The Art of Movie Watching by Holly Lengyel

OKay so this isn't my Blog but a friend fo mine posted this on Facebook, and I felt I needed to share it with ewveryone.  Enjoy, and maybe learn?




The art of movie-watching

I never really thought that people, mostly adults, would need to have simple movie theatre etiquette explained to them, but it seems that every time I think it's safe to go see a fucking movie, there is always at least one person who needs to prove me wrong. How hard is it to sit still and shut up for 2 hours? Apparently in a world where Ritalin is so regularly distributed, it's quite the challenge. Below I have listed the key annoying behaviours and tendencies displayed on a far too regular basis, and organized rather nicely into categories. The only thing that would make this more complete is perhaps illustrations. If you find yourself doing any of these things at any given time, knock it off, or I will not be held responsible for my stuffing popcorn kernels into your eyes until butter squirts out of your ears and your head explodes from the pressure.

Food: I have no problem with people buying food and eating food in the theatre. I DO, however, have a BIG problem with the jackass two rows in front of me who has to open his candy bar over the course of the first half hour of the movie, causing the wrapper to continuously make that oh-so-delightful and oh-so-loud paper crunching sound. If you're going to eat food that has a wrapper on it, just fucking open it and get it over with. You know, like pulling a band-aid off quickly. And pull it all the way out of the damn wrapper the first time you open it, don't make it a gradual process. Yes, we're all very impressed that you could afford $5 for a theatre-bought Snickers, but we don't need to be constantly reminded that you have it in your hands.

Punctuality: You people who come wandering blindly into a theatre 15 minutes after the movie has started really do piss me off. And I don't mean after the commercials have started, or even after the previews have started (although that IS annoying)...I mean you dumb fuckers who apparently can't tell the difference between "7:15" and "7:45," and walk in just as the first important plot point is being revealed. Then, you stand at the back or worse, in the aisle, waiting for a bright scene so that you can find a seat. Then, you go and get the usher, because you can't find a seat on your own because it's too dark. Dark in a movie theatre after the movie has started? My God, is there no sanity? Anyway, then the usher comes in and shines his damn little flashlight all over the theatre, and then usually stops at my row and asks everyone to please move down one, so that you can have 2 seats together. If it were up to me, the only 2 seats you'd be occupying would have a flush lever attached to them as punishment for your unacceptable tardiness. Oh, and there are also mutant super-morons who come in up to and beyond a HALF HOUR after the movie has started. Obviously that is far beyond my level of comprehension, so I'm just going to continue on my merry way without commenting, lest I lose myself in the sheer madness of the thought.

Cell phones: I understand that in today's world, many people rely on their cell phones for business. For some, it is necessary to carry a cell phone. However, it is NOT necessary for said cell phone to be on while you are in a movie theatre, watching a movie with 100 other people. It is also NOT necessary for people (usually teenagers, who are loud enough in theatres even without a phone) to call their friends, who are sitting 10 rows behind, then stand up and wave. For the love of God, just turn it off. Are you really trying to tell me that people cannot survive without their cell phone on for two hours? Most theatres will even remind you to please turn your phone off or switch modes so that it doesn't ring. Yet, still, there's always one person who can't seem to grasp this concept. He will usually get what must be a big, important call, becacuse he will then rush out of the theatre, which brings me to...

Movement: Yes, some movement is necessary, such as a bathroom trip (notice I said "a," not "ten"). Running out to get a phone call and stepping all over other people in the process, is not necessary. The person calling will leave you a voice mail. You can call them back. They will call you later. If none of the above happens, then chances are, it wasn't incredibly important, and there really was no reason to sprint outside like the floor was on fire in the first place. It is also not necessary to continuously shift in your seat when you've noticed that it creates a loud squeaking sound. If there are other seats available, get up and move. If you're stuck with the broken seat, then try to be considerate of those around you, and don't treat it like a rocking chair. And oh yes - if you cannot sit down without getting up to go to the bathroom multiple times in the span of a couple hours, maybe you should think about making it a Blockbuster night next time.

Children: Children often require frequent trips to the bathroom (see "Movement"). And on many occasions, I've witnessed children running up and down the aisles, talking loudly and laughing joyfully...while Mom and Dad stay engrossed with the witty banter going on in the movie. I understand that due to age or maturity, some children simply don't know any better. Knowing that, why would you bring them to a two-and-a-half-hour movie in the first place? There's no way a child of two or three years of age is going to be quiet and still for that long, unless they happen to be sleeping...and a movie theatre is not exactly the best place to put Junior down for a nap. If they aren't interested in a movie enough to focus on it for long, chances are they don't want to be there to begin with. This is especially true for you rocket scientists who drag your poor child to see things like Fahrenheit 9/11. If the subject matter is way over their head, odds are their level of interest will probably be pretty damn low. Lack of interest leads to boredom, boredom leads to loud and/or annoying methods to amuse themselves. Next time take the $10 that you used for your super giant king size drink, and leave the kid at home with a babysitter.

Talking: By far the most common and also the most frustrating behaviour, constantly demonstrated. There's always at least one person sitting within my vicinity, who feels the need to hear the sound of their own voice over that of the actors. A quick lesson here: "Hushing" your voice down to a whisper does not make it any less annoying. In order for your friend to hear you over all of that noise (you know, the movie in the background) you must raise your voice (or your "whisper") to at least one level above it. Therefore, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that people besides your friend are going to be able to hear you. There also seems to be a particularly nasty breed of idiots who don't even bother to drop their voice levels. They talk as though they're the only people in the theatre. To these people, I would suggest they look into getting a private screening next time. I often hear others asking their friends what just happened because they missed something. Maybe if you weren't so busy yapping about what you had for dinner, you wouldn't have missed it, thus negating the need to open your mouth yet again. And for the love of God, don't answer your phone in your seat. Yesterday I watched (and listened to) a guy in front of me answer his phone not once, not twice, but three times. THREE FUCKING TIMES. And you know how those conversations went? "Hey man, what's up? Yeah, not much here either. Oh really? Cool. Well, anyway I'm at a movie, so talk to you later. Huh? Yeah, we can go there next weekend..." and so on. I'm talking real life-or-death situations here. It's a good thing he answered his phone or who knows what kind of tragedies would have befallen the world. Also, no one asked to hear your comedy stylings, so please keep the "witty" shout-outs to the characters (who, believe it or not, CANNOT hear you) to yourself.

And it doesn't end when the credits roll...

After the movie: Don't go into the bathroom and discuss the surprise ending with your friend by yelling to them in another stall. Don't discuss it on the way out of the theatre, loudly, while you walk by people who are walking in. In case you didn't notice, movies play at various times throughout the day, and there may be people around you who haven't seen the movie yet, and are planning to at another time or on another day. You've probably already annoyed about 100 people in the theatre by answering your cell phone or making ten trips to the bathroom, so try not to ruin yet another innnocent victim's experience on your way out.

The bottom line is this, folks: Movies are no longer a cheap outing, and not one person in the theatre paid their $10 admission to listen to your incessant rambling, your cell phone ringing to the tune of some crappy Eminem song, or your children repeating the words "I want to go home" to you and everyone else in the theatre. Paying that admission entitles a person to an uninterrupted, peaceful viewing of the movie. If you want to talk, rent a movie, sit in your living room, and talk yourself stupid.

Sadly, I think most of you are way ahead of me.

Uploaded 08/16/2008
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