As my new friend said, while we were seated around the fire pit making s'mores, "It's about having respect for the art."
Yes, I totally agree! What else needs to be said?
Well, it's not that easy, because sometimes I'll watch movies with people that may not be aware of my perspective, and then I quickly get jarred into another reality. So now I'm interested to see if others have a similar perspective. Or, am I, my brother and my new s'mores friend alone in our respect for the motion picture?
Here are my rules:
No talking. Please, just hold all questions, comments or whatever, until the end. Unless it's discussed earlier, or I'm able to pause/rewind, please just enjoy the film. I'll be busy, I'm watching a movie, I'm lost in another world (if the movie is doing a good job of entertaining me). Attempts at conversation would be like trying to pull me out of a beautiful slumber, the kind where you're lost in an awesome dream. So unless it's an emergency, just watch the movie. Of course, I may break my own rule every now and then, but in general, I just want people to be quiet.
No cell phones. This pretty much mirrors my first rule. Why do you need your cell phone right now? If you are the President or something, then yes, please answer your phone. Otherwise, if you are not able to disconnect for 90 minutes, maybe going to the movies is not the right type of activity for you. Why do you think there is always an announcement before the movie to turn off or silence your cell phone? Because people are trying to watch a movie!. They don't need to see your glowing light from your phone, let alone hear you talk. Call or text that person later. They should understand, it's perfectly acceptable to NOT answer your phone during a movie.
Be present and enjoy. When watching at home with other people, please sit down and watch the movie. For me, this is not the time to check Facebook, make a meal, have side conversations (even if they are about the movie) or do research on the computer. And if you are doing another activity, please don't come back and expect me to tell you what you missed.
HBO pretty much hits it on the head for me with a character called "Jennifer" in this commercial. I'll never ask anyone to leave, but in my head I'll either just be like "Ok, I'll have to watch this again Han Solo" and silently tell myself that everyone is different and that's ok.
My viewpoint explained by HBO.
In a group situation, if going in I know that I'm not really going to be able to watch the movie because it's a boisterous crowd, I'll concentrate on enjoying the environment, not so much the story. I'll also know that I'll probably have to watch the movie again by myself. But if I think I'm going to be able to sit back and really soak it up, and then it's no so, it'll take a minute for me to adjust. It's just how I am, I'm glad I'm aware of it.
At my house, if we gotta go to the restroom while watching a movie, it's known to yell out "pause?" to the person leaving the room. If the movie is one that I've already seen or pretty predictable, that'll be a "no" from me. We have a policy to respect the potty break. See, there are always exceptions to the rule.
If I'm in the theater, I'll do my best to not leave. If I must go, I'll go as quickly as I can and NOT ask any questions until we are in the lobby after the movie. If the person I'm with wants to give me a quick update on what I missed, I would probably shoot them a smile, say thanks and stare straight ahead to give the clue that I'm thinking "Hello? I'm trying to watch a movie".
That's it. Those are my rules. Pretty simple, I think. Harsh? Maybe. But if you think so, we probably won't be watching movies together. I am totally aware that people are different, people have their own methods and ways for movie watching, that's why I'm writing this. I am interested to hear if other people have rules AND I wanted to clarify mine.
Bottomline: I'm just asking people to watch the movie. I understand that not everyone has that ability. Maybe it's because we've become an ADD/ sound bite/ multi-tasking society. I don't know. But what I do know is that if you and I watch a movie together, I have some quiet expectations. I respect that I maybe alone in my desire for silence, that's why I go to the movies by myself sometimes. Of course, I love going with my friends. But most of the people I see movies with already know that I'm particular when it comes to movie watching.
And until I find that person one that also enjoys the silence, I'm happy to ask for a ticket for one.