Posted at 5:29 PM on July 26, 2006
by Euan Kerr
Last night I ran into a situation I had never experienced before and I have been wondering about it ever since. So I'm turning to you, the reading audience, for advice.
Last night I want to see a movie, which turned out to be quite popular. The place was close to packed even half an hour before screentime, and I plonked down near the middle of the fifth row, with several free seats around me, as the crowds kept streaming in.
A fellow called across and asked if the seats next to me were free, then headed in direction when I said yes. As he sat it became clear he had spent some time quite recently in a hot sweaty place. I began hoping dearly that he wouldn't move much, as every flinch and shrug in his animated conversation with his friend send a pungent pulse in my direction. (Please remember, gentle readers, that as a native of the British Isles, I am no B.O. wimp. This was extreme.)
I considered moving, but moments later two women filled the seats on the other side. A quick glance proved there were no other spaces around.
The lights went down, and as the trailers began, the situation worsened.
It turned out the women were gabbers. Not incessant, but every few moments something inspired a comment about an actor, a costume, or some friend and relative the action on screen brought to mind. It wasn't loud. It was just there. I just gritted my teeth.
Then came the piece de resistance. When the feature began the woman immediately behind me began screeching. She was laughing, I believe, but did so at such volume she drowned out the sound from the movie. What made it worse was the screech often began before the punchline was fully delivered. It also usually drowned out the smart alec response.
The screeches also agitated both the gabbers to my right and Mr Pungent to my left, drawing more mutters and odoriferous flinches.
I was boxed in. Stuck. Flummoxed.
I just sat and tried to enjoy the film.
Enlighten me people. I really wanted to see the flick. What would you have done?
What you describe is exactly why I wait for a movie to be out for a couple weeks before I see it, no matter how much I want to (usually). But you missed a few of the worst: the guy sitting behind you in exercise pants shaking his legs THROUGH THE ENTIRE FRIGGIN’ MOVIE, and the parents at a kids film (in this particular case, Cars) letting their kids, who are completely bored with the movie because they’ve already seen it 20 times, run around the theater without doing anything to stop them.
But my all time favorite was when I saw Capote. A woman behind me clearly was out of her element in going to such a movie. I can only assume that her normal fair included lots of explosion and/or fart jokes, since throughout the movie she laughed at the most inappropriate times, clearly not having any clue as to how to take what she saw. For example, at the end of the film, when text on the screen stated that Capote died as result of his alcoholism, she broke-out laughing. Yup, funny stuff.
Anyway, there is nothing you can do besides avoid new movies. I should hope it’s only the rare movie that you want to see right away anyway.