WTF: Speak Up, People!

This past week, I saw a movie (as I do multiple times every week), and I encountered something that I’m sure everyone else in America has. I was seated about half-way back in a relatively large 400+ seat room watching an early screening of The Proposal, and in the front row, some lunkhead had her iPhone out periodically during the movie.

I understand if you’re expecting a call and check to see who’s ringing before you sneak outside to take it. Or, I know that many people use their phones as a watch, so you might be checking the time because you’re bored with the film. An occasional blip from an LCD screen is fine, but this chick was ridiculous.

She was actually surfing the internet during the film! I know this because even from 100 feet away, I could see new windows popping up in her Safari browser.

So, like the aggressive bastard that I am, I marched down to the front row and said to her, “Do you realize that everyone in the damn theater can see that thing?” She actually looked stunned – not because I had the gall to scold her, but apparently because she didn’t realize that the miniature sun in her hand throws its light all the way to the back row.

Crisis averted for now. But this isn’t the first time, and it surely won’t be the last time for something like this. Even worse, I’ve seen people come into movies wearing a friggin’ bluetooth in their ear, completely oblivious to the fact that those things blink every 30 seconds or so, and I’ve gotta watch that… through the whole freakin’ movie!

But I’m not venting about the douchebags who text and surf during movies. I’m not ranting about the idiots who talk non-stop during a film. I’m not upset right now at the parents who bring a crying child into movies like The Hangover and Feast (two R-rated films that I personally saw someone bring a toddler to).

If you want to read about someone complaining about this jerkoffs, there are plenty of other pieces on the web you can check.

I’m pissed off at everyone else in the theater. I’m pissed off at the average moviegoing audience who sits through this obnoxious and disrespectful behavior and does nothing.

Remember I said the movie house was a 400+ seat room, and it was a packed early screening of The Proposal.

What the four hundred pushovers?

Out of more than 400 people, I was the only one with enough sense to actually tell this moron to stop surfing the internet during the movie. No one – especially those sitting directly behind her – stood up for themselves.

Come on, people! You don’t have to make a scene, but there’s nothing wrong with politely asking the people around you to be respectful of others. The reality is that most people, when they are shushed or asked to turn off their portable devices, will do so. The idiot girl in the front row of The Proposal did so. And if someone continues to be obnoxious, get the theater management. That’s what they’re there for.

The reality is that 95% of the people watching movies in theaters today follow the rules. They keep quiet and don’t talk during the film. They don’t send texts to each other and surf the internet. They have the good sense to get a babysitter when they go to the movies with their significant other. The only thing they don’t do is stand up for themselves and call the assholes out who ruin the movie for everyone else.

I’m sure all of you can tell me a great story about how some nimrod in a movie theater was a rude ass. But how many of you can tell me what you did about it?

Consider this a call to arms. Stand up for your rights in a movie theater! If you hear someone talking, tell them to be quiet. If you see someone using their phone, ask them to put it away. If something is bothering you during the film, speak up!

Viva le cinema!

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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