I love movies
I hate going to the movies.
This, of course, poses a bit of a problem, particularly when I want to see a new summer film, most of which are more enjoyable on a huge movie screen with a high-class sound system.
But even with the perks of a movie theater, we still have to deal with the jerks of a movie theater, with most of them seeming to always find themselves sitting directly behind me.
There are a few simple rules everyone could follow to make the viewing experience more pleasurable for the entire audience. These are not outlandish requests to make of people. Instead, it’s a mixture of common sense and common courtesy, both of which seem to be sorely lacking by much of the movie-going society.
So, here are Rules for Watching a Movie:
1. No cell phones.
This should be pretty obvious, but far too many people seem to blatantly disrespect the ads the theaters run before each movie. Here’s a hint: if the movie people spend the money to make ads telling you to silence your phones, then you are part of an annoying problem. No one wants to hear your “Baby Got Back” ringtone, and you aren’t helping the matter by actually answering the phone and saying in a loud whisper, “Hey, I’m watching a movie. Can I call you back?” Do you have to actually ask if you can call them back? Are your friends so rude there’s a chance they might actually respond with, “Well, actually, no, let’s talk now, despite the fact there’s some THX sound blaring in the background.”
2. No kicking the seats
This is not your home. These are not recliners. When you try to convert your seat into a La-Z Boy, you end up disturbing the people in front of you with your kicking. Sit down, relax and enjoy the show. It’s not that difficult of a concept.
3. Clean up after yourself
Yes, the theaters have staff who come in and tidy up afterward, but there’s really no excuse for being so utterly lazy you can’t even bother picking up your discarded popcorn bag and tossing it into the trash on your way out.
4. No talking
This one is the most important thing to remember – shut up. Seriously, shut up. No one cares about your “witty” comments. This isn’t Mystery Science Theater. You aren’t clever. Shut up. Also, quit talking to your kids/spouse/friend/whomever and asking questions about parts of the movie you might have missed. This is borderline acceptable once during a film, particularly if you keep it to a low whisper, but if you have to repeatedly ask why something in the plot is happening, then you’re probably far too stupid to actually be watching the movie in the first place. Note: this does not apply to Weekend at Bernie’s or Weekend at Bernie’s 2, neither of which make much sense to anyone.
I realize these are not new complaints and suggestions, but I’ve about reached my breaking point with movie-going idiots. Today, I tried to watch Iron Man 2 in Georgetown, and as luck would have it, I sat in front of a complete and total moron. I knew I was in for trouble when he walked to his seat directly behind me and exclaimed, “Iron Man,” which on his tongue came out “Arn Man.”
I’m still not sure why he kept saying “Iron Man.” Everyone in the theater knew we were there for Iron Man. At one point, we had to ask the ticket booth for tickets to Iron Man. Iron Man’s involvement in the film was not a secret. It’s not as if this was The Dark Knight, which could have thrown off a few morons not expecting Batman.
He and his wife literally talked throughout the entire film, including the trailers. At one point, when the previews got louder, they started shouting so they could hear each other. I wanted to turn around and tell him “I don’t come to your trailer and talk loud, so don’t talk loud during mine.”
I wish I were a bad-ass. I would have fired off that line to the dude, and the rest of the crowded theater would have risen in unison, wildly applauding me as Talky McTalkerson walked out of the room, his head hanging low in shame.
In stead, I just kind of turned my head to the side, shaking it and frowning to show my displeasure.
Subtle, sure, but it also prevented me from a likely ass whipping. Maybe I should add a fifth rule: No fighting.
I’ll suggest these to the audience next time. At least it will give them something interesting to talk about while I try to watch the movie.