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Harry Potter movie experience, interruptions prompted new perspective

By Staff | Aug 7, 2009

I did one of my favorite things yesterday. I cut work early and went to see a movie. It’s a wonderful thing, so dark in the theatre you can’t be seen for skipping work, and the cold cold air conditioning is so refreshing. Plus, I am free from want or worry for a whole hour and a half.

So, it was Harry Potter I went to see, and the place was packed. I wound up sitting between two teenage girls and another thirty-something dude who was probably skipping work too. There was a lot of chatter from the audience as the previews were playing, and the two girls next to me were texting furiously and laughing loudly. I thought everything would be O.K. once the movie started. Surely everyone knows to be quiet once the feature starts. Not these girls. Giggle. Chortle OMG!

This sort of thing makes my blood boil, and I am the type of person that says something about it, “Excuse me, could you two be quiet. please?!” I said. One girl sat up like she was in trouble and there was an immediate silence between them … for a while.

They started again in a few minutes by cupping their hands and whispering into each others ears very quietly. That didn’t last long. Soon we were back to full on giggles and chortles.

I could feel my perfect afternoon being ruined. I was getting angrier and I knew I was going to have to put an end to the noise.

Then, during a very poignant moment in the movie, while one of the main characters was facing mortal danger. The movies hero crept his face in closer and closer to his friends and one of the girls whispered, “Oh my god. He is totally going to kiss him!” they both erupted in laughter and then quickly confined it to snorting and giggling, thereby ruining the moment for everyone around them.

The man sitting in front of them turned around sharply and shot daggers out of his eyes at the two girls, but they were laughing so hard the daggers missed their mark. Then the girl sitting closest to me shoved her hand into her mouth and laid her head on her friends shoulder and shook like an earthquake was inside her.

Then it hit me. The movie became irrelevant. The show was these two best friends having the time of their lives and I had front row seats. I also had a part it in, by playing the grumpy old man raising his withered fist at them and screaming, “Get off my lawn you rapscallions!”

I remember the last time I laughed that hard. It was 20 years ago. I had let something go that was both silent and deadly at my best friends Catholic Church during Christmas Mass. Tears streamed down our cheeks as we tried to contain ourselves.

Luckily at the theatre, I was sitting next to young girls instead of boys, they mostly commented on the actors clothing and how horribly awful their hair was.

They continued being loud all through the rest of the movie.

It was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

Todd Cotgreave

River Road