Wednesday, November 10, 2004

No Such Thing as a Free Movie

Last night B and I attended a free movie as we are so often wont to do. However, there were quite a few unforeseen costs. And I know that it doesn’t do to look a gift horse in the mouth, but on the other hand, complaining is an American trait.

Cost #1 (time)
Our free pass was for the Bridget Jones Diary sequel. In order to be certain of getting in, one needs to arrive about an hour early. No prob. We have flexible schedules and we know how to read.

Cost #2 (sanity)
We took our place in line and a scruffy-looking man and woman with identical quadruplet eight-year-old boys came to stand right behind us. Hmmm. I thought to myself, “What kind of parents would bring eight-year-old boys to see an R-rated British romantic comedy?”

This kind: The kind that share between them a brown, saliva-saturated cigarillo. The kind that idly smirk as their offspring make simian attempts to climb concrete pillars. The kind that, once their ciggie is smoked to the filter (if, indeed, it had one) actually help the kids climb the pillars and allow them to cling unsupported about 20 feet from the ground. I was flabbergasted! I was just waiting for one of the quads to crash to the concrete and break his head. What were these parents thinking? Was it, “Hell, we’ve got four of them, we can afford to lose one.” I hope not, but what other explanation is there for such wanton disregard for your kids’ safety? Needless to say, aside from the climbing these kids made an unholy commotion the entire time they were in the queue. I read exactly one-half page of my book. I don’t blame the kids, though, they never should have been forced to wait in an hour long line in the first place.

Cost #3 (time, sanity, and pocketbook)
Once in the theater, our strategy was to find seats as faraway from the Pandemonium Family as possible. They sat in the front row (barf!) and we sat way toward the back. Whew. I reveled in the relative silence.

The movie started, but there was no picture and only the low grumblings of the soundtrack from another movie, which B says was The Grudge. The audience started squawking immediately. After all, we’d all paid exactly nothing to see the movie. A projectionist was eventually roused and Renee Z. burst on to the screen sometime near the end of the opening credits. Ten minutes into the movie, the film started chattering, big yellow squiggles appeared at the edge of the frame, and the dialogue turned to mud. More squawks.

The film was stopped, started again (but not where it left off), got the jitters again and was stopped yet again so emergency surgery could be performed. At that point, we were told that it would be about 10 minutes so why not visit the concession stand? Sneaky! But, you know, I was kind of hungry so I heeded the suggestion. There was only one person in line. Little did I realize that this one person suffered from some sort of compulsive disorder that required her to pay for her popcorn by using every denomination of coin minted. (I am not making this up.) By the time I got my bag of peanut M&Ms, the movie had started again.

So I haven’t seen the opening credits of the movie, but the rest of it was very enjoyable. (I did take the precaution while at the concession stand of leaving my brain there for retrieval after the movie.) The dialogue was witty; the plot implausible but well executed; and Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and Renee Z. all turned in great performances. Renee really does not get enough credit for her skill as a physical comedienne. My only complaint (and I have to have one, right?) is that extremely grating neo-Motown songs flared up at the most inopportune moments (as was the case with the first Bridget Jones). It was really intrusive.

So I’m off to Chicago for a few days now. In all likelihood I won’t have the wherewithal to do any blogging. Back Monday the 15th.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't leave us!!!

And have fun :)


8:31 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Have fun! While you're gone, I may have to sneak out and see that 2nd Bridget Jones movie (no hope of getting the s.o. to go).

10:05 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I know I'm going to freeze my ass off in Chicago, but I'll have a good time doing it.

Jamie, I'm going to the Field Museum! Can't wait.

10:58 PM  
Blogger KimmiK said...

I think I've seen that family, or close relatives in grocery stores in Pennsylvania! Arrgghh!

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rozanne, I just wanted to say hi and thanks for visiting my blog on BE. Hope you're having fun in Chicago!

Lorie (

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to get free tickets for sneak previews all the time. All the points you listed is why i don't bother anymore.

:: Mona ::

10:52 PM  

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