Of course, I’ve had the more common ones like the crying baby/whining small child, who isn’t thrilled at being taken to an age-inappropriate movie; the person in back of me who insists on narrating the movie for his/her companion, and the person several rows back who appears to be doing something that could, well, get them arrested if anyone wanted to make a case of it. Also, the group that probably partook of recreational substances prior to entering the theater, as evidenced by their sky high spirits and tendency to applaud/cheer/giggle at every single trailer, even the ones about cancer, natural disasters and war.
Here, without further ado, are my top five most annoying movie-going experiences.
The People With Ants in Their Pants at “The King’s Speech”
The critics raved about this movie when it opened. More than one recommended taking your family as a holiday treat. The only problem was that it was just playing in major cities at that point, and no one I knew was keen on seeing it, so I went myself, taking the train in, and hiking what turned out to be a much longer distance to the theater than I expected. After that, I took two escalators up to the top of the building and walked all the way to the end of the third floor to locate the proper room. By that time, I was ready to sit back and relax.
Unfortunately, many of the people sitting some rows in front of me were, for reasons I never quite figured out, not particularly interested in the movie and spent the entire two hours going in and out of the theater. Or maybe they were, but either way, it was distracting.
Plus, because of the heavy British and in the case of Geoffrey Rush’s character, Australian accents, it was easy to miss key parts of the dialogue, which was chock full of dry British humor. So I wound up seeing it a second time a month later, with a less fidgety audience.
The Dying Man at “Flight”
Generally, I am all for going out and trying to distract yourself if you are feeling under the weather, as long as you are not contagious. This man, however, sounded as if he were on Death’s door and about to expel a lung. I was seriously worried that someone was going to have to call an ambulance eventually, which did not make for a riveting movie experience, despite the fact that the star, Denzel Washington, playing a pilot with a serious addiction problem, was excellent.
The Upside Down Screen at “Disturbia”
In this movie, a young Shia LaBoeuf plays a high school student whose father has recently died and whose anger management issues get him confined to house arrest – in both the opening scene, in which there’s a death, and the subsequent one, in which the “crime” takes place that winds up having these consequences, the director is trying to build and maintain tension, so it was unfortunate, that the action appeared to be taking place upside down. It was only about 20 minutes later, that this was corrected.
Why it took so long for someone to go out and notify the usher of the problem, I have no idea. Probably because either everyone expected the issue to resolve itself on its own or wasn’t sure if this was some kind of experimental technique on the part of the director. Who knows?
The Very Loud Latecomers to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Part II”
It’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you have to enter the theater after the movie has begun. Heavy traffic, long lines at the refreshment counter, your companion couldn’t find his/her keys, these things happen. No big deal, or at least it doesn’t have to be.
However, once you are in the theater, it is a good idea NOT to remark on the fact that you are, indeed, late. Or have an audible debate on whose fault this is. The important thing is that you are finally there! Also, it is recommended that you find a seat and take it quickly. You are, by no means, required to stay in it the entire movie, but it is considerate because your silhouette may be distracting.
You can tell if it’s a large audience assembled and everyone is being virtually silent that it’s a movie that most are anxious to see. Especially, if it’s based on a popular book, TV show, etc. for young people. Just a hint.
And speaking of best-sellers meant for young people:
The Weeping Teens at “The Fault in our Stars”
When I saw this, I was only vaguely aware that this movie was based on a young adult novel but wasn’t surprised to see that most of the audience wasn’t yet old enough to drink. I was also not surprised to hear sniffling early on, considering that the two lead characters, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, as well as their friend, have cancer. Obviously, at least one wasn’t going to make it to the credits, even if I didn’t know who.
The teens were probably far more clued in about who was going to die than I was and began to curl up in the fetal position and start bawling before the movie had reached the halfway point. In general, I don’t care if there’s crying at the movies. Some people are just emotional. This, however, was genuine grief – I wanted to lean over to the girl nearby and say, “You do know, this is fiction, right?” But I restrained myself.