Don’t Just Sit There — Watch Something!


Paris at Midnight in the Rain (NOT from the Film)

Some people are easy-going about lots of things in life, for instance, where to sit in a movie theater. Others are pernickety; alas,I am a queen of the pernickety.

I thought of this today as we went to the movies for the first time in our new town, in a theater new to us. Here’s how my pernickety-ness plays out:

I got there really really early to get a parking space in the handkerchief sized theater lot. And also to get my choice of seats in an unknown configuration.

The strategy paid off. Of course it left us with about 45 minutes to kill, but hey, as the Spanish proverb goes, Take what you want says God, but pay for it.

As for where to sit, husband is content so long as he’s reasonably close. The rest doesn’t matter. But I (who am really short) am paranoid about ending up behind big heads, large hair, really tall people, and fidgeters (you know, people who incessantly weave their heads back and forth like cobras being charmed).

I’m happy to report that in this new theater the first two seats of the second row of the upper section behind the safety bar are the equivalent of Jet Blue’s “extra leg room” seats, at NO extra cost.(If you think I’m mentioning the name of the theater, even the name of the town, so you can pinch those seats — well, you’ve got another think coming.)

Now you’re probably thinking I am really neurotic, and you’re absolutely right; but fortunately the movie we were seeing was Midnight in Paris, and I’d have to go a lot further than I do to be as neurotic as Woody Allen. Even when he’s not on camera himself, but being uncannily channeled by Owen Wilson  (otherwise one of my favorite actors).

Quickie review, then:

The French have a special tendresse for Woody Allen, and it is reciprocated. This movie’s a valentine to Paris in the same way Manhattan was a valentine to the Big Apple. Star-studded, imaginative conceptually, funny lines, enjoyable enough to pass the time — Super-duper fluff, say I, curmudgeonly.

In his long career, I think Mr. Allen has made just two truly great movies, films that have staying power and perfect balance. One is his early comedy, Play it Again, Sam. The other is bittersweet Annie Hall. Both are quite perfect: nothing could be added, nothing taken away. And I’d say so no matter where in the theater I was sitting!

(Do you have your Woody Allen favorites? And where do you stand on sitting down in a movie theater????)

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23 Responses to Don’t Just Sit There — Watch Something!

  1. Pauline says:

    I’m not a big Woody Allen fan but I did like Annie Hall. And, put me in a back (so long as it’s tiered) seat so I can see over every tall, big-haired, cobra-weaving head. I had a crick in my neck for weeks after finding front row only seats once. Now I’m a back-seat girl.

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  2. Pauline says:

    Oh – you taught me a new word – I’d always said persnickety which turns out to be slang for pernickety! Guess I’m a slang-uage kind of girl, too!

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  3. ceceliafutch says:

    I’m the persnickity one (re: theater seats) in our family, too. But it pays off. Glad you enjoyed the movie from the seat of your choice! Nice post.

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  4. tricia says:

    Great post and picture! I saw Vicky and Christina Barcelona a while back and, well, it was quintessential Woody Allen! Kind of left everyone hanging, feeling a bit of a void. It was good, but I wouldn’t recommend it! As for movie theaters, I like to have a few seats open in front of me so I can dangle my feet between them (true!)—the stadium seating tends to work well for me (as I am also short and detest huge heads and hair in front of me). Cheers! ~Tricia

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  5. Rebekah says:

    What a beautiful picture!

    I tend to choose the back part of the theater, but that’s not important. I’m tall, it’s rare that I get bothered by the one in front of me.

    While in Quebec City, we went to the movies a few times. There was one theater that showed English-speaking movies. That was an interesting experience, because we were always alone, and they eventually stopped showing English-speaking movies.

    Last one we saw there was The Da Vinci Code..

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  6. Stef says:

    Do you know, I’ve never seen a Woody Allen film? Looks like I have another thing to add to the list…. As for where to sit in a theater – I go to movies so infrequently, it never really matters to me. I’m in a theater once every 5 years or so. (Literally.)

    Your photo is BEAUTIFUL! I’ll visit a museum any day. No bobbing heads there. 🙂

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      *Blush* Photo is only mine by dint of searching for it on Google Images — and it didn’t say who it was by. But I thought it was beautiful also.
      As for Woody Allen’s films — you might resonate to Annie Hall. Play It Again Sam is a spoof on Casablanca and Humphrey Bogart movies — so if you aren’t into those, it would be so much fun.
      As for the rest — never mind.
      My husband is “movie-generation” and LOVES them. I’ve lived my life with my nose stuck in a book (for which there was much criticism of my youthful self).
      As for bobbing heads in a museum — well, at “big shows” at a large museum, sometimes even at smaller ones — it’s not only bobbing heads, but elbowing bodies! It’s a pushy world.

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  7. Rebekah says:

    I’ve seen Annie Hall, but it’s so long ago so I can’t remember whether I liked it or not… I have this vague feeling that I find his films … confusing.

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      It’s one of my favorites — but it isn’t for everyone. He has his own idiosyncratic take on things, and I can see where they might be confusing.

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      • Rebekah says:

        I’ll have to watch it again. One thing I do remember is a scene where she said she had an AA meeting to attend to. She said it, like it was the most usual thing, which struck me as odd. That’s a cultural difference — where I come from, going to an AA meeting would be a big secret, surrounded with a lot of hush-hush…

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        • Touch2Touch says:

          Perhaps the big difference is not in the areas, but in the social circles —in some it’s okay, in others still hush-hush.
          My favorite remembrance (besides her fear of a “major spider” and lobsters getting loose and running around the kitchen floor!) is when Marshall McLuhan step out of a movie line and delivers a mini-talk to the people waiting in line — and us in the audience.

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      • Rebekah says:

        I see that I HAVE TO watch it again 😀

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  8. Joe Clarke says:

    My favorite Woody Allen film of the laugh-out-loud variety has to be Love and Death. This laughing matter was chock full of allusions to the great Russian novels and novelists, but especially War and Peace (which I am waiting to be re-serialized in order to start reading it from the very beginning). It comes complete with deep philosophical reflections that either go nowhere or are humorously out of their element. (Boris: But Father, I feel like life is a void. Priest: What kind of void? Boris: I don’t know, an empty void?) There is some great comic acting by hisself and Diane Keaton (yes channeling Woody), whose influence can be seen on later female comediennes’ work like Julia Louis Dreyfus (Elaine of Seinfeld fame). Just a lot of fun. I like to sit near the front, not to see or hear better, but in order to increase the possible number of noisy viewers behind me who I can then turn around and shush .

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    • Touch2Touch says:

      Love your comment, Joe! Funnier than most recent Woody Allen movies —
      My favorite line from L & D:
      (A pastry cart arriving in his cell, he says) It being a French prison, the food was excellent.

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  9. fb says:

    Thanks, Joe, for remembering Love and Death. It is one of my all time favorite Woody Allen flicks. To this day I still quote lines from it. This film absolutely fractured me. Cheers!

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