I went to the film "The Notebook" a few evenings back with my fiance because, well, I suppose we both just needed a good cry.
A word to the wise: get a good night's sleep beforehand. Because I saw the movie with someone that didn't, and boy did they ever have a bad case of the yawns.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Seated safely in the VIP theatre at the Varsity Cinemas, I was impressed at how many women had joined my fiance and I to see the touching story of lost love.
I mean, I couldn't believe that I was the only guy!
I thought that any film Gene Shalit called ". . .as beautiful and rare a love story as ever caressed the heart" would be something men flocked to. Beat a path to. Stepped over their mothers to see.
Apparently I was wrong.
But not as wrong as Jeffery Lyons of WNBC, who cautioned ". . .bring your Kleenex!"
That bastard should have gone on to say, ". . .bring your Kleenex. . . to stuff in your ears, and a pillow to smother your loved one. Then, if you have any strength and willpower left, smother yourself."
Ten minutes into "The Notebook", and two elderly couples turn up on the darkened aisle, late. They hadn't missed anything.
As if their intrusion wasn't bad enough (to be frank, it was nice to have something to divert my attention from the movie) they began to discuss, in outdoor voices, their wish for some nice young people to "volunteer" their seats. To my knowledge, the etiquette of public transit does not apply to movies in progress. Others must have been of the same opinion, as the status quo established before the movie began was maintained, forcing my elders to seek out the only remaining seats--those oh-so-desirable ones at the front of the theatre.
Couple A shared, in very loud exchanges: the plot; clarifications of certain romantic intrigues on which the success or failure of the plot depended; and whether or not TV's Maverick was the actor reading the much-ballyhooed Notebook.
Couple B had a more interesting, passive/aggressive relationship. Husband B, every ten minutes, yawned like a cartoon bear awakening from hibernation.
Actually, strike that--this description of Wookies at StarWars.com is more in line with what I observed:
"(Wookies) tempers, however, are short; when angered, Wookiees can fly into a berserker rage and will not stop until the object of their distemper is sufficiently destroyed. "
He yowled like a Wookie being exploited by The Empire; the object of his "distemper" foolishly played on, unawares of the "Berserker" in aisle 1.
Wife B, each time, gave him a withering look. He did not respond to the powers of the Dark Side. Soon she began to yawn loudly right after he did--even anger cannot override the human reflex to yawn after seeing someone else yawn.
In the arch of the Holy Trilogy, this appeared to be "The Return of the Shuteye".
I envied his restful state.
And so the story unfolded, and women wept openly around me while I sat silently, dreaming of my own "Return"--"Alien vs. Predator" is still in the theatre, and it's my turn to pick the next movie.
You see, my fiance and I have a relationship, as far as going to the cinema is concerned, not unlike the one which exists between the Alien and the Predator: Who ever wins. . .we lose.
I figure, over the years, my horror movies will more than adequately cover the innumerable "greatest love story of our time" car wrecks that I am conscripted to see; while she fails to see the value in catching "Friday the 13th: Part 3 in 3-D" before it is lost due to the gross negligence of the Academy's film restoration efforts.