When I was in high school it was very common for groups of friends to go to see movies together.
It was also common for my mother to make a remark like, “Why spend your time at a movie? There’s no interaction!”
I only did one or two visits a year to the movie theater back then. Still averaging that now, but in anticipation of my first post-baby visit, (and my first “date” since I-can’t-remember-when) I will list my reasons for watching movies not-alone.
- Quiet “being” time
- Yes, I know there are other types, but we enjoy having a variety of ice cream flavors too.
- A shared “experience”
- While it is all imaginary, it is, especially if well-told, a Story after all. And the purpose of a story is to understand or experience something by being put into it.
- It was Nora Whats-her-name (the directer of You’ve Got Mail and other things) who said the appeal (or even thrill) of romantic comedies isn’t in their originality. It’s in their ability to recreate for the viewer an echo of the excitement of her/his own experience, bringing the memory into sharper focus– recreating the emotional potency.
(I love that. I started paying attention and now think it’s largely true.)
- When I saw the first Pirates movie, I instantly knew I wanted to be with my dad when he saw Jack Sparrow coming into port at the beginning. I wanted to watch him watching that whole sequence that followed.
(Knowing him, I guessed he would enjoy it, and I suppose I’ve never outgrown a daughter’s natural delight in her father’s laughter)
- How someone reacts to something– whether it’s an image, violence, an unexpected sex-scene or a type of humor– reveals aspects of personality or character by rubbing it up against something new.
- Solidarity and appreciation of enjoying (or even hating) the same thing
- I can’t say how thrilling I find it when Jay wants to watch something I’ve enjoyed, and shares my sense of enjoyment (This most lately happened with Sabrina on the night of February 22–a movie we watched while taking turns walking the baby).
- His enjoyment counts very nearly as words of affirmation, since he is agreeing with (and thereby validating) my assessment. He is ascribing value to what I delight in.
(I love subtle humor and “throw-away” lines, for example. Something you have to want to pay attention to, to “get.”)
- It draws us closer together to continue finding things we have in common.
Movies can easily become props, of course, and I’ve sometimes complained they are excuses not to interact. But approached mindfully they can be an environment to feed our natural hungers for Story, companionship, and discovery.
I can not remember when I last went to a movie theater!
My twins are 8years old and the youngest is 5 years old.
The twins would love to go. I have been tempted to take them for there first movie but…
It was considered a sin to go to a movie theater in the “church” I came from..but then again so was a TV! We do have one of those now. Maybe I will get brave and take the boys.
We don’t get to see movies very often either, but they can be a great treat. In fact, just last night my husband and I went to see “Amazing Grace.” It was excellent–a very good family flick and poignant as well. The key actor was Ioan Gruffudd (Welsh name, I think I got the spelling right) and he was in the “Hortatio Hornblower” series from A&E. He’s great and the series is lots of fun and relatively “clean.”
Matthew and I enjoy watching movies and tv shows on DVD together and then we enjoy discussing the story. themes, characters…analyzing the experience together. Sparks such great conversations. (We enjoy discussing real life in the same way, but movies are a bit easier because they are r eal life writ small, and we’re not quite as personally invested.)
We had our first post-baby theater experience last week…we saw “Amazing Grace” with Katherine. She was awesome the whole time…nursed, then sat happily on my lap, then nursed again and fell asleep! You must go see that movie if you haven’t yet…best movie I’ve seen since Return of the King.
I wholeheartedly agree! I could give an example for almost each and every point you made. I think “but there’s no interaction” is one of those seemingly sagacious things an older person said once and caught on without much thought put into it because, hey, it’s true, right?
Micah and I love to watch shows on DVD and movies together. Like Becky and Matt we discuss them afterwards, draw examples to real life, etc.
Stopping by for the blog party – a bit belatedly! I agree with your defense of movie dates! We have two 13 month old boys and by the end of most days we have no energy to do anything requiring much physical or mental effort :) Watching 30-45 minutes of a movie each night the past few months has been our little “escape” each night.
I really like all of these points, especially “Solidarity” and this:
“While it is all imaginary, it is, especially if well-told, a Story after all. And the purpose of a story is to understand or experience something by being put into it.
“It was Nora Whats-her-name (the directer of You’ve Got Mail and other things) who said the appeal (or even thrill) of romantic comedies isn’t in their originality. It’s in their ability to recreate for the viewer an echo of the excitement of her/his own experience, bringing the memory into sharper focus– recreating the emotional potency.”
So you’ve got me wondering what’s playing at our local cineplex? I’m inspired.
Ann– Just be careful.
Eyes wide-open, remember.