24 June 2013

Excuse Me, But You're Being Very Rude!

Is it just me or are audiences getting ruder?

I was thinking about this the other day after I got home from the movies. As much as I wanted to enjoy myself, I couldn't help but be distracted by the people around me. At first I thought that rising ticket prices were keeping me away from the theatre but I've come to the conclusion that, more often than not, it's actually the people.

See, movie-going has always been a favourite pastime of mine. Where most kids in college were drinking and partying, I was spending my time at the local theatre. Going to the movies is sort of a sacred experience. It's one of the few places where I can go to decompress and lose myself in new world, even if only for a little while. It's cathartic, much like how reading can be, so it's quite upsetting when ill manners rob me of my enjoyment.

I don't know if I'm old fashioned or, perhaps, if it's the age we live in now, an age where desensitization and oversharing reign supreme, but am I the only one who thinks audiences have gotten too comfortable? They treat watching a movie as if they're doing so from privacy of their own home. They have no regard what-so-ever for the patrons around them and there's a total lack of awareness of personal space. It's beyond frustrating! 

So in an effort to make going to the movies a more enjoyable, I've decided to compose a list of the inappropriate behaviours that can often ruin it for everyone. I hearby dub these "Movie Theatre Problems."

Movie Theatre Problems (aka The Dont's)
Popcorn is noisy, I know, but there is absolutely no excuse for you to chew like a barn-yard animal. It's not cud. You are not a cow. You're a person. So please, for the love of god, don't shovel that popcorn/nachos/candy into your mouth like this is your final meal. Your obnoxious crunching wasn't intended as an addition to the movie's soundtrack and it's disgusting.

I don't understand why you pay all this money to sit down and chat/text/tweet when you have a perfectly good couch or local coffee shop in which to do this. This is a movie and you really should be watching it. The fact that you're more interested in your phone hurts my head more than a flying wrench does.

Movies can sometimes be shocking. Scary. Sad even! They're meant to evoke emotion, and if done well, that's exactly what they do. That being said, I understand that a gasp here and there is sometimes warranted. A scream on ocassion, okay even. I get it, I really do. But is the woeful blubbering or crazed maniacal laughter really necessary? Get it together, man! Or if you can't, then step out until you do.

Stop. Kicking. The. Back. Of. My. Chair. This also goes for slapping my arms and/or legs during one of those crazed, uncontrollable bouts of laughter. If I wanted a massage, I would've paid that shady guy in the mall the extra $15 to get one. In other words, NO TOUCHY!

Is your name Roger Ebert? Do you work for an established publication such as The New York Times writing movie reviews? Wait... you don't? Well then. If this is the case, your commentary is not only under-appreciated, it's unwelcomed. Save the criticism for when you blog about it later, mmmk.

Laughter during inappropriate times (i.e. - during scenes of graphic violence, misogeny and/or torture and abuse) is not socially acceptable and I worry about the state of your mental health. You really should see a therapist and/or doctor about this. It's not normal.

You brought a toddler/child/infant into a movie theatre. Into a PG-13/R rated movie nonetheless. WTF are you thinking?!  I understand your need for a night out but you seriously couldn't have hired a babysitter just this once? I know I'm not a parent or anything, but I'm pretty sure this is frowned upon in most social circles.

Don't touch me, my seat or my stuff. If I'm in your way, please ask me to move NICELY. I promise I'm not intentionally trying to be rude. Reaching for my bag or pushing my hand off the armrest IS NEVER OKAY!

Conversely, if I am the one politely asking if that seat is taken (and it legitimately isn't), quit your grumbling and just move your shit. Chances are, the theatre is packed and I'd like the opportunity to actually sit next to my friend/hubby/mum sans dagger-like stares and backhanded comments. Truthfully, I probably don't want to sit next to you either but I may not have a choice. So be an adult and deal with it like one.

Can't we all just get along?
So there you have it, fellow movie patrons, just a few little tips to make the movie-going experience a little more enjoyable for us all. We're all paying a lot of money to be there so noone wants to hear loud chewing, annoying commentary or to generally be assaulted by your rudeness. A public movie theatre is neither the time nor the place. Please don't ruin it for us. A little bit of courtesy goes a long way. Trust me.

Am I the only person who thinks people are getting ruder in public? What are some of your movie pet peeves? Tell me about your experiences and let's commiserate in the comments below!


  1. You hit the nail on the head Nikki! I agree completely. My biggest gripe is parents who bring their babies and toddlers and let them cry, not even bothering to step put of the theatre. I mean, they shouldn't even be there in the first place!! I try and go to movies at off-times when there are fewer people.

    1. Same here, Tammy! First off, why do you bring a baby to a movie? It's pointless in addition to distracting. Not to mention the folks who bring small children to violent and/or horror movies --- it's like, do you WANT your kids to have nightmares?! I mean, really. Common sense people! I don't go too often anymore and, like you, I try to go after a movie has been out for awhile and on off times.

  2. It's like you're inside my head Nikki. The rude audiences are one of the main reasons I don't go to the movie theater much anymore. I've seen all this behavior and I wonder where these people raised in a barn? They have no clue. It's sad, but I think it's the society we live in now.
    The toddler/child/infant thing. OMG. The last horrible experience we had at the theater was when we watched the most recent Ice Age film as a family, I think it was last summer while on vacation. Cuz there's no other way I'd be able to drag my then 16 year old son to Ice Age, but that's beside the point lol.

    There was a family a few rows in front of us, with a NEWBORN. And the dad kept STANDING UP AND ROCKING THE BABY TO TRY AND GET IT TO STOP CRYING all throughout the film. Why is a newborn child in a loud ass movie theater to begin with? I felt bad for the baby with these horrific parents. I wanted to say "Guess what? If you have a newborn that means you cannot go to the movies with it!"

    To top it off, the man seated directly behind us kept crazy giggling during the funny and not so funny bits. It sounded like the kind of giggling a maniac clown might do. I had to turn around and look at him at one point. The giggling was worse than the crying newborn being rocked by a father who was actually standing up in his row. This man did not have children with him, he was a grown man, with his lady friend, giggling insanely during Ice Age. Nuff said.
    And it's not just kids movies, annoyingness happened when we went to try and enjoy The Avengers as well. Screaming at the screen, obnoxious comments at the characters, hooting and hollering...etc :(

  3. I too am a huge fan of going to the movies! My husband and I go as often as we can. On the topic of rudeness in theaters...I feel like it is getting worse. I still don't understand why people are on their phones...even if they are just texting, that is a bright light and it bothers me! Not to mention the loud babies/little kids in R rated movies. Sigh. I feel the same way you do my friend. Hopefully I don't have a huge problem tonight when I go and see Despicable Me 2, but if I sit by some kids I'm sure my seat with be jostled. Luckily we are going late at night, so there should be less kiddos there. But at least with a kid movie I expect kids to be there, unlike seeing an adult film.


You stay classy now! And thanks for stopping by. But mostly stay classy.

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