‘You’re rustling!’ says my friend, viciously jabbing an elbow into my ribs. She’s quite right, too. I do appear to be making rather a lot of noise. Still, this being my day off and the best bits of popcorn being right at the bottom of a jumbo tub clamped between my knees, I’d argue that I’m entitled to rustle just as much as I see fit. And, unfortunately for everyone in my immediate vicinity, I see fit to rustle a lot.
Fifteen minutes later, the questions start. ‘Why’s she running away from whatshisface?’ Because whatshisface is a psychopathic killer. ‘How come she doesn’t just escape in her car?’ Because the film’s set in 1672. ‘Do you think I’ll miss anything good if I nip out to the loo now?’ Um… I’m not sure, perhaps if you… Look I just Don't care, Okay?
That was six months ago. I’ve not been invited out to the cinema since and, to be honest with you, that’s absolutely fine by me, because as far as I’m concerned, a trip to the movies is best enjoyed alone.
I’m not averse to the company of my friends, you understand. I’m more than happy to accept that there are some leisure activities and pastimes best experienced with others.
Table tennis, for example, is a fairly miserable way to while away an afternoon unless you have a buddy on board to return the ball. But as far as sitting in a dark room for two hours and shovelling sugary treats into my face goes, I think I’ve got things pretty much sewn up without the need for an accomplice.
The aforementioned bugbears aside, it’s the aftermath that I really can’t stand. Stepping back into the harsh light of day, the pressure to deliver some insightful judgement on what you’ve just seen is unbearable. The air palpably thick with tension, it’s only ever a matter of time before someone utters those five soul-crushing words: ‘So, what did you think?’
Now, I don’t know about you, but, personally, I like to take a good hour or so mulling over a movie’s merits (or lack thereof) before committing myself and declaring either adoration or abhorrence. But no – your friend has just asked you for an opinion on the film they’ve just sat, chatted and texted their way through and you’ve got two options. You can either say something pretentious about the cinematography in the desperate hope of out-nerding them and achieving submission through intimidation,or – I’ve found this to be the more effective choice – run away. Cobble some nonsense together about accidentally leaving the iron in the oven and literally sprint for the exit. You ought to be clear of the threat of forced, arbitrary conversation by the time you hit the city limits.