Movies and Movie Manners

Last night I went to see Syriana with my friend Trish. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie this intelligent and taut. There’s this sense as you’re watching it that there’s something building. You have the main plot but there are other plots and they all become tighter and tighter and pull together and against each other and it’s distressing and fascinating and frightening all at once. Amazing acting by everyone (Clooney, Damon, Amanda Peet, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Christopher Plummer, Jeffrey Wainright, Mazhar Munir – the list goes on and there are a lot heavyweights in small parts but nothing in this movie is small or meaningless). The script is taut and nothing, not a word or deed is wasted. Skillful directing. It’s quite honestly one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time.

Of course, my movie going experience could have been much better had the people next to me displayed any manners at all.

Can we just all admit one fact upon which everything else rests? The theatre is NOT your living room. It isn’t.

A movie theatre is a communal space so some basic civility is required to let the experience be positive for everyone there. So please don’t sit there muttering or chatting to your wife. And if you are not smart enough to figure out basic plot points without having to say to your husband, “Do you think he’s going to shoot?” “Is that a missle launcher?” and if you are unable to not make gaspy humming sounds and other little pithy statements, “Oh, talk about your innocent gestures!” – then please stay home or I shall punch you in the head.

Okay, I only wanted to punch her in the head. Repeatedly. But I fear that she had some sort of damage already and would not have noticed. I would have gotten up to move but the theatre was full.

Seriously, how complicated is it to be civil? How hard is it to shut the hell up in the movie theatre? First of all they came late and then futzed around before finally sitting down and then they talked the whole time. And why is it that movie talkers never have anything interesting or original to say?


3 comments to “Movies and Movie Manners”

  1. lili-g
    December 12th, 2005 at 7:43 am · Link


    You know what else I hate – people who continually ask what’s happening. Or what’s going to happen next. My sister was horrible for doing that, at home and at the movie theater.

  2. Karen
    December 12th, 2005 at 2:44 pm · Link

    You carry business cards with your web address? Hand her one and tell her she can read about herself there tomorrow.

  3. Lauren Dane
    December 12th, 2005 at 2:54 pm · Link

    Oh Karen, how much do I love it that you’re as twisted as I am? LOL!!

    Yes, Lili, the woman was doing that. “What is that he’s holding?”