Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Interpreter (28June05)

Normally, Cheap Night at The Cheap Theater is pretty busy. We generally leave home a half hour before showtime to make sure we'll get a seat. But Cheap Night at The Cheap Theater in the middle of summer is pure insanity. It was so busy, in fact, that two showings had totally sold out by the time we got there -- something that we'd never seen before.

I was a bit nervous last night because we left later than usual. Paul had an extra-long day of work, and by the time we got into the car, it was more like 22 minutes before showtime. So, as I sped to the theater, we devised a backup plan. If we got there too late for the 7:40 showing of The Interpreter, we'd just go to the 8:00 showing of The Pacifier instead (because, obviously, we're not all that picky).

I went through a few lights that were a bit on the orange side on the way -- and once we got to the theater, I was then faced with the parking issue. The lot was crammed. So instead of slowly cruising around the lot, trying to vulture a spot close to the theater, I decided to suck it up and park in the middle of nowhere.

As we hiked to the ticket booth, we saw that there was still enough time to make it to The Interpreter -- as long as the line moved quickly enough.

Fortunately, it did.

For a while.

Then the little old ladies got to the window. The shorter of the two (she was about 5'2") stepped up to the window and just stood there. Apparently, it hadn't occurred to her that she'd have to pick a movie to see. I suppose she figured they'd just hand her a ticket to whatever was playing, in random lottery style.

("Let's see...this week, you get to see...Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 43!"

"Aw, shucks. We had to see that one last week, too!")

So then she asked the girl in the ticket booth all kinds of questions -- which movies were playing when, what they're about, who's in them... Meanwhile, we stood in line behind her, becoming more and more irritated with each passing second. But I knew that some would consider it rude if I were to push a little old lady out of the way for a 50c movie ticket, so I refrained.

Finally, she made her decision -- I believe she went with The Pacifier -- and she stepped aside with her white-haired cohort. There was one other girl in front of us, and she speedily purchased her ticket while the two old ladies studied the piece of paper in the short one's hand. They obviously noticed something wrong because they both looked up at the ticket booth, and the taller of the two almost shoved the girl at the window out of her way.

The girl quickly grabbed her ticket and ran, leaving the old ladies to cut in front of us and step back up to the window.

"Did you only give me one ticket?" the little one asked. "Because I wanted two."

"You didn't give me one!" the taller one complained.

Time ticket on as the bewildered ticket seller produced one more ticket, in return for the two quarters that the taller lady had rather testily thrown down on the counter. And then the little old ladies were off to see Vin Diesel.

Finally, it was our turn. By the time Paul got our tickets, I was already rushing through the door to the lobby. We sped off to our theater with not much time to spare.

The theater was packed when we made it in. As our eyes adjusted to the dark, Paul pointed to the other side of the theater. "There are two seats over there," he announced -- and we rushed back through the doors to the other side and took the two seats in the very back corner of the theater -- before someone else could take them from us.

"This seat has definitely been worn in," I said as I settled into my seat, which had pretty much no padding left (Muffy from Fever Pitch would have been positively mortified). But I suppose we were in the make-out seats -- and not only that, but our seats had an unusual amount of leg room (which, when you're 5'10", is a valuable commodity). So they had every right to be popular seats. To make it better, there were only two of us in our very own row -- so I didn't have to worry about sitting next to any Laughers. And since it was the back row, we didn't have to worry about any Seat-kickers. Not a bad deal.

Unfortunately, we did have to worry about sitting right behind another parent who had opted to forego the babysitter. In front of us were two women with a little girl. I'm guessing she wasn't two yet, since she spoke mostly in grunts and shrieks).

Again, like Sahara, The Interpreter is not a kids' movie. In the opening scene, there are dead bodies and a couple of brutal murders. But these women didn't seem to mind -- nor did the little girl, who shrieked with joy.

I may not know children very well, but I do know that children of about two really don't care about following the intricacies of the complex plot of a PG-13 moving -- nor do they especially enjoy sitting still for more than 30 seconds. They would much rather run around and make 2-year-old noises -- and this little girl was no different. About every 30 seconds, she'd shriek, and one of the women (usually the one on the right, who, I'm pretty sure, wasn't her mother) would turn and say, "SSSSSSHHHHHH!" or "Be quiet!" or "You're really getting on my nerves!" -- or, in certain situations, "Sit down and stop that!" or "Don't touch me!"

The little girl would then go to sit with the woman on the left. Then she'd change her mind and put her arms out for the woman on the right. Then she'd cry, and the woman on the left would take her out in the hall for a minute before coming back and starting the whole thing over again.

I'm sure that neither woman was able to follow the movie -- it was, after all, complicated enough without the distraction of an impatient toddler. I had a hard enough time keeping up, and I didn't even have to keep saying, "SSSSSSHHHHHH!" (I just thought it in my head.)

I was, however, considering digging into my purse, handing them a few bucks, and telling them to do us all a favor and get a babysitter next time.

But alas, they left three-quarters of the way through the movie -- before I had the chance.


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