I sometimes send things back to Netflix without watching them, and I always feel bad about it. I have no idea why I should feel guilty about not being in the mood for a particular movie, but I guess Catholic guilt is not actually reserved for Catholics. At any rate, even though Thumbsucker got all kinds of good reviews and everyone at Sundance loved it, etc., etc., I just can’t be bothered to slip it into my DVD player, which means I’ll be slipping it back into its red envelope.

Perhaps I’m not in a thumbsucking mood because I just watched Garden State a few days ago, and that had enough self-actualizing and coming of age to keep me going for a while. I still can’t decide whether or not I liked it. The big problem is Natalie Portman: I want to hate her overly cutesy, artificially quirky, “ooh, look at me I’m such a free spirit who only exists to teach the main character a meaningful lesson about living life to its fullest” character with a passion, but Portman thwarts my attempts at grumpiness by being utterly charming. How’s a guy supposed to wallow in his black-hearted grouchiness and watch a dreary, depressing movie about men who refuse to grow up when she’s over there being all nice and pretty and stuff?

At any rate, Thumbsucker looks like it’s just as weird and mopey and preoccupied with father-son relationships as Garden State, but without any winsome starlets to leaven things. So I’m going to take a pass, and after I say a few Hail Marys, I’ll see what else Netflix decides to throw my way. I guess I could actually manage my queue so that I might know ahead of time what’s on its way, but that would spoil half the fun.