Rules for going to the movies

15 Feb

I last went to a flick a few Fridays ago, on the opening night of “The Woman in Black,” starring Harry Potter.

Going to movies is one of my favorite things to do. I love going to see chick flicks with girl friends (or solo — chick flicks make for the best Saturday solo matinee), end-of-the-world and/or alien flicks with my dad, comedies or comic book movies with the beau, or just about anything else. But lately, moviegoing has caused me more rage than pleasure.

Because it would appear that people have lost all semblance of those around them, wrapped entirely as they are in their own little bubble, caring naught for, oh, anyone else.

It doesn’t have to be this way, people, and with some common sense and common courtesy, going to movies can be fabulous for all.

1) First and foremost is the most obvious, most important item to list: Don’t. Touch. Your. Damn. Phone. You think you’re being sly by putting it in your lap, but let me tell you a secret: With stadium seating, I can see your phone from my seat five rows behind you. And that little tiny screen in the dark produces arguably the most obnoxious light I’ve ever seen. When you sit down, turn that blasted little machine to vibrate and don’t touch it again until the dang movie is over. I promise — nothing is going to happen in those two hours to your kid or on Facebook that you need to worry yourself over. If you’re that unable to go two hours without a phone or information fix, you have a problem and should seek treatment.

Just say no.

2) Keep your gasping to a minimum. “The Lady in Black” was a scary movie. There were things jumping out at us and loud noises to break up a silence that cause a moviegoer to end up on the floor. A shout or shriek or gasp is to be expected. However, when that ghost jumps out at you for the fourth time and you’re still letting out a blood-curling scream, you need to be punched in the face with one of these. You’re in public; if you can’t handle a scary movie like an adult, wait for it to hit Redbox.

A scene from "The Woman in Black." Oooh, how foreboding!

3) Don’t sit by me. If we’re in a crowded theater and there’s no where else to sit, fine. I totally get it. But when I play it smart and get there with 15 minutes to spare and choose my seat, and you get there five minutes later with the majority of the theater still empty, please choose a seat that is more than three chairs away from me in any direction. That’s the beauty of a large theater, and it means if I ask my friend something, you don’t have to hear it; and if you ask your friend something, I don’t have to hear it.

4) This is a minor rule. It’s not as distracting as the first three, but again, common sense here: Don’t take your kid to a violent movie or one with sexy time where they’re going to ask things like, “Mommy, what is Bellatrix doing to Hermione?” True story — I was in the theater with some dimwit who took her 5-year-old to see the first installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” complete with torture. I think having to explain “Well dear, Bellatirx is a Death Eater and is performing the Cruciatus Curse on Hermione. It’s an Unforgivable Curse, and it causes her the very worse pain she will ever experience in her entire life,” might be a bit much for a child.

"Oh ... Huny, they're just having a little chat about Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans!"

What are your worst movie time peeves?

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5 Responses to “Rules for going to the movies”

  1. Ally February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    You covered those nicely. And I agree with your frustration. Seriously, the sitting right by someone in a non-crowded theater drives.me.crazy. But why to we have to spell out COMMON SENSE? What is wrong with people and when did we become such an inconsiderate society?? Sigh. Did you like the movie?

    • Jaclyn February 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      The movie was pretty good. Nothing I’d seek out again, I figure, but definitely worth a watch. I do love me a good scary flick.

  2. doroffee February 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    I agree with every single point you made. But other pet peeves of mine:
    -I know it’s hard to go out for a night when you have a little kid (like 1-2 years old), but I don’t think that’s the right choice when the family brings a really little kid to the theatre… especially if they are too young to actually enjoy the film, they become weary, they become hungry or thristy and they cry… and I paid for that ticket to enjoy the movie, not to hear a 1-year old cry like there’s no tomorrow
    -there are those kinds of people who narrate every single thing they see, really loudly… oh, and the ones who’ve already seen the movie (at least once) and they’re like “here comes the best joke”, “he’s going to say this and this”… and I’m like, now, you ruined the whole thing for me… (not to talk about those cocky teenage boys who think they have the best sense of humour in the entire world and shout their usually mediocre jokes in… and those people who pay for the ticket and then complain about the quality of the film and how the cinema robbed them)

    Oh, and about cell phones… I hate it when someone forgets to shut their phones off or on vibration… but when it rings, there are three choices to do, and people usually opt for the two worse ones. The right option: shutting the phone off immediately. The other choices: 1) picking up the phone and starting talking, 2) starting to act like it’s not theirs (because they don’t want to admit that they were the careless ones), and the phone rings for ages…

  3. Richard Reilly February 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    I couldn’t help but laugh as I read this. A few days ago I was complaining about how people would sit next to me in an almost empty theater. I can’t stand it!!!

  4. Suburban Sweetheart February 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Hahaha, I’m so with you. I can’t remember whether you commented on my post on the same topic, which covered similar offenses. We’re definitely in agreement here!

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