Tuesday, January 15, 2008


A few weeks back we saw the movie Juno, which we enjoyed. At least, that's the way I choose to think of the experience.

I shall explain.

We saw it at the Arclight, which I generally have found to be a place where people who really want to see movies go (as opposed to some place where people go to kill time by seeing a movie). The seats are fairly comfortable, the sound and picture quality are good, and if it weren't so expensive we'd probably go there more often.

The thing is this: There was a couple seated behind us in the theater who were completely incapable of not whispering during any portion of the film that didn't have dialogue. It's not that they were speaking loud enough that I could even make out what they were saying; my fiancee, sitting next to me, didn't even notice them. And they were conscientious enough (in a manner of speaking) to stop as soon as the characters on screen starting speaking, but without fail they carried on some tiny conversation whenever there wasn't conversation happening on screen.

I didn't say anything to them during the movie, because I figured if their parents didn't teach them to shut the fuck up in that situation there was no chance that I was suddenly going to elicit behavioral modification. Also, it's not like they were just gabbing throughout the whole film; they were only partially audible, and not interfering with dialogue, so they didn't quite cross that line I have.

After a while I made a little game of it. Whenever the scenes would transition and there'd be a little musical interlude, I'd start counting in my mind: Five, four, three, two, one. I lost track of how many times they started whispering right as I got to "one" but it was more than once.

And we made it through the movie to the end credits, at which point they got up and left right away. We stayed to watch the credits. I never got a look at them.

Here's the thing: Although I didn't let it bother me too much during the movie-watching experience, the lingering association in my mind when I see ads for the movie (which have become way too ubiquitous now) is not primarily of the story or the acting, or even of the soundtrack; my first thought is about those people whispering behind us.

In retrospect, they ruined the movie for me. It wasn't so much that it was ruined at the time, but now it is.

I now have fantasies not of going back in time and asserting myself and asking them to be quiet. No, I fantasize of kicking their damned teeth down their throats, and possibly stomping on their throats.

That is completely inappropriate. I know. But the thing is: I'll never get the chance to inflict physical violence upon them. I wouldn't know them if they were standing next to me.

It was quite intentional that I didn't get a look at them. That way there'd be no temptation to confront them later.

So I appease myself with inappropriate thoughts. It's not admirable, but it's better than inappropriate action.

However, I pity the fools who pull that shit near me in the future…

Ooo, the thoughts I'll think about them.


  1. HATE. THAT. Hate, hate, hate it! Too bad I wasn't there...I would have taken care of it for you.

  2. I can totally relate to your violent visions. Those who cannot respect the sanctity of a movie theater make me homicidal.

    I find that the corporately owned establishments register high upon the scale of disruptive offenses, which are all equally as annoying as they circle the tippy-top of the “I’m going to be forced to yank out your larynx through your nostrils if you don’t shut the fuck up!” scale.

    Talking to one another during the film, talking on the cell phone during the film (what? I’m at a movie! What? I can’t hear you, I’m at a movie), those who text message during the film (which causes a virtual strobe effect in one’s peripheral vision) and those who have an interactive dialogue with the film.

    Then you have the groomers (pick pick pick, seriously, what could possibly be growing on his scalp?), affirmators (uhhhh-huh, he’s a moron, you should leave him!), men and women who find they must marinate in their respective colognes (usually Polo and/or some derivative of Jean Nate Body Splash), smokers who reek of wet dog and tobacco and the infamous nose whistlers; although the latter may have only been my personal experience with a previously mentioned date from hell.

    With all this ignorance and distraction, I tell you it’s only a matter of time before one is forced into physical violence. However, I’m pretty hard to rattle and will usually just white-knuckle it through the film and hope for the best next time.

    Then again, a couple of months ago I went to see We Own The Night starring Joaquin Phoenix and Eva Mendez. As we made our way to our seats, I noticed that the guys behind us were invoking the infamous and obligatory, we’re not gay, as we’re sitting one seat away from each other homophobic tactic. This always cracks me up. Two grown men, probably both in their 30’s feel the need to sit a seat away from each other. It’s amusing.

    Then the film begins; Blondie’s Heart of Glass is blasting over the speakers as Eva Mendez plays with herself and Joaquin looks on. Let me say this: it was hot. The whole theater knew it was hot; it was meant to be hot and it was hot. Mission accomplished. Even the rats roaming between the seats knew it was hot.

    However, douche bag #1 immediately hoots, “yeah girl, Yeah!”
    What an ass. So I ignore it.

    Then he shouts, “that’s what I’m talkin ‘bout, Mami!”
    What a dick. Still ignore it.

    Next, and I believe this is the one that shot me over the edge, “awe shit boy, that’s what I like to see!”

    I don’t know what happened—I can’t explain it, as I’m 5’ 4”, 103 lbs and douche bag #1 was at least 6’, 250 lbs, but I turned around, looked douche bag #1 square in the face and said, “Are you sure you’re not gay?” Not that I care, but I meant it, talk about overcompensating.

    I mean, seriously. I realize that you’re sitting the ever cryptic one seat apart and that this tactic is in fact a homosexual disqualification, but seriously, hooting and hollering like a 12-year old boy? Are you sure you’re not gay? Oh, did I mention that as the words are shooting out of my mouth (calm, yet condescending) I notice that both douche bags are wearing Latin King shirts?

    Anyway, long story short, douche bag #1 attempted to open a can of Latino whoop ass on me. The insults were aggressive and replete with the usual suspects one would expect from a 12-year old child in a 30-year old body; sophomoric, albeit Latin, the insult barrage included: puta, metete un palo por el culo, hijo de puta, jode a tu madre etc., but I pretty much shut down his insult parade by repeating my original question in Spanish, as clearly the 5’ 4”, white girl needed to employ her bilingual skills in an effort to drive the point home.

    So, I said, "¿est├ís seguro de que no son homosexuales?" I know. It was good stuff. Jenji hit a homerun. All he did was blink back at me for what seemed an eternity.

    It shut him up. It shut him up good. In fact, douche bag #1 didn’t let out another peep the entire show.

    So, yeah. I get it, I surely do. Fantasize away, my friend and if you can't find satisfaction through violent thoughts, learn another language.


  3. As sexist as it may sound, I do think Tracy and Jenji have an advantage I don't: being female. They're less likely to get punched for confronting the juvenile and/or inconsiderate.

    The secret benefit of having those chromosomes.

  4. I vote to screen the film again!


So, what do you think?