Whatnot, Writing 101: Class of 2014
Comments 4

An erratic moviegoer catches the last full show of TFiOS tonight

The Fault in Our Stars, from 20th Century Fox

Today, we immediately bring you Writing 101’s challenge:

Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

This is really hard because first, I don’t get to listen to real world conversation. My earphones are stuck to my ears when I commute from home to the office and vice-versa, and I am simply hard of hearing. But today, something happened.

I got off work early to catch the possibly last screening of The Fault in Our Stars, based on the novel by John Green. I cannot risk watching it tomorrow because there’s a bunch of new movies premiering. So I got my ticket, sat on the first row (the first row after that space behind the first five or so rows), and started munching on my poorly prepared popcorn (80% of the powder flavoring was at the bottom of the popcorn bag). There’s a couple of gay guys, possibly not a couple, who can’t decide where to sit. The audience must be composed of thirty thirty-somethings, but why did they choose the seats behind me? The little earthquakes caused by their sitting and shuffling and settling themselves and their bags and their food in a comfortable position threatened to burst one of my sleep-deprived veins. I glanced at them to send an electric glare, but it missed. They were still busy settling.

These were probably polite guys but I mind it if my seat’s back is hit too often by their knees or feet. Then they started muttering. I pushed more popcorn in my mouth. Should I move? There was a lot of empty seats. And I didn’t want to hear anyone’s comments, particularly comments concerning the movie’s loyalty to the book. Or narrating the movie for the rest of us. But I like my spot. Besides, it was only trailers that were showing when they were muttering (one of the trailers was If I Stay, which caught my interest because of the cellist girl). Then they stood up and chose a different spot.

My relief was inexorable. I munched on happily. Not more than five minutes, they were back. They probably just went to the restroom. More shuffling and seat-hitting. My hoodie was on (I like putting my hoodie on while watching a movie in a cinema just because) but I was still a recognizable stranger-moviegoer who must not be bothered. After this, we were asked by the voice of the cinema God to please stand up for the national anthem. I stood. I didn’t bother if the others stood or if they disbelievingly stared at a hoodied guy standing while he precariously balanced his popcorn bag with his sleepy hands. I dreaded sitting down because that would mean the guys behind would also sit down, if they stood up for the national anthem. They did. So that’s three repetitions of sitting-shuffling-settling.

The Fault in Our Stars started.

The Fault in Our Stars finished.

The only thing I heard from the guys behind me?

Hazel Grace’s oxygen cart looks cute.

And this was while the credits were rolling. These guys were probably polite after all.

So how about you? What kind of a moviegoer are you? Let’s make this more specific. What kind of moviegoer are you when the movie you are going to is based on a book that you’ve already read? Do you insist on watching even if you are dead tired? Do you watch with your other friends who have also read the book? Do you want 100% loyalty to the text? Do you not watch such movies so as not to destroy your mental image of it? What?

I will talk about the book, which is a rare YA read for me, in the very near future.


  1. I find myself still comparing the book and the movie adaptation, even though these two mediums are apples and oranges. But I am now less likely to be annoyed when I find that they changed a million things in the movie.

    My closest friend is usually my movie buddy. but when she’s not around, I watch it with whomever’s available. It doesn’t matter if they have read the book or not. (I prefer it if they would have though so that we can have a much more lengthy conversation about it after.)

    And I am a very quite and polite moviegoer. I sometimes can’t help make comments when the movie is going on, but my voice in pretty tiny so it doesn’t disrupt anyone.

    I have had my share of annoying moviegoers. The last Potter movie which I was so excited about was sort of half ruined by the group of high school kids behind me who gave a blow by blow account of whatever’s going on screen. As Snape is striding along the halls… “Oh, Snape is coming”…as the trio are in the forest…”They look so dirty and unkempt!” (they are in the middle of some forest….without plumbing…) Dobby is dying…”Aw, Dobby got hit and he’s gonna die!” XD

    And the knees banging behind the seat? I experienced that on another occasion, but the one behind me was a kid. I did not have any energy anymore to change seats so I endured it for the duration of the movie. Bah.


    • WOW! Thanks for sharing all these. And you know what? I used to be that person who would endure. Now I glare, Andrew Detmer style. An unforgetful event was when I “sshhed!” two girls who were giggling while checking out photos at their smartphones while the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra was performing a Vivaldi concerto. I glared at them so hard I swear I could have made their eyes explode in their eye sockets. That both shut them up, and their phones.


  2. LOL! Gosh! I don’t think I can do that. I wish I had friends who could do that kind of dirty work for me. Haha. But we are all cowards.


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