No matter how far technology progresses, there’s still nothing quite like seeing a movie in an actual movie theater. The only problem is that all those movie theaters are filled with other people – annoying people – and if you can make it a full two hours without going berserk then you have the patient of a saint. With that in mind, turn your cell phones off (well, unless you’re reading this on one), shut the hell up, enjoy the show, and don't be one of these 12 people you see at the movie theater.
Photo credit: KB35, Flickr
You can spot this guy by his bulging pockets and furtive glances towards the entrance to make sure there are no ushers eyeballing him. And then you can watch in fascination as he pulls out candy, soda, popcorn, a camcorder, a baby, the family dog and everything else he could fit in there. This dude has mastered the art of deception and now he’s almost an addict, sneaking anything and everything he can into the theater just to see how much he can get away with. His jacket is like a clown car. He doesn’t even care about the movie. He just loves the rush of beating the system. He shouldn’t annoy you too badly – at least not until he pulls out a portable toilet an hour and a half into the movie. Trust me, he’s thought of everything.
The loud whisperer thinks he’s being quiet but he whispers so loudly that you can hear everything he has to say anyway. And unfortunately, this is exactly the sort of dude who always has a lot to say. You could throw your empty popcorn bucket at him but that would probably just get you thrown out of the theater. Or you could fight fire with fire and start loud-whispering yourself in the slight hope that he would get the hint and shut the hell up, but the sad truth is that you probably just have to put up with this dude and if you just happen to “accidentally” run him down with your car in the parking lot after the movie is over, well, it’s a dangerous world, especially for loud whisperers.
You can spot this couple because they’ll both be sitting stiffly in their seats and the dude won’t know what to do with his arms. He picked a movie because that way the nervous idiot wouldn’t have to actually, you know, talk to the girl he likes, and she’ll just sit there wondering if he’s going to make a lame move or whether she can actually enjoy the movie. If you end up sitting behind this pair, you run the risk of being distracted by their awkward little dance. You’ll cringe every time he moves a shaky hand closer to her and you’ll have to keep from laughing every time he offers her popcorn, wondering if he was actually brave/stupid enough to pull the ol’ hole in the bottom of the bucket trick. In the end, it’s best just to find a seat on the other side of the theater.
You’ll swear this dude has a balloon filled with laughing gas hidden somewhere in his coat pocket because he’ll laugh for two hours straight, and he’ll laugh at every conceivable thing that a person can laugh at. He’ll start before the previews even begin, laughing at the various ads and dancing candy reminders that play before the show and then he’ll laugh uproariously at the preview for the new Rob Schneider flick and by then you’ll be convinced he’s either mildly retarded or just really, really high. He’ll keep laughing throughout the movie, no matter what it’s about, and when it’s over you can see him laughing and shaking his head as he’s leaving the theater. Your only hope is that he ends up hyperventilating from laughing too hard and passes out.
This dude sucks. He’s read everything there is to read about the movie and he has something to say about every single scene. God help you if the movie is based on a book because then you’ll have the pleasure of hearing all the little ways the movie is different – and vastly inferior – to the “source material.” You could follow him to the bathroom, wedgie him and leave him hanging from a stall door but the Guyism lawyers are telling me that’s not a good idea so I guess the only thing you can do is try to ignore his blather and hope against the hope that the movie is actually good enough to get him to shut up for five minutes.
“What’s going on?” “Who’s he?” Those are just a couple of the questions you can expect from this old dingbat as she futilely tries to follow the action. Sometimes it’s not even an old lady. It’s just someone with severe ADD or someone who can’t be bothered to remember what happened five minutes ago. The most infuriating thing about this person is that instead of, you know, trying harder to pay attention and figure things out on her own, that she thinks it would just be easier to ask everyone else for the answers. The fact that she’s also ruining the movie for you never enters into her mind. This is why you should always avoid old people in movie theaters. I mean, aside from the mothball smell and the faint aura of death that follows them everywhere.
This chick just can’t stop checking her phone. She’ll spend half the movie texting and the other half playing stupid games. Every couple of minutes you’ll be distracted by the sight of her phone’s screen lighting up and in between you’ll be serenaded by the sounds of her fingers clicking and clacking, little staccato bursts of activity that will slowly drive you crazy. She’ll laugh at a random text during a tense moment in the movie, or she’ll tap her friend on the shoulder to see what OMG LOOK WHAT CHELSEA TEXTED ME OMG. You could steal her phone and throw it in the toilet but then your movie would suddenly turn into a prison flick and not one of those cool caged heat ladies in prison flicks but one of those “Please, kind sir, don’t stick that in my butt” prison flicks and nobody needs that. Just try your hardest to ignore her or move to a seat far, far away.
This asshole sits down, leans back and plops his feet on the seat in front of him. Hell, he might even take off his shoes first. He’ll talk to his friends as loudly as he wants, he’ll kick the back of your seat without even thinking about it, he’ll stretch in front of you, he’ll yawn loudly, and he’ll generally carry on like he’s in his living room and the rest of you peons in the movie theater don’t exist. It’s tempting to turn around and knock him out and people will probably applaud you for it, but leave that shit to the professionals, and by that I mean you should hire a hitman to come in and strangle him with piano wire halfway through the movie. Sure, it’s a little extreme but you paid ten dollars to watch Adam Sandler wear a dress and make an ass out of himself. There are principles here.
This dude has to get up four or five times to go to the bathroom during a two hour movie. It probably wasn’t a good idea to chug that 72 ounce pitcher of Mountain Dew before the previews were even over, huh? He’ll spend the entire movie pushing past people and walking in front of the screen and there’s nothing you can really do about it. I mean, you could shut the doors behind him and tie them shut with your girlfriend’s hair tie but then she’ll start pouting and everyone will blame you if there’s a fire and somebody’s kids die because they couldn’t get out and who needs that noise? Not you. All you can do is hope that the man with no bladder somehow forgets the way back to his seat and ends up wandering the aisles of some other movie, annoying people that aren’t you. And really, that’s the American dream.
These people suck, don’t they? They show up ten minutes after the movie has already started and then they wander around, talking amongst themselves, looking for the perfect place to sit. Isn’t this why movie theaters have ushers, so shit like this doesn’t happen? Then, after they’re seated they’ll spend another ten minutes asking what they missed because they don’t know what the hell is going on and by the time the movie is halfway over, you’ve spent more time dealing with their bullshit than actually watching the movie. This is why God invented spitballs.
This dude can’t eat or drink without making sure that everyone in the theater hears every bite, every slurp, every obnoxious shake of the candy box. Even after he’s finished his soda, he’ll sit there and play with the straw, making it squeak and moan, and there’s nothing you can really do about it that doesn’t involve a little chat with the local authorities later and a court date for assault charges. Then again, it might be worth it. At least no one plays with their straw in prison. They might play with your straw but that’s another matter entirely.
Whether they’re little kids or obnoxious teenaged animals, these roving bands of irritation are a staple of any movie theater. They’ll talk out loud, they’ll start crying, they’ll beg their parents to take them to the bathroom, they’ll throw shit at each other, and all that’s before the movie even starts. Look, kids don’t have long attention spans. After a half-hour, their jackass parents will probably just ignore them and pretty soon you’ll have a little kid running up and down the aisles, annoying everyone. This is why you should never, ever see a movie rated PG in the movie theater. Well, aside from the fact that it will almost definitely be unfathomably lame anyway. Or you could just start exclusively attending more, shall we say, “adult” theaters. But then, you have a whole new group of people to deal with and you really, really don’t want me writing that article. After all, as we’ve seen, the people at a “normal” theater can be bad enough.
(Originally published on March 28, 2012.)