The Girls Who Wouldn’t Shut Up at a Movie Tattoo

I love going to the movies.

This weekend we went to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (No, I haven’t read the book. We were going to get the audio book for our drive to N.C. over Christmas, but Tom didn’t want to “spoil the movie”).

The movie theater we like to go to is an eat-in theater that serves meals, and drinks in cups without tops (just establishing this for later). When we got there, 15 minutes early, as usual, we got our nice seats in the middle and settled in. Shortly after, two women sat in the row behind us, a little to the left of Tom:

They were chatting at full volume. The movie hadn’t started yet, but there were things on the screen (ads for Justified are the only thing I remember because I love Justified). I usually get a sense for when people are going to be a problem. There are types who talk loudly until the movie starts, and then settle in and behave like proper humans. Then, there are people, who, you can just tell. You can hear it.

These are the things proper humans tend to talk about before a movie starts, even if it’s a little louder than I would talk:

Person A: Hey! How’s it going? Did you find the theater ok?
Person B: Yeah, it was fine. How are you?
A: I’m good. I’ve read good things about this movie.
B: Yeah, Sally saw it and said it was great.
A: How’s Sally? I haven’t talked to her in a while.
B: She’s good (PREVIEWS START) (now whispering) I’ll tell you after the movie.

These are the kinds of things I hear “problems” talking about at full volume before the movie starts:

Person A: Do you want to get some popcorn?
Person B: I don’t know, the last time I had popcorn I got terrible gas.
A: Well we could have something else, maybe some nachos.
B: Yeah, that sounds good. What size?
Five minute conversation about size of nachos.
B: My hemorrhoids are killing me.
A: How do we tell someone what we want to eat?
Five minute conversation about that.
Five minute conversation with the waiter about the size of nachos.

Basically, nothing can be thought inside the brain, everything has to be said out loud. And, I know people who would have these types of conversations for all to hear, but would still shut up for a movie, so these movie talkers are very special kinds of people.

Here are a couple of hints to let you know if you are perhaps the type of person I’m talking about:

–    If, once the previews start (meaning the lights have gone down), you in no way speak any quieter than you were when the lights were on and nothing was on the screen. Or, you continue to speak as if your friend, who is inches away from you, is in another movie theater.
–    If you were watching The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked instead, and the 4 year olds in that movie would have shushed you because you were distracting them.
–    If you are talking so loudly and constantly after the movie starts, that when Tom turns around and asks you to be quiet, you don’t hear him.

Yes, Tom asked them to be quiet and they didn’t hear him. The reason we know this is because when Tom asked them the second time, loud enough for everyone to hear, and during a moment they both miraculously had stopped making noise to inhale oxygen, they shut the fuck up.

There are people who talk loud and don’t care – those are assholes who enjoy being asshole-y and get off on the fact that they are making other people miserable. Those people, at least, I “get.” Then, there are the oblivious types. As Tom put it, “I understand serial killers better than I do these types of people.” They are like toddlers who don’t understand the concept that if they close their eyes, other people can still see them. They don’t get that other people also have ears that can hear their voices. They treat the movie theater like it’s their living room. These people were like that.

How? How do people become 40+ years old and not understand the idea that a. people go to the movies to hear and watch the movies and b. not everyone gives a shit about what you think is happening in the movie, particularly when you are WRONG. “There’s a gun missing!” No, there’s not. “That’s her!” No, it’s not.

We were once stuck behind an old couple who took turns reading the opening credits. One time, when my sister and I went to see “Chicago,” at a sold out show, a lady (who had come late and asked her grown son to explain the movie up to that point) answered her phone and proceeded to chat at full volume, then left early, like some sort of shitty angel sent to “touch” everyone’s lives.

These are people who very well may be delightful people under any other circumstance, but they are not people who were made to sit through a movie in a public movie theater. Perhaps they do know what they’re doing, and they just think no one will call them on it, but I think that’s giving them too much credit. Often times, when I lament others’ lack of courtesy, it’s pointed out to me that perhaps it’s not that people do it on purpose, it’s that they just didn’t “notice.” To me, when it comes to certain kinds of movie talkers, I’m basically having to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re morons.

They did completely shut up when Tom loudly and sternly asked them to be quiet. So, luckily, we didn’t have to hear constant commentary of everything that happened in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – and if you know anything about it, you know that the content is uncomfortable enough to watch without two idiots behaving as if nothing happens unless they repeat it verbally in their own words.

Once the movie was over, and it was time for everyone to leave, the two ladies stood up, and one of them knocked over their cup full of ice and beverage, and it spilled all over the carpet. Because, it just makes perfect sense that she would do that.

21 thoughts on “The Girls Who Wouldn’t Shut Up at a Movie Tattoo

  1. I want to see that movie, too. I read the book and saw the Swedish film. I don’t go to the theater often because

    a) Bobina and I have the polar opposite tastes in movies

    b) I have kids and it costs the GNP of Taiwan to take them.

    c) I dislike loud movie theater patrons so bad that I’m destined to end up in jail.

