I don’t go see movies by myself. Ever. It’s not because of my previous talked about fear of other people or anything like that, I just don’t see the point in watching a movie alone. I want to share the experience with someone else. I do rewatch movies by myself sometimes, generally having them play in the background while I multitask but that’s about it. I will always prefer watching with someone rather than alone.
I feel that way because what I love to do with movies is analyze them. Or at the very least, talk about them. What did we like/dislike? Were the characters developed well? What did you think about the inclusion of that particular scene? Was there a point to that one guy existing? Did I miss something that you noticed? I watch a lot of movie critics on Youtube and feel like I’ve developed an okay sense for how good movies are overall while still acknowledging that there are a lot of subjective elements. There are many movies that I really love but when it comes to even looking at the technical execution of them… well, let’s just say they leave something to be desired.
So obviously people change and grow over time and in college I was really getting into the super sarcastic movie reviewers who were hilarious but harsh. I was probably not the best person to watch a movie with. (I did still often hold back. It’s not like I would go off on twenty minute rants during a film but I could easily go off or make really mean comments without thinking.) I also didn’t, and being honest here, still don’t, connect to characters on the screen very well. So I was literally the worst person to watch movies with: detached, sarcastic, and harsh with a working knowledge of what a movie should be able to reasonably accomplish.
My three roommates, we’ll name them, Jamie, Dawn, and Cheyenne (I’m sure you can guess who you are if you read this) and I lived in a townhouse on campus my last year at school so we had a living room and kitchen etc. Jamie had a TV that was set up in the living room area and Dawn had a Netflix account and an extensive dvd collection.
I was literally banned, by Jamie and Dawn, from watching Tokyo Ghoul with them because I was that terrible to watch things with. But also there was this weird phenomenon that happened in our house where, despite my inability to connect to the characters on the screen in the same way my roommates did, I was actually allowed to ask real questions whereas our fourth roommate, Cheyenne, was not allowed to ask questions under literally any circumstances.
Now, about Cheyenne. I love this girl, she’s a great person, a wonderful human being, really smart. But oh my gracious DO NOT let her walk in on you watching a movie or tv show that she hasn’t seen before! She’s one of those people who will start a movie with you and five minutes in, turn to you and ask, “Why did he do that?” Now imagine she just walked in to a 2 hour film at the hour and a half mark.
The thing that Cheyenne and I have in common is that we’re both writers. She’s more of a poetry person whereas I focus more on prose. But we both write all kinds of things.
If I walk in on a movie or tv show I’ll always wait to ask any questions. I have a decently active imagination and I feel like, for the most part, I can infer the general tone/direction of things going on. If I can’t then I have to decide if I’m interested enough in what I perceive is the concept to ask about it or if I’m just going to keep my peace. Then I can choose a question that will most effectively get me exactly the information I need while minimally disrupting the viewing of my friends.
Cheyenne is naturally inquisitive and she looks at the world in a way that I still don’t fully understand. As soon as a question comes up in her mind she wants to know the answer. She’s impatient too. So while I may analyze your movie to death and maybe make you hate it because now you see flaws that you didn’t before, Cheyenne will just completely derail the entire watching experience if you don’t give her what she wants. I mean, I’ve watched all the light in Dawn’s eyes die as she, for the fifth time, brings up that she is not actually all-knowing and can’t say what will happen next in a movie she’s never seen before.
Not sure where I was going with this story but it makes me feel nostalgic and I laugh a little inside when I think about how royally irritated Jamie and Dawn would get with me and Cheyenne. I just really miss all of them a lot. We still talk to each other but physical distance is hard to deal with sometimes.
If we ever watch a movie together I’ll just sit next to Cheyenne and answer all her questions as quietly as I can while annoying her with analysis. Clearly a win-win situation.