Today, I rant. Either I’m getting less tolerant, or the movie-going population has become more rude. I suspect it’s a little of both. At any rate, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” — a line from the film “Broadcast News” that I might have missed if the couple sitting beside us in the theater today had been sitting by us when that film was released in 1987. And that was a line that was quite literally shouted from the rooftop multiple times. I would have missed every single repetition.
Nowadays, Studly and I move to different seats almost every time we attend a movie, and today was no exception. So, here is my list of theater etiquette. Thoughts are welcome.
1. Don’t text during a film. The light from a smart phone is a real buzz kill. Part of the reason one goes to see a movie at a theater is for the ambiance, and sharing light from a cell phone in a darkened theater is akin to flushing a toilet in the middle of a ritzy restaurant. It ruins the ambiance. And the appetite. And it’s inconsiderate.
2. Don’t rattle wrappers. It drives me insane when people scrunch, shake, and otherwise loudly manipulate their sacks of popcorn and boxes of candy. For pity’s sake, just eat it all before the movie starts, or open the package in such a way as to facilitate easy access to the snack during the film. It’s not rocket science!
3. Chew as quietly as possible. Really. No one wants to hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of popcorn or Jordan almonds during a romantic flick. In a perfect world, only gummi bears would be served in movie theaters. And maybe pudding. Oatmeal would be okay, too.
4. Be aware of surroundings. if the theater has plenty of vacant seats, don’t choose to sit right next to someone else. It’s just awkward. And if you rattle wrappers or chew loudly I’m just going to want to slap you upside the head.
5. Don’t talk. Ok, the words, “Whoa!”, “Ahhhh!” or similar declarations of fear, surprise, even wonder can be uttered, but under no circumstances should one carry on a full-blown conversation. Even in whispers! Whispers carry. Whispers are annoying.
No lie, the couple that sat beside us in the theater today (who could have chosen from among multiple seats, by the way) carried on a running commentary throughout the film. I gave them my best teacher look, the one that says “shut the hell up!” They were too busy talking to notice. I ahem’d. The talking continued. I coughed loudly. They actually gave me a nasty look. Finally Studly and I moved, but it just wasn’t the same after that. They’d blown my experience.
Movies aren’t cheap. And i just want to enjoy my movie in a respectful atmosphere. I know, I know I should just stay home and enjoy movies on HBO or Netflix, but I still like the big screen experience. I refuse to give up on my dream of watching a first run film in companionable silence with a bunch of random strangers. Is it too much to ask? Studly says the odds are against me. As for me, I say, “Never tell me the odds!” Han Solo would be so proud.
In spite of it all,