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I sat in the theater, happily chewing a mutant gummy spider that tasted a little bit too much like it may have been an accident at Chernobyl, and listening to the rustling hum of the moviegoers around me, feeling their excitement spread infectiously through the dimness. I don’t know what it is, but there are certain movies that seem to transcend age and race and background, and somehow manage to make just about everybody happy. I have to admit, I love it when these movies come along. I talk about them for weeks in advance, I stand in the lines, I pretend like I’ve been a fan forever, and then I go to the theater and watch it.

There is something extraordinarily human, almost communal, about sitting in a crowded movie theater, waiting for the lights to dim, dreading the Fandango ad and the one person who will always laugh at it. It feels like everybody there is ready to smile. It’s a sort of contained, isolated world where it’s suddenly okay to joke around with a stranger about sharing their candy. Where people still clap if they really like the show.

“Spiderman,” it seems, is just that kind of movie. Yeah, so it broke all sorts of box office records, earning a whopping $125.8 million so far, which is almost, but not quite, its budget, and as a result has every CEO at Columbia licking his or her lips in greedy anticipation of the sequel. But despite all that, it’s a good movie. I mean … I liked it. Why shouldn’t I? It’s the all-American movie, like “Grapes of Wrath” in a comic book. The final shot of Spiderman swinging merrily past a digital flag (that’s funny) was everything it should have been, poignant, thoughtful, uplifting, but nonetheless, idealized. I guess that some part of me is still hoping that Spiderman will swing into Portland (maybe he could clean up the river) and make this town safe for democracy. But something tells me it’s not going to happen soon, and if it does he’ll probably be shot down by an F-16.

But besides all that, do you know how many times I’ve dreamed of having superpowers? A lot, and to finally see a regular kid not only become a full fledged superhero right before my eyes, but to see him have fun doing it was just … well, a dream come true.

Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s why everybody in the theater that night was rustling with anticipation. They were waiting for their dreams to come swinging off the screen, for their daily stuck-to-the-earth selves to be caught up in a sticky tangle of spider web, to see what it’s like when feels like fighting back is the right thing to do. But then again, maybe not, maybe they just wanted to see some snappy special effects.

I don’t know, but for me I guess it was just a movie. A good movie. A movie to watch with friends and complain afterward about how they never told us where Spiderman got that great suit, or why it was a genetically engineered spider that bit him instead of a radioactive spider. In the end, I guess that there are some questions in this life that even Spiderman can’t answer, questions that are stickier than his web. So what do we do? I don’t know, but I guess all that I can do is wait for the next “Star Wars” and hope.