I don't want to get all maudlin about this, but let's face facts: To succeed, a movie has to reach out and touch somebody. A movie can't just be a series of gags. It has to be about something important. Otherwise, who gives a shit? I'd seen enough movies, and written about enough movies, to realize that the most memorable films in motion picture history were the ones that addressed a universal human concern. Whether it was friendship (Midnight Cowboy) or honor (Grand Illusion) or deathless love (Wuthering Heights) or why you can't trust the government (The Conversation), the great movies always spoke directly to the human heart. They concerned themselves with something of value. They addressed the great issues of the day. They weren't just big yuckfests.
So, after carefully mulling over these extravagantly foolish movie themes for several months, I finally sat myself down and started to think about the Vision Thing. What was the single issue that spoke most directly to the viewers I wanted to reach? Love? Too corny. Racism? Too downbeat. Poverty? Been done. Greed? Cut too close to the bone. And then it hit me. One day, while paging through my local newspaper, I read a story about a support group for people who had trouble dealing with their emotions. The group was called Emotions Anonymous, and it claimed to be a twelve-step program for the emotionally undernourished.
The concept came to me in a flash. Deep down inside, wasn't everybody in this country sick to death of people who claimed to be suffering from pop dysfunctions? I'm not talking about cokeheads or boozers or heroin addicts; I'm talking about porkers who blamed their obesity on genetics, about goldbrickers and layabouts who claimed to be suffering from Chronic Lateness Syndrome, about greedy, acquisitive fuck-knuckles who claimed to have credit-card addictions, or addictions to sex, or fatal predispositions toward slamming away bacon double cheesburgers when in fact they were really nothing but standard-issue assholes.