We must refer, as is traditional in cases of social mortification, to the famous HM Bateman cartoons ("The Man Who Lit His Cigar Before the Loyal Toast", "The Man Who Threw a Snowball at St Moritz"). If I were to appear in one, it might be called "The Critic Who Stood Up and Admitted That He Didn't Like The Hunger Games".
If you haven't seen the film - a dystopian sci-fi thriller in which young adults are forced to take part in a deadly televised reality show in the woods, based on the bestselling novels by Suzanne Collins - you'll have seen the triumphant full-page ads, plastered top to bottom in clusters of stars and hyperventilating praise. Although unlike the recent print campaign for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the quotes are not from sated members of the public, but the usual professional film critics.
"Thrilling, intelligent, immersive and powerfully current - this slays them all," says someone from Empire. "Rarely does a blockbuster live up to its hype, but The Hunger Games proves to be an exception," raves The Times. "Spectacular," gushes Chris Tookey at The Mail. "Compelling," reasons Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian. Grazia awards it five stars, as does The Telegraph ("An essential film for our times"). RT's own reviewer, the always trustworthy Alan Jones, awarded it four stars, too.
Which is why I feel like a pariah, but honesty is the best policy. I don't get it. I saw The Hunger Games on the big screen at the weekend, and was really looking forward to it. I was brought up on Logan's Run - I love a dystopian future in which attractive young people have to dash about for their lives - but this one left me cold.
It's not just because it's aimed at young adults. (And with a 12A certificate, it makes no secret of its desire for as large a young audience as possible.) I've seen all the Twilight films, and although some of the pasty, adolescent longueurs induce little more than a shrug in my parent-aged shoulders, I totally understand why teenagers are hooked on them. They're about the tantalising promise of sex and crushes and forbidden love, and I get it.
I don't get The Hunger Games. Which is a pity, as the first film has been a huge hit, and there are two more in the trilogy, so I'd better get with the programme.
What's wrong with The Hunger Games? For me? Well, I loved Jennifer Lawrence in her breakthrough film Winter's Bone, and she makes a believable working-class heroine in The Hunger Games. All power to her. And Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks provide some camp, adult input, as the X-Factor style mentors.
But the vision of the future, in which the drab poor are herded about and sacrificed like cattle, and the rich preen about like powdered, pre-Revolutionary French aristocrats, strikes me as unsubtle and silly. It's clearly delineated, but that's about all you can say about it. Any serious political point is lost under a blanket of overstatement.
And it's an action movie, right? A group of 12- to 18-year-olds are let loose in a forest and only one can survive? That's exciting. Or, at least, it should be, but the "thrilling", "spectacular" and "compelling" film my fellow critics saw must have got stuck in the projector when I saw it. It struck me as badly edited, and slackly paced, and the plot - which I won't spoil, although it's lifted wholesale from the page - is clunky.
Or is it? Could it be that, isolated as I appear to be, I'm simply wrong? It's an eerie feeling being out on a limb. Consensus cannot always be reached, but you usually get a few dissenting voices and the closest I can find is a three-star review in The Sunday Times.
Whatever, as the young adults say. At least I am man enough to admit my critical deficiencies. Here's one for the poster, though:
"Hugely disappointing ... quite boring in places ... rarely does a blockbuster live up to its hype and this is no exception ... not as good as Logan's Run!" Andrew Collins, the Siberian salt mines