Friends, I can’t believe what just happened. My family has a tradition where we go to the movies every Christmas. We celebrate Christmas and do gifts on Christmas eve so it works out perfectly. It all started one year when my brother’s gift to me was going to see the movie Michael when it first came out. (I love John Travolta; that fact has no bearing on this post, but you should just know it).
Up until a few years ago it was only us in the theater, being glared at by the employees bc we were the only patrons making them work on Christmas. Some of you like to say that going to the movies is one of your family traditions, but I’ve got to say I think you’re lying because our family was literally the only people there until about 5 years ago when movies started releasing on Christmas Day.
Whew, that was not my point at all. Pressing onward now.
So we went to the movies today like we always do on Christmas Day. We chose to see Catching Fire because a few people in the family hadn’t seen it and we figured it would be less crowded since it’s been out for a while.
So we go to the movie, following the set standard requirements for a positive movie experience: (1)got there early–(2)got snacks–(3)got good seats right in the middle of the row–(4) waited for the magic to start. What I didn’t count on, however, was that this theater contained what can only be described as a group of people that must have just been re-introduced into society.
Dear fellow movie viewers, as we are about to enter into two hours of communal viewing, let us abide by the appropriate social contract set forth by our fore fathers for this occasion. There are certain standards for enjoying such an experience as a motion picture. And this group, well, they failed on all counts. Enjoy the rant that they have inspired…my family caught the live show as the credits were rolling, along with a few of the offenders who finally had to make eye contact with me.
The first offenders, and frankly the most annoying of the pack, were the incessant commentators.
This group, who took up residence directly behind us, took it upon themselves to keep up a steady stream of commentary and explanation throughout the entire film. Thank goodness they were there to closed caption the whole movie because otherwise I might not have understood what was happening. Without their opinions and hipster comments I might have accidentally misunderstood. Thank goodness they were there because I have this medical condition that causes me to blink several times a minute and without their summaries I would have just missed the plot that transpired during those seconds.
This group closed captioned the entire saga. I can only assume that someone in their group was a deaf mute and they were trying to communicate the plot Miracle-Worker style.
Water, Helen, Water.
At one point, though I can’t prove it, I think they fanned out on all sides so we were totally surrounded by their chatter. Whew, what a gift! I was worried that I would actually have to listen to the movies dialogue but thankfully I got to listen to these people’s opinions of the dialogue.
My favorite comment (or I guess I should say commentS/plural because they just kept repeating it) was “Why is she sitting there? Why isn’t she running?” Hmmmm, perhaps it’s because this is a first person narrative, meaning it’s told from her perspective…meaning that if she doesn’t see it you/we/the audience doesn’t see it. Perhaps, just perhaps, the author/screenwriter/director/producer/actors know what they are doing and these little details make up the…oh, what is that word?…oh yeah, PLOT! Shut your face and watch the movie.
Times it’s okay to talk when watching a movie: a)when you’re in your own home, b)during the credits, c)if you are one of those 3 aliens in Mystery Science Theater 3000.
And that’s it! Those are the only acceptable times to carry on a conversation whilst a movie is unfolding. I mean, is it possible that you are unaware of the 100 strangers in this room who paid to see a movie in which you are not starring and therefore should not be heard this much. Is it possible that you think you are at home right now? I’ll try to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have a voice-immodulation disorder and you think that you are whispering. Oh, you aren’t familiar with that? Then you need to click here.
I just really hate when people talk during a movie. It’s not that I don’t want to hear what you think. In fact, once you make a movie I will be happy to pay to listen to all of the things that you say. Until then, your words during my movie are obnoxious. Be better. True story: I once moved away from a guy I was on a date with because he wouldn’t stop talking. In all fairness, I did warn him before the movie started that this was one of my biggest pet peeves. He did not heed that helpful tip, and therefore he finished that movie sitting by himself. People have to learn.
Along those same lines is the commercial ranker. The person who feels the need after every preview to announce to their viewing partner and the 3 closest rows whether or not they will be seeing that movie. Oh you don’t plan to see that one? Whew, now that my curiousity has been quenched I can proceed on to the movie. Oh you think you’re just going to red box that one? Yeah I agree.
Okay, let’s move on….Guy with the straw. You cannot make this next part up. Midway through the movie, during one of the quieter, more emotional parts of the movie this fine specimen of humanity started playing with his straw. Hmmm, perhaps “playing” isn’t the right word; what would be the proper adjective to describe a man frantically moving the straw up and down for 3 solid minutes, making that terrible plastic on plastic sound?
Just like that, but vastly longer. Then he broke into a symphony of sucking on the straw with all his might to get that last drop of soda. It took him several minutes to get that soda. By this time my sister had turned around to give him “the look” about 8 times. You all know the look; it’s our socially acceptable-non verbal way of communicating with an individual that his behavior is unacceptable and he is to instantly get his life right. My sister has that look mastered and it takes a lot for her to whip it out, let alone for her to use it so many times in a 5 minute span. This guy didn’t even flinch. He has a social problem.
Now, 3 phones went off during the movie…and I have to admit that one of them was mine. Now, IN MY DEFENSE I turned the volume off! I was unaware, however, that alarms go off regardless of whether or not the volume is on or not. I accept no responsibility and instead whole-heartedly blame verizon. The other 2 times a phone went off-it was THE SAME PERSON! If your phone goes off once, sure everybody hates you a little bit but ultimately we forgive you. If it goes off twice you don’t understand how to function in society. Here, why don’t you take this coloring book and go sit in the corner.
Up next, lady down in front. Are you running laps? You’ve gotten up 8 times! Are you trying to burn the calories of the popcorn you’re eating? Settle down. Unless you are 9 months pregnant or have restless leg syndrome please settle down.
Oh Senor Cougher. I understand that sometimes you have to cough, especially if you are sick. But there is also this new age technique that’s been employed lately…it’s called covering your mouth. Give it a whirl friend.
What else happened? Oh there you are woman who brought a small child to a completely age inappropriate movie. I’m sure this movie about children killing each other won’t cause irreparable damage to your small child in their formative years. Solid parenting as always.
Lady with your feet on the back of my chair. There is no reason or situation in life that should cause your feet to be this near to my face Peaches.
The next 2 I’m going to combine because they usually go together. (1) the douchey guy trying to impress everybody and (2)the large, loud group. I’m not even going to elaborate on this one because I will never explain it better than this video does.
There should be some kind of system in place where if you are a terrible person to be near while at a movie you have to reimburse everyone within earshot. I bet that would stop some of the general awfulness. I’ve been to movies with obnoxious people before, but I’ve just never seen anything like this stellar group of humanity today. It was quite an afternoon my friends. It made me really see what I am thankful for in life, and that is Netflix in my home.
Update: everyone behaved themselves during the movie I went to see the other day. I was really worried after reading your post, but as it turns out, The Hobbit is long enough that *everyone* has to get up to use the restroom at least once, so we were all in the same boat!! I was ready and willing to turn all teacher-face on anyone who stepped out of line though! Thanks for mentally preparing me!!