While I am by no means a disciple of the “Miss Manners” books of the last two centuries, one would think certain common courtesies could be observed while in public.
On Saturday night, my husband and I went to see “Django Unchained.” As a longtime fan of Quentin Tarantino, I was more than excited to see his latest offering. At one point in my idealistic teenage years, I had nearly applied to film school to be a screenwriter because I relished the dialogue Tarantino would give his characters. I even have this theory that, if George Lucas had hired Tarantino JUST to write the dialogue for the “Star Wars” prequels, those three movies would’ve been so much better.
But, I digress.
After getting my first cell phone right after college graduation in 2000, I always assumed the “Golden Rule” in the movie theatre – do unto others as they would do to you. Or, more simply, I’d turn my phone off. This was near the beginning of the cell phone boom.
As time wore on, the reminders to silence or turn off your phone altogether would mount prior to the movies. They’d be ads or just reminders in between the previews and the actual start of the show. In one case, former Jefferson Parish Sheriff (the late Harry Lee), would come on-screen in theatres in Jeff Parish and say, “don’t interrupt my movie!” When a chubby man with a gun tells you to turn it off, you listen.
The Saturday night show was packed – this movie has generated a lot of buzz. We got to the theatre early in hopes of not having to fight for decent seats. We got our seats, took off our coats, and turned off our phones.
The theatre filled quickly and it seemed like a quick jump from ads to previews to the film itself. During this time, I noticed women on either side of us. Both were clutching their cell phones for dear life! They were texting and emailing as well.
During a critical moment in the film (I won’t spoil it), the cell phone of the woman to my husband’s left went off. This is after six (we counted) ads/reminders to silence or turn off your phone. It rang…and rang…and rang. It was very obvious who the phone belonged to because the woman kept looking down at her hands. It was almost as if the theatre was daring her to answer (I would’ve bet money on it).
At the same time, the woman next to me could not have been less enthused about the cinematic masterpiece before us and checked her Facebook and texts about 10 different times during the nearly three-hour movie.
I am going to be blunt – this is flat-out rude and disrespectful to those around you. Unless you are a doctor on-call, turn your phone off or put it on silent. I wasn’t going to leave the theatre to speak to management because “Django Unchained” was so amazing. Next time, these people might not be so lucky.
(and, no, I wouldn’t retaliate by flatulating loudly, even though I am capable of doing such, thanks to a mild case of collitis)