Movie Madness – Literally

By Wendy Wheatley


One of the great All-American pastimes has got to be the cinema. Dating back to the late 1800’s when the antiquated silent films were launched, they graced their way through the 30’s and 40’s with classics such as ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Movies finally landed full-force in the 90’s with blockbusters like ‘Star Wars, The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Titanic’ with larger than life special effects that will ostracize your teeth from the gums. Movies are also a given for a first rendezvous between dating couples. My husband followed the ‘Dinner and a Movie’ tradition also when we were courting. He took me to see ‘Encino Man.’

Needless to say, my husband is not a movie fanatic. You will not see him waiting 2 weeks in line arrayed in a precise Anakin Skywalker ensemble simply so he can announce to the world that he was one of the first 32,920 people to see ‘The Phantom Menace’ – for the 32nd time – this week.

Also needless to say, my husband and I do not go to the movies very often. The last movie he saw was ‘Titanic’. His assessment was simple – the ship goes down, people die, people cry, he paid too much money. Oh, and the popcorn was crap. The End. That’s your movie, folks, courtesy of John Wheatley.

John and I have only gone to 3 movies as a couple in our 7 years of marriage. ‘Titanic’ is a given. Of course, the ever-classic ‘Encino Man’ (yes, this was our first date and for some reason I still continued to see him – I think the curiosity was killing me to see what made this man tick). And the 3rd movie was ‘Interview with a Vampire’. I was nine months pregnant and ready to pop and somehow I squeezed my hiney into an ever-so comfortable movie seat. Two-thirds into the movie, I felt gentle contractions starting to kick into gear and I forced myself to sit through the end of the movie for fear of never getting to see the outcome if we left the theater to go to the hospital.

John has given me an allotment of 1 ticket per year in which I get to pick a movie for us to see. These allocations come with many restrictions. No chick flicks, no science fiction, no male model icons and absolutely nothing over 2 hours. Which leads up to ‘Titanic’. Elementary math with show that in our 7 years of marriage I have only seen 3 movies with my husband. I had to cash in 3 years of movie distributions in order to convince John to see ‘Titanic’.

And the other missing 2 years? After seeing his movie selection of ‘Encino Man’ I was too horrified to even suggest going to the movies in fear of what proposition may escape out of his mouth.

But you never know, there may be hope for him yet – ‘Dumb & Dumber’ was on his Top 5.

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