On the train, other people can have an asinine conversation about whatever the hell is important in their little lives and I’ll tune in with a detached voyeuristic amusement, knowing that I have some good story fodder coming my way. In the movies, my ear fixates on every sniffle, every unusual laugh, every dicklick who thinks they can just show up in the middle of the trailers and feel around for seats. If someone who is not in my party sits directly next to me or even directly next to someone in my group, I am filled with a claustrophobic rage at the audacity of anyone to sit with us. If someone sits directly in front of me, forget it. My movie-theater agoraphobia is as irrational as my fear of revolving doors, but this too I must deal with.
Yesterday, a few of us went to see the new Coen Brothers movie, The Man Who Wasn’t There. Like all Coens, it’s going to take a few watches to really *get*, but it’s a nice return to the Hudsucker Proxy-ish weird that they’re so good at. I had fooled myself into believing that the 4:00 Sunday matinee on opening weekend would be dead. We got there early and there were already about 40 people in there. Then it all happened: the sniffling, the close-sitting, the blind-seat-searching. And on top of all that, there was the couple behind me.
She laughed a little too early and too hard at EVERYTHING. She had a very specific, high-pitched, very loud laugh. The man she was with said with a half-laugh and an attempted cool, “huhuh-OOOO-Kaaaaaaaaay”. Then the two of them used their outside voices to make “witty commentary”.
- Though you may be a fan of MST3K, you are not as funny as Joel and those robots.
- Though you may be accustomed to watching DVDs on your spectacular stereo-sound home theater, this is not your living room.
- We did not come to see the movie with you, nor do we want to hear what you think of it.
Of course, my rational friends managed to tune them out within the first five minutes. It drove me batshit. I hadn’t been seated in front of two more annoying people than the time I saw The Green Mile on Christmas night when these two girls behind me kept saying, “no, he did-int” after everything.
For those of you concerned, they still didn’t ruin the movie for me.