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Let’s All Go to the Lobby …

by Karen Tortora-Lee on August 21, 2007

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I go to the movies. A lot. Not like I see one every week, of course – that would be overkill. More like every OTHER week.

There are a lot of movies like The Namesake and Once (or even Crazy Love and Ratatouille) that keep me coming back. Yet every now and then I’m surprised at how I was suckered into paying ten bucks for a clunker like Epic Movie or the Omen remake (yes, I gave in to the hype and saw it on 06/06/06) both of which left me waiting for a scene bright enough to light the theatre so I could steal a look at my watch. I spent much of those movies shaking up the popcorn bag to ensure good Milk Duds distribution throughout and wiggling around in my seat trying not to imagine that there were roaches crawling across my feet. The mind wanders.

You think I’d know better, considering I’d probably seen the trailer for those movies at least five or six times. But hey, they edit those things to be funny/scary/baffling so, really, you can’t blame me for being a sucker.

There was a Simpsons episode where Milhouse, all excited about his first “R” rated move, chants “Barton FINK! Barton FINK!” And the chuckle, of course, is that of all the R movies to sneak into, that ain’t it, kid, that ain’t it … Which was the same thing I said to myself after the first time I orchestrated my own unauthorized double feature. That ain’t it, kid.

It was with Stephen, back in May when the theatres were so clogged with Spider-Man 3 audiences that not one monotoned “welcome to AMC Theatres, enjoy the show” usher could be bothered to prevent our little come-out-then-wander-around-by-the-refreshments-stand-then-go-back-in-again maneuver. Ha ha! Gotcha Monotoned Usher! Take THAT establishment! I’ll show you ten dollars a ticket!

Except that our second feature was The Invisible.

The mostly-empty theater didn’t quite tip us off — after all, Spider-Man 3 was basically on continuous loop in 4 of the other theaters so we didn’t exactly expect to be fighting the crowd for a movie that didn’t have Spider in the title.

Some reviewer said that The Invisible was just like The 6th Sense which tells me that even the reviewer couldn’t be bothered watching this movie — because it was NOT “just like The 6th Sense”. In fact it was “just like the OPPOSITE of The 6th (I see dead people) Sense” in that it was “The (I see live people. Who are looking for me. Because I’m the one who’s dead. Only no. I’m not dead. And they don’t see me. So no one’s seeing any dead people. Hence the title …) Invisible”. Trust me – that was no spoiler. Thus no Spoiler Alert.

To be accurate The Invisible was actually just like Just Like Heaven, only without the Cure song in the credits and without the scenery being

A) obscured by Reese Witherspoon's Chin

B) chewed up by Marc Ruffalo

I digress. Point being, my one tangle with a self-assembled double feature was so pointless that I don’t attempt it any more.

Anyway … since I’m at the movies so much I get to see a lot of trailers and a lot of Coke commercials, and a lot of those Guess the Celebrity Name things (GERMANY = MEG RYAN … that’s a good one) and since I love the whole movie experience so much I’m happy to get there early and laugh every time late comers stumble in with their gallons of soda and their feed bags of popcorn, scanning the seats and then taking the only empty ones available, which are either in the first row or on the extreme left. (FYI: extreme right always fills up first for some reason).

And I’ll gladly sit through Hey There Delilah for the brazillionth time because it gives me one more chance to turn to Stephen and say “Did you see the real Delilah in People Magazine? I don’t get it!” And it gives him one more chance to say “I like this song … and I liked the seven hundred other versions I’ve hear of it that came before”. (You can see the influence I’ve had on him.)

But lately my most looked-forward-to-moment of those 20 minutes of commercials and previews and people watching and Milk Duds distribution is the Fruit of the Loom commercial that features a duet with Vince Gill and the Apple guy. Like underwear, he’s with me till I die.

This is the kind of stuff I wish I was creating in my real life … not just in my pretend life where my novels are toppling Harry Potter from the #1 spot on the Times bestseller list and my second career as a commercial jingle writer is so lucrative that it pays for a loft in Red Hook, a second home in Venice, and a yacht that takes me between the two.

You can laugh, but I teared up more at this song than I did during the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Sirius got killed at the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange. Ooops.  Spoiler Alert.

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