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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dining at the Movies

By Silvia Uribe

Movies are supposed to capture not only our attention, but also our sensations, and make us live the stories that we're witnessing on the silver screen. But this year, the whole movie thing was the most complete experience I've ever had. It was not only the film, although I must admit some of them were memorable for a variety of reasons, but watching how people behaved at times, was priceless.

For example, one night, with a completely full theatre, we were waiting for the previews to start. Suddenly, one person on the front row stood up, and went to the back exit as if he was leaving. I kept looking. With the door open he looked around and he whistled loudly and yelled, "Here". By then he got everyone's attention in the theatre. We were more than curious. Was he trying to sneak someone in? People were already looking at each other and shaking their heads in disapproval.

We realized what was going on when he came back in with the medium-sized pizza that he had ordered, which, as soon as he sat down, he shared with his friends. Some people laughed, some others didn't like it, and many, I'm sure, would have taken a piece if offered. I thought that was very odd, but I was truly surprised when I saw what happened next.

Encouraged by this, others sitting closer to us, had no guilt when they made some hot dogs appear from the depths of their jackets and started eating them, too. Go figure! I thought that someone would complain, but no one did. Although the air was filled with pepperoni, cheese and onion smells, no one from the administration seemed to notice. I couldn't believe it, but given the calm way in which they did it, I think this was not the first time. Live and learn.

Notwithstanding the frankly weird and bold behavior of some of my fellow moviegoers, I was able to focus on the film and I enjoyed that particular movie as much as a couple of others:

* The Blind Side, with Sandra Bullock - Being an adoptive mom, I was able to identify with the whole story and the hurdles that each family member had to jump when faced with societal prejudice and criticism.

* It's Complicated, starring Meryl Streep - Its fresh approach to marriage, divorce, long time friendships among women, female/male insecurities, plus the constant strokes of humor raised it as one of the best, funniest films of the year.

* Avatar - I didn't know that it was a three-hour, 3-D movie until I had to pay $10.50, and I protested the price. I didn't know most of the actors, but I'm kind of oblivious, anyway, so it didn't really matter. I enjoyed it all -- the effects, the characters, the message and even the story. It didn't feel long, even though I'm usually ready to leave the theatre after an hour and a half during any given movie.

(Question to those related to the movie industry: How come we still need to see 3-D movies with special glasses? It's been like that all my life. It is difficult to believe that no new technology has been developed so we can watch it without the very uncomfortable glasses. And, pretty soon, we will have 3-D TV's. Are we going to need the silly glasses, too? If so, can we just skip the 3-D TV and move ahead to the cool, cool hologram TV instead?)

All in all, it was fun to have some days off and get up to speed and ready for the upcoming Film Festival and for the Oscars. I hope you also had some good, restful time off during this Holiday season.

For 2010, I wish you a healthy year. May you get closer to those you love, and to accomplishing your dreams. Hope you live a full life and that you intensely enjoy it. We only have one life, and this is not a dress rehearsal.

Happy New Year!

Silvia Uribe is a freelance writer with a Latina perspective.

Cross-posted at

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