What happened to the whole movie-going experience? When I was in high school and even college, there was nothing I loved more than going to the movies. I loved the candy, the Diet Coke, and the two hours of pure escapism from the emotional roller coaster of my life. For two hours, I was a spy, a thief, or a beautiful woman in love with the “bad boy”. Whatever the plot entailed, a good movie could take me from myself, my worries, and my insecurities. It was getting lost in the moment while surrounded by complete strangers that were getting lost with you.
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As you have probably guessed, several unfortunate incidents have prompted the initial question. First, my husband went to see a movie while off from school (he’s a college student). A young woman sitting a few seats down from him received a call on her cell phone during the movie. You guessed it. She sat in her seat and loudly conversed for several minutes. My husband endeavored to educate her as to how her actions affect other people by quietly whispering, “Shhh!” Finally, this young woman puts down the phone only to look at the person sitting next to her and say loudly, “Oh, no he didn’t! I can’t believe he just did that!” She was so outraged at the fact that he would dare ask her to be quiet in the movie theater that she once again picked up the phone and told her caller in great detail what had happened.
After that episode, it was several months before I was able to convince my reluctant spouse that going to the movies could be a wonderful experience. I finally convinced him and, as if someone called ahead with the intent to ruin the movie, an “on-the-spot reviewer and coach” sits in the row in front of us. You know this person. She, or sometimes “he”, feels that it is necessary to give audible commentary to those around her as if she were reviewing the movie as it progresses or providing coaching to the characters on the screen. Scenes were critiqued with such loud exclamations as, “Huh! Like that would happen” and “Don’t go back to him!” Why do some people feel this is necessary? Such loud comments rip you from the movie and plant you squarely back in reality. As I mentioned above, I go to the movies for the escapism and anything that denies me of that escapism should be banned.
“Why,” you say, “you are just cynical. Get over it! That’s life!”
Well, to all those who say “Get over it!” I say, “Why should I?”
Why are good manners optional? Is the problem that we have all become so self-involved that we can only think of ourselves? Have we been desensitized? Have we cocooned ourselves inside our houses, watching television and ordering take-out, for so long that we have forgotten how to empathize?
Maybe I’m just old, but these problems didn’t seem so prevalent in my high school days. Or maybe it’s just that I’m actually watching the whole movie now instead of spending 50% of it making out with my boyfriend. Okay, 75%, but that’s not the point!
The point is this…the next time you are in the movie theater prepping yourself for an evening with your honey, do me a favor and turn off your cellphone. Oh, and if the guy next to you starts commenting on the movie, throw your popcorn at him, bucket and all.