Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hitch (31May05)

This week, our Cheap Theater experience was rather...frantic. For some reason -- perhaps because everyone was fresh off the holiday weekend -- there was an extra amount of energy running through the building. I felt it the minute I walked in.

This week's movie was Hitch -- one we'd been dying to see since it first hit the Real Theaters. When we got inside our theater ("All the way down, on the left"), it wasn't all that packed -- but we tend to show up early now, ever since the time we showed up late for Ocean's 12 and had to sit in the second row. We took our seats and watched as the theater filled up around us.

This Tuesday at The Cheap Theater was Teen Date Night -- and I couldn't help but study the groups of Teen Daters, since I already knew all the answers to the trivia questions playing on the screen (mixed with subtle hints that I desperately needed a jumbo tub of popcorn and a large Coke). A few rows ahead of us sat five people. On the very outside sat two young boys, both slouched down, with their feet on the back of the seat ahead of them. In the next seat over was a young girl who giggled and fidgeted and repeatedly pulled her hair into a ponytail, pulled it out of the ponytail, shook it around a bit, and put it back into a ponytail. Next to her was an even younger girl. And two seats over was a middle-aged woman who looked like there were a million places she'd rather be.

"Let me get this straight," I said as I studied the group. "Those two are on a date...but he had to bring his best friend, and she had to bring her mom and her little sister."

"Looks like it," Paul replied. "You know how dating goes when you're that age..."

Actually, I didn't. At that age, dating, for me, consisted of passing notes to a boy's friend to give to him. There was no going to movies. In fact, there was no actual contact of any kind. When I was that age, relationships were mere rumors, confirmed by the friends who did the note-passing. I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16. And as I sat there in the theater, I was glad. I made a mental note to thank my mom later. After all, dating was excruciating enough without having to do it with parents and siblings and best friends looking on.

Next, another group of Teen Daters arrived. They were a little older -- I'm guessing that one of them was old enough to drive. The four of them marched down the aisle into the theater single file and chose a row near the front. I watched as they situated themselves -- boy, girl, girl, boy -- then proceeded to slouch down in their seats and put their feet up on the back of the seats ahead of them.

I remembered those nights of teen dating at the theater -- the nervous sickness in the pit of my stomach. The horrible anxiety of trying to figure out how the date was going so far. Was it going well? Did he like me? Was he going to ask me out again, or was he going to tell everyone in town that I was totally undateable? And I remember being completely unable to concentrate on the movie, since it took all of my brainpower to contemplate whether or not he was going to try to hold my hand at some point -- or if I was sitting with my hand in this obvious (and somewhat uncomfortable) position for nothing.

And I was once again reminded of how nice it is to be married. Paul and I go on our date to The Cheap Theater every Tuesday. I never need to worry about whether or not he's going to call me again. He doesn't have to -- we'll just talk over breakfast tomorrow morning. And I don't have to miss a good movie because I'm worrying about whether or not he'll hold my hand. Because he will. And if he doesn't, it's perfectly okay for me to make the first move. Marriage is cool like that.

At the same time, the kids ahead of me got me thinking about an issue that's been fleetingly crossing my mind for the last few weeks. What's up with this slouching-with-your-feet-on-the-seat-ahead-of-you thing? And why don't I do it anymore? I used to, but at some unidentified point, I stopped. In fact, I can't even imagine how I used to sit that way -- all squished in my seat, eating my knees.

That's when it hit me -- I'm getting old. When I was in high school -- and college -- sitting that way was cool. Everyone did it. But somewhere, in the blur of getting married and buying a house and picking out living room furniture that matches and concerning myself with things like 401k plans and cholesterol and sensible shoes, I have switched from slouching in my seat with my feet up on the seat ahead of me to sitting in my chair like a grown-up -- legs crossed, back straight, so as not to ruin my posture and end up with the hunched shoulders that run in my family.

I don't like what's happening here. I think I'll go back to slouching next week.

Finally, my sitting in the aisle seat this week paid off. While I could still hear the anxious chatter of those around me -- and I often couldn't hear the movie over the Extremely Loud Laugher seated in front of us -- this time, I escaped the worst of it. Poor Paul was seated next to what he called The Stupid Couple. Neither of them understood the movie (come's not rocket science -- it's a romantic comedy!), so they had an ongoing conversation about it:

"What did he just say?"
"I don't know. Who's that guy?"
"That's her boss. Why did he just say that?"

And so it continued through the whole movie. Poor Paul was almost as unhinged by the end as I was after my Lemony Snicket experience -- though he never curled up in the fetal position and started giggling. But they're wearing him down. I'm sure it'll happen sooner or later. Feel free to email me with your wagers.

Since this movie was already reviewed on (check out Tony's review), I'll throw in my two cents now. I loved it. While I was disappointed by Eva Mendes in general, Kevin James more than makes up for it. The story is cute, and the dancing scenes had the whole theater (including the Extremely Loud Laugher) howling. I laughed until the tears welled up in my eyes. It's a great chick flick (though even guys will like it) -- and it's on my list of movies to buy.


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