What’s the textbook definition of stupid? Anyone — “critic” or pass-whore — who sits in the same row as I and proceeds to text during a movie.
Believe it or don’t, that's exactly what one of my "colleagues" did last week. I’ll be kind and not use her real name. Since she’s such a monumental loser, let’s call her Hillary.
Before the opening credits had ended, Hillary’s husband, let’s call him Bill, checked his phone and was out the door, never to return. Not being at liberty to reveal the picture’s name, embargo, you know, I can’t say that I blame him. After about ten minutes, I noticed a commotion out of the corner of my right eye, but thought nothing of it. That was the first infraction.
It took some time before it dawned on me that Hillary had her phone tucked in her purse with the screen dimmed. It wasn’t low enough to be unnoticeable. Short of catching her texting in a pair of O.J. Isotoners, I had her dead to rights. After 45 minutes of constant clicking, it was time to speak up.
“Will you please stop texting!” came my angry demand. Gripping the phone in her right hand and with index finger on the left poised in midsweep, the dumb bunny actually had the audacity to look me in the eye and say, “I’m not texting.”
You may think me dumb, just don’t talk me dumb. At that point I took the lord’s name in vain, shouting back, “JESUS EFFING CHRIST! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
The phone made an instant return to her purse, never to be seen again.
It turns out Hillary was looking for her absentee husband. (She should have called Monica.) Next time — and there had better not be a next time — show a little common courtesy by sitting in the back row where no one will notice.
This wasn’t the first time Hillary transformed my time in the dark into 90 minutes of hell. She was joined by Bill and daughter Chelsea for the screening of Sully. Parked behind me, one of them proceeded to kick the back of my chair throughout the entire movie.
The number of civilians who tell me they refuse to go to the movies due to the inconsiderateness of others is staggering. Checking one’s phone has become such a habit that half the time people don’t even know how rude they are. At last week’s public screening of Almost Christmas the schmuck three rows in front of me — probably thinking it was President-Elect Trump calling to seek his advice — whipped out his phone halfway through the picture.
“Hey mister,” I yelled. “Your phone is on.”
He actually turned and waved me a “Thank you!” as if it hadn’t dawned on him that his assholism was ruining the film for those around him.
A call was placed to a bigwig friend with one of the local theater chains suggesting what a hero they’d be in the eyes of movie-lovers if they banned cell phones altogether.
She’s still laughing.
Hopefully local publicists won’t find the request so funny. Reviewing movies is a critic’s job, a movie theater their office. Most bosses frown upon employees who make private calls during work hours. Should it be any different for a film critic? Bag ’em and tag ’em. Better still, leave the phone in the car!