January 22, 2008

An Otherwise Great Movie Ruined by Old People

On Friday afternoon I went to watch Atonement, which I have been burning to watch since the movie's release. I read the book last year and I was just hankering to see how they transformed the novel into a movie.

The first thing I noticed when I took a seat in the theater was that there were a lot of older people in the audience. Had I intruded upon a special screening for those 65 and older? If so, was my grandma here? Grandma? Grandma? Oh yeah, she doesn't speak English...

Anyway, the previews start playing and the white-haired couple sitting behind me start making comments to one another. After each preview, the wife announces her opinion of that movie:

"Oh, we should see that one."
"That one looks bad."
"What did he just say?"

That sort of thing. I rolled my eyes but I figured I'd give these old-timers the benefit of the doubt. Lots of people talk through the previews but they pipe down when the movie starts.

BOY, I was wrong. Queue up the movie and the old people keep talking. Frequently, the wife turns to her husband and asks what has just happened in the film. And here's the clincher: every time someone dies in the movie, the husband has to make a proclamation to the entire audience.

"Well, he died."
"Oh, he died too."
"See there? He just died."

ARGH! I couldn't take it anymore. But I couldn't turn around and chide these annoying people because they were old and probably hard of hearing and the old man would probably point to his amputated leg and say, "Well, see here missy! I lost this leg in the war. You know, the Civil War. I think I earned the right to say whatever I want to in these moving picture things. Now, why don't you turn your little Chinamen head around and leave me and Agnes in peace." Then he would shake his fists at me.

Or something along those lines.

So I couldn't say anything to this old couple and thus I did the only thing I could do: I moved. I left my comfy chair in a comfy part of the theater and I moved to the fourth row of the room. I sighed. Now for some peace and quiet. Now I could enjoy the movie without being jarred away from it from Mr. Confederacy and his wife.

But then I heard the voices. Noooo! They were talking again! And I could hear them as clear as day! The volume of their voices along with the acoustics of the theater had conspired against me.

"Well, he's dead," the old man announced.

I sighed again. Oh, James McAvoy and Keira Knightly! Come save me!

(By the way, the movie was great albeit a little slow in the middle. I think I may be one of a handful of people who preferred the film to the book. Not that the book isn't good. I just had a hard time reading it because I was SO MAD at Briony.)


  1. I wish I could write as well as you. I read this post, laughed out loud, and read it aloud to Jason. You are so talented, Caroline. Poor little old'uns, they didn't even realize their misfortune, sitting by such a skilled blogger like yourself.

  2. I know! I was so mad at Briony the whole time too. Still, I can't really imagine the movie being better than the book, because the way he tied it all together in the end was sheer brilliance. But I'll probably never see it, so I'll take your word for it.

  3. great book. once i got past all of his descriptions in the beginning. i probably won't see the movie either. but most of the books i read are way better than the movies anyway....

    here is my personal blog:

    the one i have on my profile is my family one. i keep my personal one from my family. that way i can talk about them without having to hear about it later.

  4. Grrr...Briony! I actually described the whole book to Jake one night at a bar and his response at the end was that why didn't anyone just kill that stupid girl.

    Maybe I'll watch the movie to make myself feel better, I did love the book though.

    p.s. Hiiiii! I love London, as I love you, lovely one. When are you coming back to DC?! I will be home for some of April (end) and most of May. Lets g- and p-town it up!