Why, grown-ups?

I went to see the matinee showing of “Toy Story 3” today – and it was really excellent…  As with every Pixar movie, I was all weepy at the end.

Of course, the problem with going to see kids movies is that there are lots of kids in the audience. I mean, I steel myself for this – I get that kids haven’t yet fully developed and may not hew to established norms for behavior in a movie theater.  As I should know to expect by now, however, the kids are generally fine – especially when movie is as good as this one.  The story, for the most part, manages to keep them rapt with attention…  Sadly, the same cannot be said for their parents…

I knew the couple behind me was going to be trouble even before the movie started – complaining loudly and ad nauseum about the number of previews.  Then, once the movie started, out came the sugary snacks they’d smuggled in, encased in the most crinkly and loudest cellophane ever.  And they’d been thoughtful enough to bring a movie-length supply of whatever it was they were cramming down their gaping maws…

Of course, they were also quite busy talking and exclaiming throughout the film.  Every time some reference was made to the plot line of an earlier installment, they’d loudly pronounce, “Awwwwwwww…”

And can someone please explain to me the compulsion to repeat aloud the punchlines of jokes delivered in the movie, followed by a guffaw as if they’d just made the joke themselves?  For the life of me, I’ll never understand this.  We all got the gag, folks!  That’s why we’re all laughing – we don’t need you to explain it to us.

It should come as no surprise that when one of their kids asked a question about the plot, the response was not the appropriate (and delivered in a stage whisper), “Honey, there’s other people trying to watch the show – remember you have to be quiet so they can enjoy the story too.” It was, instead, an intricate recap of the last 20 minutes of the film to bring the poor kid up to speed…

The thing I wonder is whether this is unique to a movie auditorium – or do they teach their kids to act like selfish jackasses in any circumstance?

“Mooommm! The line for ice cream is too long!”

“Oh, that’s OK, dear…  Just go up to the front of the line and cut… We’re more important than everyone else…”

“Daaaaddd! I want a dolly like hers!”

“Well, why don’t you just go over and knock her down and take it from her?  Remember, the world revolves around us…”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that these particular parents appeared to be the exception to the rule.  And kudos to those of you teaching your kids some manners – but I really do prefer to tar you all with the same brush…  Just makes things easier.

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