Posted at 4:16 PM on December 12, 2006
by Euan Kerr
Malcolm the 16 year old was complaining the other day about how he had been forced to go see "Happy Feet." It was one of those deals where a pile of kids decided to go see a movie and the weight of that pile plumped on the tap-dancing penguins.
Malcolm felt that "Apocalypto" was much more his speed. But the girls in the group won out.
It seemed like one of those teachable moments, but what lesson to teach?
We didn't talk about the implications of "Apocalypto," although the fact that he fancies evisceration over fancy footwork is of mild concern. There is also the question of just which 'parent or guardian' was going to be getting him into an R movie. Maybe we should just be grateful for the group attractions of penguins.
Malcolm also wondered aloud whether he should be patronizing a Gibson film given the unfortunate circumstances of his recent arrest.
No, the teachable moment was on how to think about who you go with to see a movie. Watching a movie is essentially a solitary experience. It can change with the size and the composition of the crowd around about, but unless you are yammering along as the film unfolds, it's just you in the dark.
Lest you think I have forgotten there are other reasons for going to see a movie involving a sweetheart of some sort, I would argue that's a different experience.
Long ago I realized the important individual human interaction at a movie is before the lights go down and after the credits roll. What is sad is we seldom truly interact about a film after we have seen it.
So one day Malcolm will learn it's usually better to go to a movie with only a couple of buddies. Now I just have to convince him the benefits of talking with them afterwards. Or at least about the film.
Euan: The issue is far more complex than a mere choice of movies. It gets to the very heart of societal matters, or rather, societal matters of the heart.
A good movie with a small handful of buddies? Or a bad movie with girls?