Tag Archives: Safety Not Guaranteed

Taking a Stance || Why More People Should Go to the Movies by Themselves

27 Jul

Warning: this entry proves that college has turned me into a cynical, grumpy, anti-social fuck.

Ever since I saw the trailer for Safety Not Guaranteed only a month or so ago I knew I wanted to see it. An indie film starring Aubrey Plaza and the hot guy who makes turtle faces on New Girl that’s all about time travel? Sign me up! I posted a Facebook status asking if anyone wanted to tag along yesterday to see it with me, but did not garner any response. After some deliberation today on my morning run I decided to fuck it all and go see it anyway by my lonesome.

After a brief awkward transaction between me and the dude working at the theater counter – where I got to avoid eye contact and pretend he didn’t know me or the fact that I was at one point roommates with someone who worked there and quit pretty aggressively – I went down that little alleyway in the back to get to my designated theater. As I entered the movie theater, I was slightly shocked to see it was empty. Not a soul in sight. I took up residence in the center seat and I contemplated whether seeing a movie by myself in a theater all to myself was either super lonely or super bad ass.

I decided on super bad ass.

I was getting accustomed to this idea of having the movie theater to myself. I could laugh as loud as I wanted, scream profanity at the screen, sob if the moment arouse, kick up my feet, and not give a single fuck because there would be no one there to mind. Of course, a minute after becoming psyched to be alone, an older couple came in… then another older couple… and then, finally, one last older couple. I was irrefutably bummed out.

Before I get into my rant that only goes to further prove my anti-social tendencies, I will say this: Safety Not Guaranteed is fan-fucking-tastic. It’s a charming little piece with a whole lot of heart. Aubrey Plaza plays a character who shares some definite traits with April Ludgate, but is also definitely not a clone of everyone’s favorite pessimistic secretary. The plot was lovely, all the characters were likeable, lots of character growth happened (at least among two of the main characters), and, yeah, all around lovely piece. If you can, go see it soon, because it’s probably not long for theaters.

Anyway, back to complaining.

As I sat surrounded by these three older couples (I was, quite literally, the only person under fifty in that theater), I began contemplating why people don’t go to the movies by themselves more often. I mean, sure, if a group of people, or even a couple, want to see the same movie, then yeah, going accompanied makes sense. But it seems to me that going by yourself makes even more sense. Here’s my train of thought:

  1. There is nothing more annoying than people loudly talking to each other during a movie (there was a woman in the theater today who would not shut up). I’m unfortunately one of those people who does not have the guts to turn around and ask, “Will you please be quiet?” So instead I get to fume in my chair and be grumpy the rest of the time. When you go by yourself, not only are you not taking away from other people’s moving going experiences, but you don’t get distracted by whomever you’re with in conversation and end up missing a good chunk of the film. (Side note: my dad seems to think his whisper’s a lot quieter than it actually is, so whenever we see a film together he always ends up talking loudly. It makes me feel awful for everyone around us.)
  2. Going on dates to movies have never made much sense to me. Unless you’ve been dating this person for a long time or you’re just killing time or, I dunno, you wanna make out in the movie theater, it doesn’t make any sense. I mean, I’ve done it before, and that’s why I know it doesn’t make sense. You’re not interacting with the person you’re with. You’re not getting to know each other. You’re just sitting in a dark theater watching a film. It’s different than, say, watching a movie/TV show at home together, because there’s a lot more room for interaction in those circumstances. Plus there’s a pause button. The first date I ever went on back in my junior year of high school was to see a movie, and it is probably the most boring date I’ve ever been on (no offense, Chris, if you’re reading this. Totally had a huge crush on you at the time, but yeah, going to see that TMNT movie wasn’t exactly my ideal date).
  3. Seeing a film by yourself gives you more leeway in being yourself. As I mentioned before when I thought I had the theater to myself so I could laugh loudly and cry if need be, it pretty much applies to going to films by myself. Have you ever seen a film with someone and had to hold in a laugh at a really inappropriate part of the movie for fear of offending the party you’re with? I have. I’ve also had to hide the fact that I’ve cried at a film way too many times. When you go by yourself you don’t really give a fuck who you offend when you laugh and you certainly don’t care about holding back tears.
  4. This one might just be me, but I’m in the bad habit where I glance nonstop and whomever I’m with to see if they’re enjoying/disliking the film as much as I am. This, in short, takes me out of the film far too many times, which sucks.
  5. My absolute favorite thing about seeing films alone is that you get to contemplate the film you saw when you’re done. After seeing Safety today I got to make my twenty minute walk home all by myself, allowing me to think on the story I had just been presented with. Same goes for when I saw The Descendants back in January. Hell, the first movie I ever saw by myself was The Namesake, and I remember going to a park and walking around and just getting lost in thought over the film. Isn’t that the purpose of film? To make us contemplate life and think about the larger questions? I guess some films exist purely for entertainment, but the films that make you wonder… there’s no denying how lovely of an experience that is.

I’m not saying people should stop going to see movies with other people all together. I know I’m not. I’m almost certain that whatever I end up seeing next I will, without a doubt, be accompanied by someone else. I’m just saying if there’s a movie you really want to see… well, maybe try going to it by yourself. Who knows. You might have a great time.

And yeah, maybe this whole entry was written solely because I’m trying to prove to myself that I’m totally fine with my ‘always-go-to-the-movies-together’ buddy now living in another country, leaving me to have no one to drag to the theater, but maybe this is a good thing. Maybe from now on my movie going buddy can just be me. And I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Not at all.