I might be being presumptive here, but if you've paid nigh-on £10 (or $16.74 in American monies as I type this) for a cinema ticket, I'm guessing it's because you WANT TO SEE THE FILM, right?
You pay that premium so that you can go and watch a film on a really massive screen and with huge speakers and so you can eat popcorn with a 900% mark-up price. There will be other people there, which may be a plus (I love a bit of infectious laughter) or which may be slightly annoying, if your seat neighbors are unwashed or eating really stinky food.
I simply do not understand why you would hand over NEARLY 10 ENGLISH POUNDS to see a film, a REALLY GOOD ONE, and then talk all the freaking way through it. Those people are the actual, actual worst.
For example, this week Chris and I decided to go really wild and actually leave the house mid-week. This never happens, because we have been in a relationship for long enough that neither of us can be bothered to even suggest a mid-week date any more, plus, telly is quite good at the moment. That being said, EastEnders isn't on on Wednesdays, so I thought we could throw caution to the wind and go out.
We ate at Nando's, because that's what you do in the UK if you go to the cinema. There's always a Nando's next to a cinema. It's like a rule, like they HAVE to get planning permission for one when they apply to build a cineplex. I had a half chicken, cooked plain (I am a wuss) and fries AND garlic bread, because I don't get out much and committing carbicide is my second favorite thing to do after picking my toes when I am alone.
Chris went for a half chicken extra hot, because he doesn't care if he gets the runs, with "macho peas" -- otherwise known as peas -- and spicy rice. I'm telling you this to set the scene. It was a BIG NIGHT, guys.
We even went to ASDA (it's like our Walmart, but not as good/bad) and I bought a WHOLE TUB of Butterkist, because I am a slave to the corporations. Chris tried to get me to buy the bag, which was half the price, but NO! I wanted the completely unnecessary plastic tub! This is why I have no savings.
I also bought a bag of fudge (non-rustling bag of course) and we got some Milky Buttons to share. This is how excited we were to be going to the cinema. It was a real event.
Getting settled in our seats before the trailers, I was pleased to note that we were the first in the screen. Massive keenos. Massive keenos with so many snacks that we had to actually use the seats next to us as receptacles for our confectionery, so we win at life, really.
We picked the best seats -- bang-smack in the middle. Not too close so you end up with neck-ache, not so far back that you end up being distracted by the hair-styles of those in front of you.
(As a side note, I never understand the people who actually choose the front seats. The last time we were at the front was when we saw "Avatar" and the 3 guys next to us were absolutely off their tits on ketamine and were down weird k-holes that for a while. I hated the film and hated them so overall it was a poor experience. I don't even remember what we ate while we were there, so it MUST have been bad.)
As the trailers come to a close, a group of about 5 girls came and sat directly behind us, loudly chatting away. Like me, they probably have a pre-ordained view of where is the best place to sit and won't deviate from that, even if there is an ENTIRE empty cinema to choose from. We're probably cut from the same cloth, underneath it all. Anyway.
As the trailers petered out, they carried on talking at a louder-than-acceptable level. I was silently telling myself that they'd definitely shut up when the film started.
Then the film started, and they continued to talk IN MY EAR as the opening credits rolled. We were seeing "Dallas Buyers Club," by the way, and you may need to understand that I currently have a medium-large obsession with Matthew McConaughey and I was like, HELL NO.
"They'll stop soon," I told myself. "Surely they won't carry on." And sure enough, they did shut up. FOR ABOUT FIVE SECONDS.
They then continued to rabbit on all through some really interesting dialogue, and more importantly a scene where McConaughey was having sex in a rodeo stable, and so I very reasonably turned and whispered to them, "Please be quiet?" -- with very apologetic British inflection, of course.
They continued. About 10 minutes later, I had just about had it. I was at that point picturing myself frog-marching them out of the cinema and giving them a stern ticking-off when I could take it no more.
"Please! Can you just SHUT UP?" I mouthed theatrically at the main offender. "Come on. Just BE QUIET," I begged, while doing the universal hand signal for "piping down." This may have been a bit aggravating of me, but SERIOUSLY, come on. Who goes to the cinema to talk bollocks about whether "Sarah is actually going to dump Gary for Shane"? Why? Why.
At this point it became apparent that this girl hadn't been told to be quiet very often, and she practically lurched at me out of her cinema seat and told me, "Shut the f#$k up you f#$king bitch."
They did shut up after that though, which was nice.
Now, I don't really think I deserved to be called an effing bee for asking politely (once) and not so politely (once) for someone to keep the noise down in the cinema. I like to abide by the Wittertainment Code of Conduct -- a set of simple rules which enables us all to watch films in the company of others without annoying everyone in the vicinity. These rules include:
No Kicking of Seats: The area of ﬂoor directly in front of your seat is yours, and is there to put your legs in. The back of the seat in front of you belongs to someone else; do not touch, interfere with, or otherwise invade their space with your feet, knees, or other bodily appendages.
No Eating of anything harder than a soft roll with no ﬁlling. No one wants to hear you crunch, chew or masticate in any way. Nachos cause special offense and are of the devil.
And of course, my most referred to:
No Talking: You’re in a cinema –- you have come here to watch, not to discuss. Or "engage," or "participate," or "explain" or whatever. More importantly, no one in the cinema has paid £8.50 to hear your director’s commentary on the movie. Just sit down and shut up.
What do you think? Are you a talker? Do you agree that those people are the worst and should probably just watch the film when it comes out on DVD? Do you also think I should get out more? I do.
Natalie's on Twitter: @Natalie_KateM