Oh man, do people hate spoilers. In a pop culture climate filled with DVRs, VOD, streaming television and all other manner of apps and devices that have freed us from the tyranny of TV and movie scheduling, the downside is the prevalence on every form of social media of spoilers for everything you haven't gotten around to watching yet. Obviously, being spoiled for things sucks. But movie and tv critics/bloggers have to face the fact that a certain amount of spoiling is part of our job. Still, we try to be mindful about it. But sometimes we fail. Other times, people just can't catch a joke.
Mike Ryan, a senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment, recently incurred the wrath of one movie fan when he "spoiled" the end of Argo while reviewing Safe Haven. Whether or not you have seen both films, you might be thinking, "Hang on, why would he be comparing them? One is an Oscar-winning drama based on a true story of the Iran hostage crisis. The other is a Nicholas Sparks romance novel adaptation." Well, before we get into that: obligatory spoiler warning for Argo and Safe Haven.
When Safe Haven opened back in February, Ryan wasn’t planning to see or review it. But then he heard about the bizarrely supernatural twist at its end. So he had to see for himself. After making clear that his review would be focusing solely on the final moments of the film where it's revealed that one of the main characters is in not only the best friend of the female lead but also a ghost, dead wife of the male lead, Ryan wrote:
"This is one of the most insane twists that I've ever seen in a movie. Not because it's a great twist, but because it's so out of left field. Actually, the rather pedestrian notion of 'left field' doesn't do this justice….
Well, despite the article being published months ago, it was just read by one Alex Picchietti, who had a bone to pick with Ryan over the spoilers above. Over at Storify you can see the full rundown of all 19 of Picchietti's incensed tweets, but here's his main beef compiled in a continuous quote for clarity:
"@mikeryan Let me start this conversation by saying I never intended to read your article. I just wanted to get another opinion on the ending of Safe Haven. Then, in the middle of your article, you just go and SPOIL Argo. Like it's a 1990's movie everyone has seen. You just ruined that movie for me. I can't begin to explain how pissed I am right now. You don't just do that in the middle of an article about a COMPLETELY different movie!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? If you had a brain you'd think before you just spoil a less than year old movie in the synopsis of ANOTHER movie. Come on man. Tasteless and stupid."
Of course, in Ryan's piece he was joking. Ben Affleck, Bob Sugar, and the penguins are not ghosts. He patiently and calmly explained this on twitter, and eventually the pair made peace.
After briefly closing his Twitter account, @apdogtown is back online, a little shyer than before, with private settings. Let's all take this as a lesson: think before you tweet.