So unless you’re emotionally frozen or your hard ass scale is equivalent to that of Aliens‘ Sgt Apone, then you’ve probably got a bit teary, shocked, scared, or laughed uncontrollably at the cinema. At home this is fine: you might sit down, pour a large glass of red and moisten your eyes while Frodo passes into the West; you could roll off the sofa whilst laughing at Loki getting thrown around by the Hulk; or you can hide behind the sofa as the Superman echos the phrase, “Save Martha…”. But at the cinema, you’re obliged to follow certain social ‘rules’.
Now the basics that we all understand are to: not talk; don’t pull out a phone; don’t kick anyone’s chair and if you’ve got to go to the bathroom, apologise to everyone as you commando crawl in front of them so as to not block their view… or is that just me?
Whilst the social courtesies can be upheld very easily (unless you’re a loud mouthed teenager looking to annoy 100 people), there’s no way that you can sit silently and perfectly still during a two hour movie that’s been created to evoke a response from you. Half the enjoyment for certain movies – especially comedies – is a joint experience, which is why sit-coms have live audiences or laughter tracks.
But of course, laughing in public isn’t the real issue here is it? It’s when you get to the end of Toy Story 3 and the 12 year old you’re sat next to turns and wonders why your hay-fever is suddenly so strong.
Earlier this year when I went to go and see Logan [LOGAN SPOILERS AHOY!], the young lady sat next to me audibly gasped at the revelation that Hugh Jackman’s long running sting as Wolverine was coming to an end. Subtly turning my head I could see she was full of tears and gripping her boyfriends hand who was smiling at her emotional state. I on the other hand, was glad to know that it wasn’t just me spilling tears as Laura broke down as Logan died for the last time.
Just this week – whilst watching Paddington 2 – I felt the need to contain my emotions so as to not draw attention to myself during a moving third act, but if we can openly laugh at the funny parts, why is it such a leap to openly tear up at the sadder ones? (To which this film had plenty of both).
So next time you’re watching a film that’s hitting all the right spots just let it out, at the very least you’ll be making someone else in the cinema feel better about their ‘hay-fever’. Just don’t expect me to be so sympathetic if I find out you’re the one who was making stupid noises at the way through the film, I learnt how to ‘manage’ my anger from the best mutants.