You know how annoying it is when those two people behind you use their we're-in-a-crowded-restaurant voices to comment on the movie you're watching?
"She's going to talk to him."
"She has different buttons on her coat."
"He's coming back."
Thanks for the illumination, ladies at Penelope who I am sure are lovely women despite their whisper-negligence. Rustle some candy wrappers and tap your foot loudly, and you're on your way to an hour and 52 minutes of distracted, increasingly frustrated viewing, for which you paid only $5 to $15.
Sometimes, though, a crowd can enhance your moviegoing experience. The gasps. The sighs of relief. The self-amused laughter. This was what I found when I watched Vantage Point on a recent Saturday night.
Vantage Point is an ideal film for the watch-it-with-a-crowd experience. In the movie, an assassination and two bombs interrupt — in tense, startling fashion — a U.S. presidential appearance in Spain. Critics weren't particularly fond of the film, but I found it well-written, well-edited (for the most part), and rather exciting, as did others apparently. After one build-up that ends abruptly, to be completed later on, an audible sigh of relief and built-up tension sounded from throughout the theater. During another scene, I gasped internally and heard a woman behind me gasp aloud at the same time.
This shared audience response, in a crowd of few friends and lots of strangers, sure beats the easily annoyed isolation of driving home from work on roads full of faceless drivers who do stupid things. It's preferable to the anonymous hostility of message board abusers, and the easy way a stranger at the next table or in the row behind us can drive us nuts with their coughing or their raucous laughter.
So I'll happily recall watching Vantage Point surrounded by a gasping audience, to remind myself that strangers aren't always as far away as they seem, that we don't have to know each other to enjoy each other's company sometimes — and that I should let it go when people's minor quirks and mistakes bother me.
And while we're on the topic of these fun shared experiences, I want to know: What about yours?Powered by Sidelines