A few days ago, Kid in the front row sent out an email asking some film bloggers, myself included, to post to their blogs on December 3rd a story about a memorable trip to the movies. I immediately replied that I'd love to participate. I then spent the next few days racking my brain, but I couldn't come up with a darn thing.
The truth is, I don't go to the movies much now and I never really did as a kid either. I know that coming from someone whose life revolves around movies this must seem pretty shocking, but it's true.
I saw The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast on the big screen when they first came out, but I was too young to remember. In high school I went through a new movie phase (yes, you heard that correctly-- Kate, the girl who deplores new movies actually enjoyed them a few years ago!) and went to the theater with friends quite a few times. I distinctly remember seeing Gothika and Love, Actually, for some reason. I went through an intense but short-lived Jude Law obsession in 2003 (or was it 2004? I don't remember.) and subsequently I saw Cold Mountain four times, Alfie twice (I know! The remake!) and I Heart Huckabees once. In 2003 my first date was a trip to the movies. Unfortunately we went to see the newest Terminator movie. It was awful. The date and the movie.
After that little flirtation with new movies had ended, I got cozy with classic movies again, this time for good. Of course, classic movies are a little hard to come by on the big screen in my neck of the woods, so I've only been to the movies sporadically since 2004.
In 2007 I drove two hours to Maryland to see a Barbara Stanwyck double feature for her centennial celebration at the AFI Silver Theater. For my birthday last year I drove one hour to see Monsieur Verdoux in Pennsylvania. And in August I took a train into New York to see two John Mills movies at the Film Forum, but that's pretty much it.
I've always been underwhelmed with the theater-going experience, but maybe that's just because I don't usually go with anyone who is as excited about the films as I am. Or maybe it's because I am more self conscious about crying or laughing aloud than I am in my own home, watching the films on television. It could also be that the classic movies don't attract a large enough audience, and I'm constantly aware of my surroundings-- that the old guy two rows in front of me is snoozing (and, unfortunately, snoring) through Gary Cooper's tour de force performance in Meet John Doe.
Until I was faced with the prospect of writing about a memorable trip to the movies, I never realized how lacking big screen experiences have been in my life. The few trips to the movies I can vividly remember weren't all that great; and the ones that should have been life-changing as a kid I can't even remember.
This month, me and my brother are going into New York to see If You Could Only Cook and You Can't Take it With You at the Film Forum, then a few days later my whole family is going in to see Ball of Fire and The Mad Miss Manton. I hope that if one day in the future I'm asked to write about a memorable film experience, I'll be able to cite my trips to The Film Forum in December 2009.... if not, I think I just give up and I'll DVD it from here on in...
ps. Unlike my post, Kid's was incredibly entertaining and well written and I highly suggest you go read it, here.