Monday, July 28, 2014

On My Mind: Questions, Declarations, and Other Verbalizations


My family, my loving wife in particular, has been the inspiration for several of these "On My Mind" posts. Here she is again. As much as I adore her, there is one thing I would change in a heartbeat if given the opportunity: the way she watches movies. Watching with her means having a running conversation throughout the picture's run time. She's incapable of keeping her thoughts silent. Yes, she's one of those who talks to the screen as if the people on it can hear her. "Don't go in there." "Don't do that." "That was stupid." Of course, she's not always saying something negative. "That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!" "Go 'head!" "Yes!" Her conversating with the movie itself, however annoying, is rather innocuous. I can deal with her, or anyone, getting caught up in the emotion of the moment and being unable to contain themselves. That's part of the reason we watch movies. We want to be floored by the experience. Sometime, the excitement causes outbursts. I'm okay with that.

Far more bothersome, is the constant stream of questions. I'm not talking about the rhetorical kind she hurls at the heroes and heroines we're watching like "Why did you do that?" I'm talking about the ones she asks me and legitimately expects me to answer. For some reason, she's not content to let a movie explain itself. She has to constantly ask, out loud, about what's going to happen next, or what something that just happened means, or where someone is that hasn't been on screen in a while. I think she often knows the answers. She just wants me to confirm them for her. When she doesn't know, she's hoping I'll tell her so she can prepare herself for when it happens. Yes, she gets that emotionally involved in a film. My standard answer is "Watch the movie." She hates that. Another minute or two passes. She asks another question. If the questions start coming rapid-fire, I'll get annoyed and say "If you wait long enough, the movie will explain itself," in my perturbed-but-still-loving voice. At least, I think that's how I sound.


For the most part, I have learned to cope. Whenever I pop in a movie that we're going to watch together, I get into the needed state of mind and I deal with it. You, John and Jane Q. Public, are not ready. Therefore, it pains me to say that on those handful of occasions each year when we journey out to the theater it does not get any better. My wife tries to keep her volume level down, but the questions and comments still flow freely. My answer to all she asks remains the same. "Watch the movie." Occasionally, I'll caution her to lower her voice or even do something so indignant as to shush her, myself. Last weekend, we happened to be sitting in a fairly packed theater for a $2.25/ticket showing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (review coming soon...ish). Despite my best efforts, we wound up sitting next to another couple, with her in the seat nearest the unsuspecting gentleman. He sat politely and quietly as my lady repeatedly leaned over to me with some inquiry or another. I felt sorry for the poor guy. Or maybe, my wife wasn't speaking as loudly as it sounds to me. Neither the father and son in front of us nor the family behind mine had anything to say or shot us any evil looks. Just in case, she we were disturbing any of you good people, I apologize.

I will give her some credit. My wife is getting a little better about the type of questions she asks. She used to ask open ended ones that invited elaborate responses. Or, she would begin the debate about the morals of whatever we're watching, or some other deep, philosophical discussion while it's still going on. I would immediately shut her down and let her know that that's a conversation that must wait until after the movie. At least now, when she formulates such thoughts in her head she keeps them to herself. Mostly. Instead of bringing the subject up directly, she issues me a warning: "When the movie's over, I have to ask you something." This has led to some really interesting talks about the movie we just saw. I'm grateful for those. She's not the film buff or snob that I am. She loves movies, to be sure, but she treats them almost purely as an escape while I'm more often looking into what they have to say, how well they're written, shot, acted, etc., and formulate my thoughts on those things into reviews. She doesn't. Usually. So I appreciate when a film transcends the screen and gets her wheels turning. I just wish she could hold all her questions until the movie is over.


9 comments:

  1. Oh Dell, this post made me giggle so much! I think me and your wife need to see a film together :D
    I do keep my mouth shut in the cinema, but if I'm watching a film at home I'm forever asking questions. I also have to pause every 5 minutes to check an actor on IMDB to know what else they've been in!
    - Allie

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    1. Interesting. We still watch quite a few movies on DVD. Whenever we do she's constantly picking up the cover to read and re-read the blurb on the back.

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    2. BAHAHA, Allie, I'm always on IMDB looking up actors or even facts on the movie, and I'll do that in the theater too. I think that's part of being a film lover/blogger though. I tweet immediate responses because I feel like it's my responsibility now that I have a blog that people actually read. LOL.

      BUT, I hate when people talk to me while I'm watching a movie...like at all. I can distract myself, but don't you dare distract me. Even if I've seen the movie a hundred times...if I put it on, shut your mouth. My wife is generally pretty good about that...but we've had friends...who I refuse to watch movies with ;-)

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    3. That's intriguing to me because I don't think I've ever gone on imdb during a movie. And I never pull my phone out in a theater once the previews start. It's a different story at home. I've been known to get into a game of solitaire while watching a film.

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  2. I never talk during the movie. I don't even own a phone. My dad talks while watching a film.... all the time.... I hate it.

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  3. Oh my. No one can talk to me when I watch a movie especially in the theater. If I'm watching a DVD, I'll definitely rewind to that particular part that got interrupted.

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    1. Yeah, there has been a time or two when I've rewound to something I missed because a question was coming in at the same time.

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  4. My sister is the exact. same. way when it comes to asking questions or pointing out the film's twist and whatnot. Even when I watch a movie at home with her, she's always asking questions like "Who's the killer?! I want to know!" I love her to death, but aye-aye-aye.

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