As I watched It Follows, a tense horror film well worth anyone's time, I pointed at the screen and proclaimed, "Hey, that's The Redford Theater. Oh my gosh, that was filmed in Detroit. That was the theater where Evil Dead previewed, although they didn't call it that at the time. I was there. Raimi and Campbell were there. You know they were from Michigan!"
And thankfully the theater was near empty. But nonetheless, I kept looking for and spotting landmarks from around the city and suburbs, delighting in each discovery.
So what's with us Midwesterns? Why do we take the hokum factor and blow it up times ten? Why do we take such childlike delight in the familiar?
And it's not a new factor. I remember in the seventies going to see The Betsy, a story based on Harold Robbins' potboiler about the auto industry, and Beverly Hills Cop, and in both instances doing the same thing in a theater, along with the rest of the audience. "Hey, did you see that? Eddie Murphy is driving down the John C. Lodge! I know that overpass!!!"
It's the way it is. and it says something about Midwestern culture. We don't expect the extraordinary. We don't think of life as exciting. We work. We go home. We go to work the next day. We delight not in seeing the sensational, but in recognizing the ordinary. It's who we are.