Vicky Christina Barcelona and Movie Etiquette
Last night my husband and I went to see Woody Allen’s latest film, Vicky Christina Barcelona at the Loews theatre on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Firstly, I must say I am not very fond of this theatre- it never feels clean and there is not very much legroom. I must prefer the Landmark at Westside Pavilion. It is a beautiful, brand new complex with stadium seating in its larger arenas and leather love seats in its smaller venues. The best thing about the Landmark is that you can pick your seat! No waiting in line or guessing where you’ll end up sitting! Love that!
Now back to Vicky Christina Barcelona. I love this film. I knew I would. I am a big fan of Woody Allen and I think that he is highly underrated. I’m not sure what people expect from this man but he has written and directed over 40 films in his career and has produced some of the most humorous scenarios and witty dialogues I have seen on the big screen (2005’s Match Point directed by Allen is one of my favorite films of all time).
Love, lust and intrigue against the sun-drenched backdrop of Barcelona. Who wouldn’t love that? The casting was spot on, the actors were pitch perfect and the directing was polished. My only complaint with the film was with the clothes. I wasn’t sure why Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall, two beautiful women, were traipsing around Barcelona in frumpy, wrinkled linen pants and baggy button down shirts. I know that was a choice but am unclear as to what it was meant to convey.
Let’s move on to movie etiquette. There is an on going joke amongst my friends and me that I have a curse when it comes to the cinema. I only go to the movies if it is a movie that I am dying to see (otherwise why waste my time). And whenever I go, I always sit next to “that person” that talks throughout the film. The movie going experience for me is a sacred one. I love getting there early and securing my seat. (Unless, of course, I am at the Landmark and it has been selected beforehand). I love popcorn, the previews and totally submerging myself in the world of the film. If I am sitting next to someone who talks periodically, I am taken out of the world of the film. I usually try to implement my spiritual practice during these moments, and rather than stressing out and getting testy, I take a deep breath and accept the moment as it is.
There was a period of time, however, where I was sitting next to the “groaner”. This man, who loves to frequent movie theatres in Santa Monica, and groan loudly during the best parts of the film. Lucky for me, other patrons of the theatre yelled at him to “shut up or die”, and I didn’t have to.
I hadn’t seen the groaner for a long time… until last night. My husband and I had ideal seats in the middle of the theatre. It was slowly filling up, when a very disheveled man with a baseball cap and earphones in his ears, sauntered up to the front of the theatre and leaped into an available seat. The whole way, he was talking to himself. Loudly. Not like on an earphone headset- but to himself. Then he proceeded to take off his shoes and splay his feet on the seat before him. Not groomed feet.
Oh no, I thought, this for sure was the groaner. And why, was he in my viewing of Vicky Christina Barcelona? I had been waiting to see this film for 6 months! Concerned moviegoers looked around at each other. Was this a homeless man that had found his way into the theatre? Was he going to talk the whole way through? I started to panic. What did I do to deserve this curse?
At that point, my husband reminded me to be in the moment and accept the circumstances as they were. I took a deep, cleansing breath and even started laughing. The previews came. The opening credits rolled. And sure enough, Mr. Bad Movie Etiquette got up and left the theatre! It was a miracle! And I was left to thoroughly enjoy, the love, lust, mayhem and intrigue that was Vicky Christina Barcelona.
Spiritual Practice: Pause when agitated. Take deep cleansing breaths and accept the moment as it is. Things just might turn in your favor!