A few of my closest friends are physicists. In fact, when I went to see Interstellar, I made sure one of them was at my side. My physicist pal and I loved the movie, and to us (especially the physicist) the physics of the story were merely a layman's version of the real thing, but that was the right way to do it. A third member of our viewing party, a girl whose interests could be described as more spiritual than scientific (not that the two are mutually exclusive), utterly despised it. What I couldn't figure out, despite her attempts to explain, was why. I kept coming back to the conclusion that it was because she didn't understand it, but the reality is that plenty of people -- very intelligent people -- don't fully understand the physics behind Interstellar, but its ratings would suggest that they don't mind the confusion.
NASA accounts for only 0.58 percent of our annual budget, yet the average American believes we are spending too much on space exploration and research. Compare that with the only 37 percent of Americans who believe that our $1.2-trillion annual defense budget is too high.