Wil Wheaton was discussing The Simpsons Movie on his blog today and in doing so, touched on perhaps my biggest pet peeve of all: the people that cannot, for neither love nor money, shut the hell up at a movie.
Years ago, I used to go to movies all the time. Heidi and I are fond of saying that when we were first dating, we went to everything. I mean, we saw Girl 6 (GIRL SIX!!) in the theater for Pete's sake (and it actually wasn't that bad, believe it or not.) But since we had a kid, it's been harder and harder for us to go to movies. I always joke about how I can't go to a movie in the theater unless it has talking animals, and while it's a gross oversimplification of reality, there is a certain element of truth to it. It also does not help that first-run movies are now prohibitively expensive. I make a pretty decent living, and I have no idea a family can afford to take their kids to the movies anymore. For us, it's 20 bucks just to get in the door. And then there's food on top of that which is a part of the moviegoing experience for Anna.
So you pay all this money, and then you get to go into the theater and sit amongst people who, thanks to years of home video, think that they are still at home in their living rooms. They answer their cellphones. They talk to each other while the movie is playing. They carry on conversations at normal volume with no regard for the people sitting around them. They chomp on popcorn and slurp on pop as if they were at the movie for the sole purpose of eating rather than watching the movie. The arrival of nachos and hot dogs at movies was the final straw for me.
Anymore, it takes an EVENT movie to get me to see it in the theater. Transformers was one of those movies. But so far, it's been the only summer movie to get me into the first-run theater. I will go to the budget theater here in Ames without even thinking twice about it. If people are rude, at least I only paid a buck and a half to get in the door.
I think that instead of the animated cat arriving at the movie reminding everyone to be courteous and turn off their cell phones and not talk and pick up the trash (that's another one - how effing hard is it to pick up your own trash and put it in the receptacle!?!?!), perhaps theaters need to be more direct. I would argue for blaring Barbra Streisand singing "SHUT THE FUCK UP!!" if people start talking during a movie if that, in and of itself, were not such a horrible interruption. The cure is (almost) worse than the disease.
Like I said, I blame home video. But it's sad. I pretty much will wait for everything to come to DVD or the budget theater these days. And I never thought I'd say that kind of thing!