikiHow’s handy guides for the win! Now, because of that deep dive into my prior attachment/sensory memory, I now understand why it’s likely that no “Spider-Man” film will ever stay with me like that first one, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the heck out of an adorable and enthusiastic new group of actors and a dizzying display of very fancy FX. Not only that, we’re in the midst of a stellar year of summer movies, particularly in the comic book-based category. As long as fans keep fighting the good fight in supporting the good ones, studios will have no choice but to keep mining the genre for undiscovered talent and (hopefully) non-recycled story lines.
Having trouble accepting the new “Spider-Man”? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Amazing Spider-Man.”