Joe Nicolosi's mom watching a movie is like everyone's mom watching movies — she closes her eyes during violent scenes, intrerrupts the movie to ask questions about what's going on, and mistakes Will Smith for Denzel Washington.
But it's her movie summaries she's shared with her family that are unique or, in the words of her son, "actually kind of amazing". After telling her son and husband her summary for Men in Black on a hike during the Christmas holiday near the family's home outside New York, her son knew he needed to record the next one. A few weeks ago, when Wendy Nicolosi visited him in Austin, Texas, he did.
Ms. Nicolosi's retelling of The Matrix, paired with her son's animations and uploaded to YouTube on May 1, has in just two days been viewed more than 3 million times. Why did the video do so well? Viral is hard to predict, but my guess is that the video was destined for greatness when, just 45 seconds in, she messed up the name of Laurence Fishburne's very serious, very cool character Morpheus. She called him, with confidence, Moshimo. D'aww.
And like everyone's mom born before computers were a household fixture, the instant fame that began on Reddit and spread across the Internet has been hard to explain, her son said in an e-mail to The Christian Science Monitor.
"I don't think my mom quite understands what's happening, honestly," he says. "I tried to get her to go to Reddit when it was first blowing up but she couldn't figure out how (computers are not her strong suit). I told her when it was on the front page of Yahoo and she thought I meant in her email."
But he says she's slowly realizing what's happening and how the people of the Internet, capable of incredible hate, are falling in love for her and the adorable way she described the Wachowski sibling's sci-fi epic in three minutes.
While Joe Nicolosi, a 28-year-old filmaker and visual effects artist, was at a film festival today in Colorado, she called him on the phone.
"[S]he called and said, 'Joey!' — she's the only one allowed to call me that — 'Joey I went on the Internet and read the comments. People think I'm funny!'" Joe Nicolosi said. "She sounded really happy about it, so I think she's down to watch more movies and talk about them. I got a few ideas for what to do next, and I'm also very open to suggestions from what people on the Internet want to see."