what does your taste in movies say about you?

Can you predict someone’s taste in movies from the way they dress? What newspaper they read? What car they drive?

by Oliver Lunn
24 February 2016, 7:03pm

If you're a fan of David Lynch what are the chances you listen to The Velvet Underground, shop at Sports Direct, own a cat, and read the Guardian? If you're a fan of Adam Sandler are you likely to be a woman in your mid-forties who reads The Sun, listens to Justin Timberlake, and shops for brands like Lonsdale and Airwalk? Can your taste in movies really reflect your lifestyle and fashion choices? And, conversely, could your lifestyle and fashion choices say that you're a fan of the films of Sofia Coppola or even Michael Bay? 

Sounds a bit flimsy and far-fetched, doesn't it? Well, it is and it isn't.

YouGov, the internet-based market research firm, have a tool that allows you to search for a thing -- practically anything -- and find out more about the fan base of that thing by analyzing data from thousands of its UK members. So you could type in Kanye West, for example, and see that the average fan --according to YouGov's sample -- is female, age 18-24, interested in fashion, and likes brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch. Her hobbies include "sitting around doing as little as possible" (it actually says that). And it goes deeper, showing you online habits, pet preferences, and other things you're probably not interested in hearing.

The tool, which is used by brands to target their audiences more effectively, has already proved that Radiohead fans are boring. But what can it tell us about movie fans? Could it prove that Michael Bay fans are indeed the weirdos we suspected them to be? Perhaps. Its accuracy is questionable though, and in some cases the sample sizes are clearly too small to show anything convincing. Still, the results are pretty hilarious, and I'm sure you probably recognize someone that fits a stereotype in this bunch.

Wes Anderson fans
Type in Wes Anderson and the results claim to show "what is particularly true of fans of Wes Anderson compared to other groups of the same type." The verdict? The average Wes Anderson fan is male, age 25-39, works in entertainment and media, reads the Guardian, likes brands such as Converse, Vans and Casio, shops at Lidl, listens to The Cure and Joy Division, watches Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, is into track cycling, and owns a cat. Which is funny because Wes Anderson might, just might, hate cats. Plus, no mention of tweed jackets, Cat Stevens, or highbrow novels? I'm not convinced.

Michael Bay fans
At the other end of the spectrum are those reliably oddball Michael Bay fans. They're extremely right-wing males, age 25-39, who work in engineering or agriculture, read The Daily Star, listen to 80s music like Cyndi Lauper and Journey, wear brands like Ralph Lauren and Gucci, and shop at ASDA. Their hobbies and activities include trunk sales and driving. Their favorite sports are wrestling and motorcycle racing, and -- here's where it gets strange -- their most likely pet? A bird. And so we can infer Michael Bay fans are strange. Very strange. So whenever you meet someone new, always ask them: Are you a Michael Bay fan? If they answer yes, make your excuses and get the hell out of there.

Adam Sandler fans
Having said that, Michael Bay fans and Adam Sandler fans might be made for each other. The average Sandler fan is apparently a right-wing female, age 40-54, who reads The Sun, works in military and defense or in the emergency services, eats McDonald's, likes clothing brands such as Lonsdale and Airwalk, counts the internet and going to the pub among her favorite hobbies and activities, watches football and Celebrity Juice, listens to Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5, is interested in disability charities and mental health, is the likely owner of a Vauxhall, and prefers dogs to cats. Personality-wise, she would describe herself as bighearted, loyal and paternal, and she thinks "this country is going to the dogs." She would also consider plastic surgery. Take a bow, Adam Sandler Fan.

Robert Pattinson fans
You'd imagine the Twilight heartthrob's fans are the filmic equivalent of One Directioners, all heart-shaped eyes, faces permanently glowing in the light from their iPhones. Right? You'd be close. The average Pattinson fan is female, age 18-24, a not-too-right-wing Sun reader who watches Gogglebox and Glee, shops at H&M and Primark, likes brands such as Converse and Alexander McQueen, reads Cosmopolitan, listens to Bruno Mars, likes red velvet cake, Emily Bronté novels and crossword puzzles. She prefers dogs to cats and her favorite sport is swimming. And she surely has zero chance of ever dating Robert Pattinson.

Quentin Tarantino fans
What about Tarantino? Could his fans be as opinionated and cock-sure as he is? Well, apparently these males (obviously males) can be grumpy and disinterested on occasion, they read The Daily Mirror but they're right-wing, enjoy toilet humor and pub quizzes, watch Live At The Apollo, drink Peroni, listen to David Bowie and The Stone Roses, shop for brands such as Levi's, Umbro and Puma, and spend 50-plus hours per week on the internet. Their favorite sport is boxing and they like to eat Burmese chicken curry. So: boxing, beer, curry. The essence of a Tarantino fanboy?

Winona Ryder fans
Winona Ryder fans have grown up, haven't they? They clearly have, according to YouGov. The average fan is female, age 40-54, super left-wing, works in fashion design, has very little disposable income, tends to go for brands like Fruit of the Loom, All Saints, Top Shop and Zara. She likes board games and prefers to buy physical copies of music (you know, CDs and vinyl and stuff). She describes herself as sincere and warm but nervous on occasion. She prefers cats to dogs, listens to Nine Inch Nails and Billie Piper and watches TV shows like Sykes and Bullseye. Now, Billie Piper and Bullseye -- that old darts show featuring mostly overweight bald guys? These things strike me as odd. Not only do I not know one single Wynona fan who watches Bullseye or listens to Billie Piper -- I don't know anyone who watches Bullseye or listens to Billie Piper. You?

David Lynch fans
Similarly to Wes Anderson fans, Lynch's admirers read the Guardian, work in entertainment or media, and are more likely to own a cat than a dog. When it comes to brands, however, they're more likely to shop at Sports Direct and Blue Harbor, choosing Sainsbury's over Lidl. Personality-wise, they describe themselves as individualistic, quiet and introverted, while their record collection includes The Velvet Underground, Ian Dury and Talking Heads. So basically they're like Wes Anderson fans only a little bit more artsy. Oh, and they also enjoy chicken shish and pan-fried dumplings. No mention of cherry pie.

Emma Watson fans
Could there be a link between car fans and Emma Watson fans? Possibly. The average Watson fan watches Top Gear and counts Formula 1 among their favourite sports. I should also say that he's male, age 18-24, casually left-wing, and shops for brands like Wrangler, Firetrap, and Uniqlo. He watches The Graham Norton Show, enjoys pub quizzes, and listens to Lily Allen and Kylie Minogue. To be honest, this sounds like the driest dating profile ever. This guy sounds a bit dull. Much like the experience of watching an Emma Watson film, you could say. Nailed it again, YouGov.