Avatar is currently well on its way to becoming the highest grossing film of all time, proving that James Cameron still has the magic touch. Part of it might be because of unusually high numbers of repeat viewers. Just as Titanic inspired legions of teenaged girls to sit through the ill fated romance again and again, Avatar is inspiring its own fans to do the same thing. As this CNN article explains, fans become so immersed in and enchanted by the idealistic planet of Pandora that they feel depressed when the movie ends and they need to come back to dreary, meaningless Earth. So they go back to watch the movie again. One even claimed to be contemplating suicide in the hopes of being reborn on Pandora. You can read the original forum thread where the fans share their woes here.
I think these people need to be reminded that Avatar is a commercial movie made for the purpose of earning money. This being so, buying into the whole thing would be contrary to the ideals of the simplistic, communitarian way of the life of the Na’vi. Not that the ideals made much sense or were even coherent anyway. Did anyone notice that for all the talk of hunting in the movie, you never actually see any of the Na’vi eat anything? I think Cameron knew very well that showing the Na’vi barbecuing the wildlife and chomping into them, animal juices flowing from their lips and chins, would not mesh with the overall pro-environmental message. These people just need to grow up and solve their own problems instead of thinking that running away would make the problems go away magically.
Anyway, while movies have preyed on the white man’s guilt before and made viewers wish they belonged to another ethnic group, such as the Native Americans in Dances with Wolves or the noble Japanese of The Last Samurai, I think Avatar is the first movie to make people wish to be a different species entirely!