Sunday, March 29, 2009

Going to the Cinema on your own

(Solitary Pursuit)

JAMES says

I have no idea why this should be such an issue. You wouldn’t think twice about watching television or your neighbours on your own, so why should the larger screen size (not in all cases, I can think of some cinemas and friends TVs that have roughly comparable dimensions) mean that instantly it is unsafe to venture on your own. Like a pub or restaurant cinemas are designated social areas, and to venture into one on your own is basically admitting that you have no actual friends and might as well start having rambling conversations with the pharmacist as your only human contact.

I admit it is preferable to watch something with someone else, if only for the chance to critically evaluate/lazily mock afterwards. However, this isn’t always possible. Like most heterosexual people I am married to someone who doesn’t exactly share my tastes in films and whilst the majority of times when we go to the cinema (which due to our young child is approximately once every economic cycle) we can find some happy medium, there are some adventures into the hard core of geekery which she is too girly to wish to accompany me on.

I do have actual friends (or Facebook friends, which are close enough), but the majority of them have yet to fall for the lure of Suburban life and insist on visiting the capitals overpriced fleapits. So it’s just me, facing down my failure in the form of a disinterested ticket seller. And while I’m here, did you know that teenagers get a discount on their tickets? Why don’t we just give them subsidised glue and say goodbye to society while we’re at it?

Of course I am the only one in the place on my own. Having no one to go for a drink with beforehand I am of course in time to see all the adverts, enduring the looks of all the happy couples who regard me as they enter, before finding a pair of seats at a safe distance and starting to chat. Then they start to laugh! Like it’s Fun! Don’t they know they’re interfering with my enjoyment of the advert with the guy and the car and stuff. I console myself with my popcorn, too large for one so that if I were to at it all myself my flesh would dehydrate and shrivel like a Nazi.

And I have no one to play the Trailers game with. Which is probably for the best as I’m rubbish at it.

The movie itself is fine as, like death, you are always on your own watching a film. But then after the explosive climax you are thrown back into your own existence, and the silence of the solitary man is deafening. And of course due to the length of films these days by the time you get home your wife is in bed, and doesn’t thank you for your lengthy discussion on how you missed the squid but actually the new ending makes more sense philosophically. Luckily, that is where the internet comes into its own, and you are no longer forced to spill your critical seed on the ground.

Cinema-going, like bridge and sex, is at its finest with at least 3 other people.



  1. Anonymous9:12 pm

    Now, see, if you'd asked me to go with you, I'd have jumped at the chance as I'd like to see Watchmen and Andrew doesn't like the cost of the cinema!

    Also, I won't go on my own 'cause there's nowhere more lonely than being on your own in a crowd...

    Sarah (the Chester one)

  2. Anonymous9:18 am

    i'm going to the cinema later and i'm only 11 is that okay or not if it is okay can you tell me what to do ..... put my arm round him .......kiss him... not do anything at all........... hold his hand ... i dont know help me ahhh!


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