Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Amateur Hour

Went to a rare mid-week movie tonight with the brother, his girlfriend and the pea. Kyle texted me a few days ago to let me know that he had two extra tickets to a special screening of Lars and the Real Girl. I had seen the previews and didn't give it much more than a passing chuckle, but hell. Free movie and all that.

As an aside (and really, don't I always have an aside), I have warmed up to Kyle's girlfriend. I first met her at my 4th of July party at which I was admittedly not myself. I tried so hard to get to know her, but she came across as standoffish. She is drop dead beautiful, but it would be really unlike Kyle to date a mannequin. They moved in together after a month, over my strenuous objections. It is funny how we assume that our past mistakes are repeated by others. I started housesitting for a friend from the ACLU just a few weeks after I started dating B, and just a few weeks after we started dating, he came home with me and never left. We moved in together after the six week housesitting gig was over and we bought a boat and married in the next two years. It is probably foolhardy to suggest to Kyle that he should learn from me, as no two relationships are alike.

In any event, we got to the theater and found four seats together on an aisle. Right before the show started, pea and I eavesdropped on the women behind us, who were discussing various television shows. Then, as the lights dimmed and we were all settled in, this couple slinks in our row to claim the two seats next to the pea (which she and another girl had used to store purses and coats). As they stumbled in the dark past us, we got the unmistakable stench of alcohol and then it happened.

Drunk guy fell into Katie. He didn't just stumble and brush against her - he completely collapsed into her lap and kind of stayed there. Katie, by the way, is tiny, and my sister instincts kicked in as I tried to push him off. Thing is, people falling is always funny and I got the giggles, big time. I started shaking with laughter, trying to stifle the sound, and tears started streaming down my face. Katie then made it 180% worse, as she whispered "look" in my ear and pointed to a mystery drop on her jeans. I was now in a full-on laughter seizure, trying so hard not to snort or otherwise make a sound. I put my hands over my face and let the tears of laughter stream down my face. Katie caught the bug and, mystery drop notwithstanding, started doing the same thing. This is all as the opening credits rolled.

After about five minutes of mind over matter, I got control and tried to focus. The movie is, obviously, about a guy who buys a Real Doll, and initially, the gags were pretty hysterical. Unfortunately, we were directly in front of one of those types of laughers - the woman who was talking television before the film. It was the perfect pitch that positively pierces your eardrums and sounds as bad as fingernails on a chalkboard. Grating doesn't begin to cover it. And she laughed at every gag, no matter how banal, and these were not chuckles. These were full throated, permeating the theater peals of laughter. The pea and I, experienced movie goers together, were both wincing with every laugh and shifting uncomfortably. It was that distracting and irritating.

At one point in the movie, the pea nudged me to alert me to the fact that drunk guy's wife was passed out. Did I mention the stench? Oh holy hell, they reeked. It was the kind of smell that gets in your nose and stays there. The kind of stink that you can't shake, even after they left, three quarters of the way through the movie. Mercifully, he didn't give Katie a second lap dance, but he did squash Kyle's popcorn on the slink out.

As for the movie, well, it was free. Ryan Gosling was great, as was the rest of the cast. I am sure there was a deeper meaning that was lost on me, what with the drunk and the hyena behind me. After it was over, I felt the same way I felt after seeing Waitress and Once - nice films, but not particularly memorable or affecting.

When we came out, my uncontrollable laughter started up again as we revisited the drunk lap dance. Tears down the face, shaking and snorting laughter. Katie showed the pea her mystery stain and it was all over for me. The pea also warmed up to my future sister-in-law (I just know this to be true) and we all went home. It has been a couple of hours and I am still prone to fits of laughter. People falling down? Always funny to me.

I think the lesson here is not to sit down with amateurs. I don't go out to dinner on Valentine's Day and I don't go to the movies on Friday or Saturday nights. The pea remarked that it was like going to the movies in Lynnwood (godforsaken white trash suburb north of Seattle) and she was spot on. This audience laughed at every gag, even after the novelty had worn off and a Deeper Meaning was being floated. As kickass as it is to be able to go to the movies with my brother on a school night, I don't think I would go to one of these free screenings again. Turns out, I am also a movie watching snob. Fantastic. I'll add it to the list.

Also, and I know I have already said it, but go see Michael Clayton. If you appreciate great acting, you won't be disappointed. Even after this whole botched movie-going experience, that film is still in my brain.

Finally, I am reading a book called Foreskin's Lament. How freaking awesome of a title is that?

No comments: