Last night, or roughy 29 hours ago, Hitfix‘s Drew McWeeny had a gloriously passionate encounter with, to go with the flow of his descriptions, a gauche, insensitive, moronic and deeply offensive woman during a press screening of This Is War. This is the essence of what he said to her in his mind:
“When you go to a movie theater and you treat it like it’s your living room, sharing every horrifying spasm of that flaccid muscle occupying space between your eyes, you have to understand that it is intolerable. I suspect you made a choice tonight that your enjoyment was more important than the enjoyment of anyone else in that theater, and that you routinely make that same choice. I don’t believe anyone is as horrible as this woman was without being firmly aware of it. So I’m asking…on the record… how do we handle this differently next time?
“Do you want me to stand up over you and loudly ask you how recent your head injury was and applaud you for your brave attempts to overcome your behavioral issues? Do you want me to simply take the top off my drink and pour it in your lap in an effort to cool you down? Do you want me to join in your conversation and share my honest opinion of your honest opinion of the shirt Tom Hardy is wearing? Tell me how to handle you, and I’ll give it a try.
“And even if you’re not that particular person, let me throw the question out to all of you on a larger scale. What do we do? What is too much, and what recourse is left to us at this point? If I was at the Drafthouse, I would have simply raised a card and watched the Drafthouse staff take tangible physical pleasure in the destruction of the simpleton, but unfortunately, not every theater is the Drafthouse. Even in LA, even in theaters where they charge a premium, there is no venue that will spend real energy removing a problem from the theater. They treat all theatergoers as equal, and it would take a criminal action to get them to step in and actually do something.”
In the David Mamet-authored script for The Untouchables, Sean Connery‘s character says something to the effect of “if you want to stand up to and possibly destroy evil, you have to become evil.” When you’re sitting next to an animal in a movie theatre — a sociopathic animal who won’t stop talking incessantly and who won’t stop pushing her naked and most likely un-pedicured feet against your upper leg — you have to become an animal yourself if you want to put a stop to this. You have to throw caution to the wind and give this woman a commensurate response by pouring a 32 ounce drink over her head and into her lap.
You’ll be thrown out of the theatre — make no mistake. You’ll be the one at fault. You’ll be the one who may have to answer to the police when the theatre manager calls them. You’ll be the one who will lose esteem and possibly the respect of your peers. You won’t come out of this altercation in any kind of good place. But the offending woman, make no mistake, WILL know the sensation of being soaked by a 32-oz. Diet Coke. She WILL know what it is to feel, on her head and on her lap, the Wrath of the Just. For McWeeny, whom I’ve known for a good while, is a just fellow. He is moderate and disciplined and respectful of convention but impassioned — a thoughtful and devout Film Catholic who knows how to write with real feeling, but who respects decency in all its forms, and what the world requires of decent people.