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A movie talker defends himself

''I have the right to talk during movies''

Why do we go to the theater? To be part of a community! For those 90 to 120 minutes, my fellow moviegoers are an impromptu family, laughing and crying together. It's my responsibility to make sure that family knows (a) what I think of the film and (b) that I am hilarious. So I look for every opportunity to say very astute, opinionated, and funny things.

For instance, when I see a character about to do something irrational, like perhaps entering a dark, abandoned warehouse, I will often yell, ''You so stupid!'' I know the movie can't hear me. I'm saying this to let the audience know that I am keenly aware the character is making an unfortunate choice and if I were in a similar situation, I would not be so foolish. (For the record: I would not go in there.)

Sometimes, I yell things as a warning to parents. Remember the scene in Shakespeare in Love when Shakespeare sexily undresses Gwyneth Paltrow while she spins around? I assisted the audience with that scene by yelling ''Uh-oh! Here comes boobies!'' If my warning gave a concerned mother a few extra seconds to cover her child's eyes, you're welcome. And if, coincidentally, it also made everyone laugh, then that's why I'm a genius.

It's been suggested in the past that I speak more quietly or even keep my thoughts to myself. How selfish would that be? Movie talking is a public service; moreover, a rapier wit does no good languishing in its sheath. And if you don't like that, then there's really only one thing to say: You so stupid.

Originally posted Aug 05, 2005 Published in issue #833 Aug 12, 2005 Order article reprints
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