    Self awareness is an art. Few people have it, Carrie. Thanks for being one of the few.

    also….I want a film review please.

    • Having not read the book, and being a big David Fincher fan, I loved it. It is really dark, but you know that. I thought Rooney Mara did a wonderful job (Daniel Craig, too).

      It seemed a little rushed toward the end – you know when you can tell that if you had read the book you’d have understood more what was happening – the end was a little like that.

  2. Yeah, it was good. I read all three books and saw the Swedish films, so I expected to be bored but was into it from the beginning. I went to a crew screening of the film, which was awesome because there was not one single noise, no talking, no candy wrappers, no one texting through the movie. Awe.Some.

    Good for your man, someone needed to tell them to shut the hell up (I’m sure he was nicer than that, but you know what I mean).

  3. Ha-larious! Not movie talkers but your description of them. Why do loud movie talkers go to the movies? I suppose because they don’t give a shit about others. Which is why I’m sure they will totally understand that I don’t give a shit that I poured my drink down their back.

  4. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH I feel like I was sitting right there with you two and now my blood pressure has risen and I have nobody to shush. This is why we find it so hard to go to movies (besides needing to find a babysitter). Loud oblivious people.

    • It really does raise the blood pressure. It’s just such an awful, awkward feeling – knowing you’ll have to say something or you’ll be miserable, but it could also mean they get worse because they’re potentially horrible people. Haaaaaate it.

  5. Well, sorrrrr-eeeee!! I just didn’t hear you the first time. Jeesh!

    Yeah, that is completely obnoxious. Although, I have been with someone like that. He’s 6 and I call him my son. He tries to whisper, but that is apparently a hard concept for kids, so after the 3rd or 4th question (usually about 5 mintues into the movie), I have to sternly tell him that movie watching time is not the time for questions, especially in public. That everyone else in the theater wants to hear THE MOVIE, not his questions. This will usually shut him up for a while. Granted, we are usually watching something like Cars 2, so the theater is full of loud, obnoxious children, but that is no excuse for him to be one of them.

    • Exactly. These people may as well have been six year olds. And in that case, the movie was totally inappropriate for them.

      At some point, people have to learn. I don’t know what age is best, but if it’s not done, they turn into those people – and everyone hates them, so it’s really in parents’ best interest to nip it in the bud.

  6. As an over 40, I coudn’t agree with you more.
    When I take my folks to a movie, I take them to matinees because they do this too.

    If I ever get to that point, I’ll probably stop going.

    • That you would be self-aware and generous enough to stop going probably means you’ll never reach that point.

      WE go to matinees because it’s cheaper but also because it’s not as crowded – now I’m wondering about that considering you take your parents to them because they’re talkers!

  7. Have you looked up in the royal registry to see if Chatty Chatterly was *the* Lady Chatterly? I’d be surprised if the other one wasn’t her lover, if so.

  8. Oh, I feel your pain. I also feel some shame for I used to have a friend (before I moved and lost touch) that I quit going to movies with because they would always need to add commentary at full volume during movies in the theatre. Um, I paid plenty of money to enjoy this movie without your added thoughts, thanks. While I wouldn’t respond and would attempt to put someone else between them and myself to avoid the distraction it never got any better, and having an aversion to confrontation, I never called them out on it – I just moved away. Bad friend, Mark. Bad friend.

    • And nobody else ever said anything? That’s what sucks so much about it – so many people are miserable, but also nobody wants to say anything. I understand why, I hate confrontation, too, but it’s funny how many people suffer because of one gas bag.

      Of course, one time, at a Tori Amos concert, everyone in the outdoor arena was sitting except for a small group of people two rows in front of us, which forced an entire section to stand. I asked them to sit down, and the entire section APPLAUDED. But then a couple of songs later, they stood back up and then made it their mission to block my view (they were completely wasted, too). I’m 5’3″, so it was quite easy. That was the last concert I ever attended. It’s really a shame that a few people can ruin things so thoroughly for a large amount of people. Anyway, I do understand why people don’t want to say anything – confrontation is hard enough to then only have to deal with more of it after mustering up the resolve to say something.

      • Concerts are dangerous. I went to one where it was all standing room only, and it filled up as people arrived. I stood up to some jackasses who thought they could push their way to the front and while I got the admiration of some of the people around me, I broke a digital camera in my pocket. There was pushing, yelling and getting in one another’s face. When it’s enough to motivate me to do something, it’s going to end poorly (probably for me).

  9. Oh this is precious! Thanks so much, that made my Friday morning. Not that you had to be stuck with them in the theater of course, but your ability to seriously nail down just what makes these people tick (or not tick as the case may be). 🙂

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