I don’t see movies in theaters very often anymore. It’s too exhausting a process. By the time the movie actually starts, I’m ready to leave. What exactly does buying the ticket get you? It’s clearly not access to the movie you want to see. Oh no, no. You have to earn that.
Seeing Into the Woods recently proved to be a particularly interesting endurance test. Going to the theater used to be an enhancing experience (right?); it amplified the social reality of filmgoing. Now, I guess I want nothing to do with society. Or at least the society that I’m letting the family behind me represent.
Into the Woods, if you’re not aware (and evidently this family was not), is a musical. It works way better on stage than on screen, but that’s beside the point (shout-out to Chris Pine and “Agony” though). Knowing it’s a musical, what might you expect to see and hear? Music, right? Judging by the sighs and groans and “here we go’s” and “not again’s” coming from the I-wish-they-were-Statler-and-Waldorf-because-then-it’d-be-funny clan, music was decidedly not in the cards. And as a result, afterward, there was plenty of finger-pointing and scape-goating: “Well are you happy? You wanted to see that.”
But I suppose my expectations weren’t exactly on point either. After a preview for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, this same family declared triumphantly and completely unironically, “well we know where we’ll be April 17th!”