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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.

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.

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The following comments are for "Movie Manners"
by Shel

Movie time
Yes, to everything you said Shel. I too have felt the frustration of lack of what I would call, old fashioned manners. I am not one to tell others what to do. Usually I don't even expect others to do as I would do. In shared spaces tho', I don't see how it is unreasonable to act in a way that ensures the comfort of all present, NOR to expect others to. I have some friends myself who I choose not to take with me to the movies because they loudly demand explanations for everything in the plot. lol. The only exception for me is when mentally handicapped or Downs Syndrome people come along to, noisily enjoy the show. That always puts a smile on my face. In my fathers time they would not have been out in public to enjoy anything. As to Phones, Crush 'em at the door! regards huni

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: July 25, 2004 )

You read my mind
I went to the movies last night. I, much like yourself, go to excap the reality that surrounds me. Well, a kid a few seats away from me recieved a phone call on his cell phone and talked for many moments. Also, a lady had brought in her little baby with her. Mid movie, this baby starts crying and makeing so much racket I couldn't stand myself, yet she refused to leave the theater and desided that staying and letting her baby cry wasn't bothering anyone at all. People must think they're the only ones in the theater when this happens. It ruins the movie experiance for everyone around them.

Great rant.


( Posted by: AbbyNormal [Member] On: July 26, 2004 )

I completely agree with your rant!! I am flabergasted by the manner in which people behave in public. I was recently the victim of the "commenter" myself. It completely ruins the film for others. Thanks for sharing a great rant!

( Posted by: everybodyelsesgirl [Member] On: July 26, 2004 )

Sadly, your rant made me laugh. I refuse to go to movies anymore. I’ll wait until they hit video and I can watch them at home in peace.

Last movie I went to see was “Lord or the Rings – Return of the King”. We got tickets on a very busy night and were surprised to find that we had purchased IMAX seats. I thought this was a great bonus because I heard that IMAX was supposed to be awesome.

The point the ticket failed to make, was that it was a regular movie on an IMAX screen. I nearly broke my damn neck straining to see what the hell was going on (oh yeah! second row). Luckily, I didn’t miss anything. I had a kind person sitting the row behind us that was on the phone to a friend providing a play by play.

That wasn’t all. There was another guy within earshot discussing the inconsistencies from the book with his buddy. Although I read the trilogy, I was fascinated to re-live the story in full. Unfortunately, he fell asleep during the last half hour and I missed his take on the end. Of course, he was more than willing to share his snores with us. Guess he liked the ending about as much as everyone else.

I would have said something, but the whole situation was so damn comical that my guests and I couldn’t stop laughing.


( Posted by: Nbiz [Member] On: July 26, 2004 )

I totally agree, looks like common courtesyis not common anymore!


( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: July 27, 2004 )

I too...
felt the escapism into your rant from your ideal escapism that went down hill. Why can't they be so cheap? Oh, boy have times changed. But I feel your pain and I like this a lot.

( Posted by: ryangilr0y [Member] On: March 20, 2005 )

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