When the ALA sends out an e-mail request to librarians to share their thoughts on a movie, you know it’s a big deal. I’m not a film critic, so I’m not going to get in your face Ebert-and-Roeper-style; instead, I’ll opt to explain this movie from a librarian’s POV:
First off, let me say that there was one thing this movie hit dead on—what librarians do. The ER guy’s actual job description is “the librarian.” Throughout the movie, all he does is wander around a basement full of mythological artifacts. But why does the librarian do what he does? Is he supposed to be running around the world trying to protect these artifacts? His job is never really explained, and it’s here that there is a similarity between the movie librarian and the real librarian. Do you really know what a real librarian does? I mean do you really think we sit around and order books for eight hours a day? Think about it.
Second, the ER guy received a mysterious magical card asking him to interview for the job of librarian. A lot of people probably were wondering about this, so let me explain. This is not the normal procedure for interviewing as a librarian. Usually one finds out about librarian jobs through Internet sites such as lisjobs.com, e-mails, librarian message boards, or the classified section in the newspaper. If you want to be a librarian, don’t sit around waiting to receive the magical letter—it’s just not going to happen that way.
Third, the movie presented a popular cinematic librarian motif: nerdy librarian gets the beautiful girl. Guys, I cannot stress this enough: Don’t enter the library field expecting to get beautiful women. It may happen, but it’s probably not going to, because remember, you’re a librarian. There just aren’t a lot of librarian groupies out there—not beautiful ones, anyway.
Fourth, there was a line in the movie that went something like this:
MALE: That’s the librarian?
FEMALE: Don’t underestimate him.
While the movie had several false moments, this was not one of them. Don’t ever mess with a librarian—we will kill you, grind up your body, then create a cannibalism edition of Harry Potter that other librarians will use to teach literacy to flesh-eating tribes in Papua New Guinea. I’m not kidding about this.
Fifth, about 30 seconds into the film, I started wondering whatever happened to that girl who liked the ER guy in the second season—did she ever make any movies? About five minutes into the movie, I started thinking about Dr. Green—sure was sad how they had to kill him off, but at least it was tasteful (not like the way he died in Top Gun). About 10 minutes into the movie, I started making up movies that the ER guy could do with George Clooney—I think they’d do good together, and it would probably help the ER guy’s career (enough that I might actually start to remember what his name is). About 11 minutes into the movie, I realized I really hadn’t been paying very much attention to the movie, and I promised myself I would try harder.
Finally, in the movie, Bob Newhart can magically appear at a moment’s notice. Few people know this (mostly just librarians), but he actually can magically appear at a moment’s notice. I can’t explain how he does this.