On the occasion that I venture out in public, I enjoy going to the movies.
Let me rephrase that: I usually enjoy going to the movies. Most of the time, I and all the other movie patrons are there to enjoy a film of our choosing. We select our seats, we munch on tasty popcorn with cancer-causing fake butter, and we watch the movie. We might laugh at the appropriate moment, shed a tear during an emotional scene, or gasp during a shocking or frightening moment. Generally, we behave like civilized adults co-existing in a public space.
And then there are the other people.
If you’ve ever gone to a movie theater, you know who these people are. They are the inconsiderate jackasses whose sole mission in life appears to be ruining other people’s enjoyment while being simultaneously oblivious that they are, in fact, not in their own living room. There are many incidents of people ruining the moving going experience but I have condensed them into six of the most obnoxious types of movie theater patrons.
1. The Afraid to Be Alone Guy
I like to go to the movies during the day, usually at one of the first showings because the older I get, the less I like people and there seem to be fewer of them at the early showings. On more than one occasion, I’ve been the first to arrive at a movie and I have the whole theater to myself. Although I only require one seat (two if I’m with my husband), the sight of an empty theater makes me want to prance up and down the rows simply because I can.
|Pretty much exactly like this.|
Then, just before the feature presentation starts, a lone patron will walk into the theater. Obviously there’s more than enough room for both of us, right?
This guy insists on sitting either directly next to me or behind me. It’s like he couldn’t find a friend with whom to go to the movies and has an intense desire to make a new one. Either that, or he doesn’t understand personal boundaries.
2. 20 Questions
Anyone who insists on talking during a movie is obnoxious (and I’ll get to them in a minute) but a special breed of annoying comes in the form of that person in the theater who insists on asking 800 questions about everything happening on screen.
“Who is that guy?”
“Why is he doing that?”
“What did he say?”
“Where are they going?”
|These people make me irrationally angry.|
I’m not upset because they find something confusing. I’m upset because if they would shut their freaking mouths, their questions would, in nearly all cases, be answered by simply watching the movie. Which, I understand, might be a confusing concept for people who are at a theater. To watch a movie.
3. Constant Commentary
The larger, parent category for the 20 Questions guy is the person who insists on giving a play by play commentary on the entire movie. This type of jackass happened to my husband and me not too long ago when we went to go see This Is the End. We had the misfortune of sitting in front of a guy who, to put it simply, would not shut the fuck up.
It all started during the previews. After each preview, he loudly announced whether or not he wanted to see it to his girlfriend (who, as a side note, looked like she was sticky. I have no idea if she was, in fact, sticky, but she was the sort of person who just made you want to wash your hands). I figured that was annoying but maybe he’d stop when the movie started.
I was very, very wrong.
He continued to talk and give a play by play of the movie for the entire freaking time. The only relief we got from the commentary was when he got up to go to the bathroom every twenty minutes (kicking my seat as he went, by the way). One of his bathroom visits happened to coincide with when my husband went as well. Husband told me later that apparently the guy was a middle-aged dude who was coked out of his mind. He’d wanted to say something to him like, “Hey, maybe try shutting the hell up in the movie,” but he thought the better of it for his safety (and really, good call, Husband). We probably should have just gotten the manager of the theater involved since we were so annoyed but when it comes down to it, I don’t like to create problems for the staff. And with a tweaked out movie commentator, getting him kicked out might have actually caused more of a disturbance than his commentary was.
|Plus I’m much braver behind my computer.|
We managed to enjoy the rest of the movie despite the commentary. The ending of the movie was hilarious and we, along with everyone else, laughed at the hilarity on film. The kicker, of course, was that when the movie ended, the loud guy’s sticky-looking girlfriend glared at us and said, “God, some people are so noisy and laugh too much in movies.”
4. Date Night: Teen Edition
We’ve all seen these couples on Friday and Saturday nights at the movies. They’re adorable. Awkward, bumbling, and nine times out of ten one of them will spill popcorn on the other. They’re so sweet they’ll give you diabetes if you watch them for too long.
|This is basically them in gif form.|
Then the movie starts and they are quickly divided into two categories. The first category includes the couples that sit there quietly and watch the movie while pretending to be unaware that they are holding hands. These couples are fine because they’re too scared to say or do anything other than watch the movie.
Then there’s the other category of teen couples. These are the ones who see the dimming of the theater lights as their cue to start a full fledged make out session. Complete with moaning.
|If I can hear you over a Michael Bay movie then
(1) you’re faking and (2) you need to take it out to the backseat of your date’s mom’s car.
Kids like that make me want to carry a spray bottle in my purse.
5. Babies at Midnight Showings
Let me be clear that I am not upset with the babies themselves. They are obviously not in control of the situation and if you’re two months old and know nothing of the world, violent explosions in The Dark Knight are likely going to scare you and make you cry.
|As awesome as he was, Heath Ledger may have made me pee my pants.
Just a little.
My issue is instead with the adults who bring these tiny people to midnight showings (the same applies to small children in inappropriate movies). Yes, I think that parents should be able to still go out and enjoy movies that don’t involve cartoon characters. But I think those movies are better enjoyed with the children at home with a babysitter.
I know that parents can sometimes have a difficult time finding babysitters they trust, affording them, etc. I get that. But when I go to the midnight showing of a movie and see not one, not two, but THREE adults with a baby, I’m thinking that maybe one of them could have taken one for the team and stayed home instead of lugging around a poor infant who needs their rest to a very long, very loud movie.
|Seriously, the Joker blows up a lot of shit.|
So what to do about the annoying movie theater patrons? You could change seats, tell your friend to stop asking so many questions, get the manager to deal with a loud guest, tell the teens to keep it in their pants, and ignore the baby while silently hating all of the adults who are ignoring the crying baby.
Or you could always silently stew while eating your overpriced popcorn, try to watch the movie, and complain about it on the internet later. It’s your call.