Okay, this is not really a blog entry about Mamma Mia! The Movie, which (surprise to no one) I loved. It had everything a chick in my demographic group could want, hence the term "chick flick." Meryl Streep looking and sounding fabulous? Check? Hunky Colin Firth wearing open-buttoned shirts? Check? ABBA songs? Check. Romance and happy endings? Well, duh.
The movie didn't change my life and I expect no film award nominations out of this, but who cares? It was fun and feel-good funny. Even when Pierce Brosnan warbled a few songs and I thought my ears would bleed, I still thought it was endearing of him to at least try. When you're eye-candy, a lot can be forgiven.
What I really want to discuss is my crappy luck at the movies lately. I don't like to go around feeling sorry for myself, but it seems as if Mother Karma has been punishing me for some past transgressions by seating the strangest combination of viewers around me during the movies.
It all started a few months ago when my fellow mom-friend Adrienne and I went to see Baby Mama, a flick geared not only toward chicks but chicks who might be moms. (Can marketers read us or what?) Halfway through the movie, the guy behind me begins kicking my seat violently. It wasn't the steady kick-kick-kick of a bored leg; it was the spastic, pre-orgasmic kick that my dog does when you scratch her belly and hit the right itchy spot. So I sit up and turn my head to look at him. That usually does the trick. As I turn around, I can't see too well in the dark but I can make out a young man (the one sitting behind me) swapping spit quite noisily with a young woman. They didn't even notice me looking at them. I don't even think he realized that he kicked my seat.
The kicking stopped for a while, and then spastic-kick happened again. And now I'm getting pretty pissed, so I turn around again to tell him to cut it out, but now they're juicily sucking at each other, moaning, and (I think I saw this in the dark) their hands are moving. At the realization that there is amour going on behind me, I no longer care about having my seat kicked. Now I'm worried about where this will lead. The image of the "hair gel" scene from There's Something About Mary comes to mind and I realize that my hair is fine; I don't need more gel, thank you.
So I whisper the situation to Adrienne and we move to the quieter, non-romantic section of our row, but now while I'm watching the movie, I'm also distracted, thinking: Who goes to a chick-flick to grope, especially one involving a pregnant woman and an eventual labor scene? And why go to a normal-length movie for that purpose when there are much longer movies playing at this multiplex? Is this a very expensive movie, or a very cheap hotel room? So many unanswered questions ...
Then, a few weeks ago, I took my 11-year-old son to see Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. It's rated PG-13 but I agreed to take Mr. Pubescent Rocker because:
- I love Hellboy.
- Mr. PR is very mature for his age.
- I love Hellboy.
Right before the previews begin, a man and two little boys, one who appeared to be a preschooler and the other not much older, sit down directly behind us.
Okay, I know I will never win Mother of the Year, so I try not to judge other people's parenting standards, but WHO TAKES A PRESCHOOLER TO A MOVIE CALLED "HELLBOY 2?" Is it just me, people? There are blades in this movie. People being eaten. Impending Armageddon. Smoking. An unmarried pregnant woman! All the things that make movies fun for those WHO ARE NOT PRESCHOOLERS! Even my Mr. PR, who fancies himself quite the superhero buff, had to cover his eyes during certain suspenseful scenes. I had to concentrate really hard on the movie to block out the thought of the kid behind me, which was extra challenging because he kept asking his dad what was going on in the movie.
Finally, at Mamma Mia the other night, Adrienne and I got there fairly early and got good seats, which was lucky because it was evident that the place was going to fill up. Just as we were congratulating ourselves on selecting a movie that appeared to be attracting sensible middle-aged women such as ourselves instead of horny sex fiends, two women sat down next to us. With a baby.
Oh, Mother Karma, what did I do? I have not flipped off any bad drivers lately, nor have I giggled over anyone's small vocabulary. There was that time my husband and I giggled over some guy's sad comb-over, but we did it quietly. So why?
I decided to be gracious about it. After all, I had babies once and I understand. I smiled at one of the women, moved over one seat and said, "I'll just move over so you'll have more room." She started to apologize but I assured her that it was fine. It seemed to be working out beautifully.
Then a minute later, as all seats filled, a very large man came through our row, plopped down next to me and started to take over my armrest.
I have this thing about armrests. It has been my observation that men are accustomed to taking armrests away from women. It happens on planes, it happens in stadiums, it happens in movie theaters. And one of my life's goals is to end this whenever the opportunity arises. So I firmly stuck my arm on my half of the armrest while he stuck his arm on his half. I would have kept my arm there the entire movie, if not for the fact that I didn't really want to be touching arms with him for nearly two hours, and my realisation that this was probably a guy who was dragged to watch a chick-flick and then couldn't even sit with his party; he had to sit between a woman with a baby and some aggressive chick who wouldn't even let him have a whole armrest for himself. So, out of pity, I gave him the armrest. Damn, these men are good.
In the end, it worked out fine. The baby was quiet through the whole movie and the large man didn't lean into my space or have B.O. I felt ashamed of my neurotic premature assumptions. Whatever I have done in the past to deserve my weird movie pals, perhaps I have learned my lesson. We shall see when I next go to the movies.