I frequently go to movies with a certain group of people, and these evenings occasionally go a little sideways – a noisy couple sitting near us, problem with the theater’s equipment, whatever. Go to enough movies and you’ll see it all.
Last night’s viewing of Kingsman, however, was a unique and hopefully singular experience.
Five minutes into the start of the movie proper, a couple arrived and sat directly in front of me. The theater was maybe 2/3 empty, but whatever, they can sit where they want. They struggle, half-crouched, to shed their heavy winter garb and sit down.
Out comes the guy’s cell phone, held just below his head level, white screen of his messaging app blazing in the dark theater.
My reaction was unplanned. A swift kick to the back of his chair startled the guy, who’s head quickly turned my way – I was already leaned in, waiting for him. “Can you put that away now, please?” I asked evenly. He turned away, discreetly fiddled with the phone, and threw a comment over his shoulder along the lines of “That’s what I was doing, sheesh”. That was all I heard from him for the rest of the night.
A few minutes later, from the back of the room, a male voice moans. Just loud enough that it probably wasn’t part of the movie. Moments later, it happens again, this time much more loudly and completely incoherent.
The source of the sounds was apparent – a person with a developmental disorder. Throughout the movie, he was heard maybe 30 more times.
A few minutes after the sounds began, I notice a small child jumping down the theater steps to my left, who then proceeds to run alone an empty row of seats further below me. This happened a few more times during the movie.
I’ll take moment to describe Kingsman for anyone fortunate enough to have not seen it. Predictable yet amusing, strong start, weak finish, laden with the use of strong profanity. Indeed, it seems Kingsman’s creators had set out to use “fuck” in every form and context imaginable, as many times as possible, then got bored and decided to balance out every use of “fuck” in the movie with a person’s head exploding, and film was just the medium they chose to use in so doing. The movie worked hard to earn it’s MPAA R-rating.
Bad movie aside, the people issues of the night ultimately required the most reflection.
Cell phone guy was an idiot. It’s not hard to show up on time for movies, but it happens. If you’re going to be late, be discreet. Take off your coat and turn your bloody phone off BEFORE coming in.
The parents of the kid running around are also idiots. A theater isn’t your personal living room. Why on earth would you bring your small child to an R-rated movie, let alone allow him to run amok in a dark room full of strangers?
As for the person with the disability, easily the most distracting person of the evening? Moan on, brother. You were distracting, but that really pales in comparison to the difficulties and persecution you no doubt face every day.
I wonder how many others feel the same? What were the parents of the kid running around thinking? They clearly have no regard for others, does their selfishness extend to their own experience? What about cell phone guy? He evidently has no concept of being discreet, so does he take the indiscretions of others in stride?