Last week I saw Secret in Their Eyes with a friend. It was a decent film, and one that I would probably recommend, except I’m rendered unable to give a completely informed opinion of it due to the viewing experience being ruined by the clueless audience members behind us. It’s astonishing just how unaware this one particular woman was – of her surroundings, of the narrative, of basic social etiquette. That yelling “LOOK OUT” at a character on screen was not going to have any effect; that narrating the entire film would be irritating to those around her. And that her guess of the twist being “the daughter’s alive!” made absolutely no sense given WE SAW HER DEAD BODY AT THE START WHEN HER MUM IDENTIFIED HER. KEEP UP!
And so instead of reviewing a film which I was unable to fully engage with, I give to you, basic audience etiquette 101:
- Don’t sit right next to someone who is on their own.
PERSONAL SPACE, PEOPLE! If it’s busy, no dramas. But if it isn’t, don’t be a creep.
- Put your phone away.
Unless you’re aware of a possible emergency there is no good reason why you need to look at your phone between the start and end of a film. And if there is a genuine emergency you shouldn’t even be at a movie. Also, don’t be that girl who puts her jacket over her head so she can text. That girl looks like a twit.
- Don’t narrate the film.
We have eyes. And brains. We know what’s happening. And yes we know that particular line was funny, you don’t need to repeat it out loud.
- Keep your shoes on and your feet away from people’s heads.
Don’t annoy everyone else with your foot odour. You’re in an enclosed public space. And don’t put your feet up on the seat in front of you if anyone else is sitting in or near it.
- Don’t spoil the film.
This should be a no-brainer, but apparently some people need reminders. Even if you’re just guessing what’s going to happen, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.
- If there is singing, don’t sing along.
Unless you’re at a specific “sing-a-long” event, DO NOT DO THIS. We came here to listen to Anna Kendrick/Meryl/someone else who sings professionally, NOT YOU. Get the soundtrack and sing along at home where no one else has to suffer.
- Leave your questions for the end.
If you’re not following what’s going on, either hope that you’ll figure it out, or whisper VERY QUIETLY to your friend and only if absolutely necessary. Instead of asking at normal speaking volume “What’s he doing now?” maybe just wait and find out twenty seconds later LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
- Wait until the film is over to bitch about the characters.
You’re not on Gogglebox. You’re in a cinema with other people who are paying good money to enjoy a film. Act like it.
- At the end of the film, take your rubbish with you.
It’s not hard. Yes, sometimes you (I) forget the stray lollipop stick you (I) left under the seat, but the massive popcorn bucket in the empty seat next to you shouldn’t be hard to remember.
Here’s hoping you don’t have to endure any of this crap in your future cinema-going endeavours. And just remember if you do: I will give you NO STARS.