Generally, when one goes to the cinema, be it alone, with a partner, or with friends, they expect a relaxing and stress-free evening out. In fact, going to the cinema is considered to be one of the most effortless activities to do in a group, and is definitely the least demanding one when it comes to a date.
This is because there is no need to put in any effort while one is blithely sitting back watching the screen. You don’t need to wrack your brains for amusing topics for conversation or to impress your date. You don’t have to tell jokes or ask insightful questions. You don’t need to suck your tummy in, perch on your six-inch heels or position your red-painted lips in a duck-facing pout to appear seductive and glamorous. However, if you believe that you can fully forget others and what they might think of you just because the cinema theatre has gone dark and no one’s looking at you, you’re a bit farther from the truth.
This is because even though you’re not the centre of attention during the movie, there are still a number of issues which tend to crop up, mainly because certain people seem to totally forget that they’re in a public place with other people. They suddenly revert back to the slouching, non-caring, semi-civilized manner they adopt when they are alone at home. While watching a movie with friends or a date is a casual and relaxed occasion, this does not mean that one gets to throw all sense of propriety or civility out the window. Yes, you’re letting your hair down, but you are still surrounded by people who deserve your respect.
While I am neither a behaviour Nazi nor a posh-wannabe, there are certain types of behaviour which do annoy the hell out of me, especially when I’m somewhere where I’ve paid a ticket expecting to have a good time, and because of someone else’s disregard, the evening ends up being an irritating disaster.
Here are some things which absolutely drive me over the edge:
Talking throughout the entire film – This is not just directed at the people in the front seat or those at the back, but at those friends or acquaintances who come to the cinema with me. Yes, I like you and I like talking to you, however this does not mean that I like hearing each and every thought which passes through your head as the movie progresses. I do not care if you fancy the lead, think the main actress is slutty or that you just love her handbag. I came to the cinema to watch the movie without the commentary, so please keep it to yourself and vent about it afterwards. The same of course, goes for anyone else in the theatre. DO learn to keep it down, please!
Putting your feet up on the seat in front of you – Really? I mean, can you imagine anything worse than being at the cinema, where the seats are all solidly in one place without a chance of moving them, and you suddenly start feeling someone’s legs and feet near your head or bumping the small of your back? I would have guessed this one was an obvious given. Apparently, it isn’t, because people still do it. Sometimes I almost turn around and wave at that person to make him aware of my existence, because unless he can’t see me or thinks I’m invisible, how can anyone deem it acceptable to just put their feet up practically on my shoulders?
Leaving your mobile phone on – This is one of the first admonishments which comes up on screen, right before the movie trailers even start, and afterwards as well. And yet, most people still seem to disregard it. You’re watching a straining, soot-stained Frodo battling the hideous Gollum to try and destroy the one ring into the hellish fires, while streams of lava dangerously rush around them… You’re sitting at the edge of your seat and the climax is at its maximum- And there you have it. The refrain of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies loudly blaring out behind you because someone didn’t put her ringtone on silent. Brilliant.
Non-stop screaming and shrieking – So it’s a horror movie or an action movie, jam-packed with surprises and even shocks you weren’t expecting. You gasp, clutch at your partner and stifle a little scream once or twice. I get it, but do you have to squeal, wail, shriek, roar, gabble, sob, squawk and moan during the whole two and a half hours? You remember getting dressed and paying for the ticket to come in, right? You know this is a movie and therefore, not real, right? You know you’re safe and nothing’s going to happen to you, yes? How old are you again? You look 35. I’m just going clutch at my head and groan as well, but for entirely different reasons.
Shred your partner’s dead skin – It’s summer. It’s hot. You’ve been at the beach and your dry skin is now coming off in strips. It happens to everybody. Most people tend to leave the swelling and the redness alone. Others prod and scratch at it until the old skin is gone. But really, do you have to do it in front of me while I’m trying to watch a movie? You lean, put your t-shirt up and give your girlfriend your back for her to start systematically rubbing and tearing at it while placing the shredded bits in a tissue. Did you purposefully book the screening for you to do this? Can’t you notice my craning neck trying to see the screen behind you?
Just because you’re in a dark room with silent people doesn’t mean that you’re alone, that no one can see you or that you don’t need to take other people into consideration. Unfortunately, not everyone has the good sense to keep this in mind.