Everyone – and I mean everyone – has a deep seated urge to yell at the movie screen. It’s a natural byproduct of mob mentality. Gather a crowd into a dark room, crank up the AC and put on a flickering light . . . Let’s the wackiness begin!
But damn our own sense of social decency. It prohibits us from calling out lines from a well known film, providing unheard and fruitless warnings to a heroine in distress or standing up and throwing popcorn and/or soda at a Michael Bay film because – well, why not add more destruction to a film already bloated with explosions . . . I know that some people already do this, and I won’t name any names (white people).
That’s why, when given permission to yell at the screen – especially in unison – movie goers will flock. It’s the very reason the The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the longest running films in history. It’s been played at The Oriental Theater in Milwaukee since 1978 and that isn’t because audiences have a deep seated yearning to see Tim Curry in fish net stockings. You can watch a Lady Gaga video and get the same effect – they’re basically the same person. See, Rocky Horror screenings are popular because everyone gets to dress up and verbally and physically participate in their favorite film.
I’ve actually never seen Rocky Horror, but I hear the midnight screenings are a blast. Any opportunity to throw caution to the wind and piss in the face of social normality is welcome by me. When I saw the remake of The Omen at Chicago’s Brew and View (where you are encouraged to interact with the screen) I had a blast. And let me tell you, that movie is ripe for ridicule; like those kids in grade school who played dodgeball in their full Boy Scouts uniform. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Chuck Casey.
However, bringing that kind of controlled chaos to a theatre also invites morons who’s sense of humor is repeating the line just said and adding, “Am I right, guys?” at the end. Like when Tom Cruise says, “You complete me,” in Jerry McGuire and some meathead says, “You complete me – am I right, guys?” Thanks Jerry Seinfeld. Thanks. Sometimes you need to leave the improvisational ridicule to Mystery Science Theatre. When you need a guarantee that what you say will be funny and will be appreciated by the entire theatre then you go to Rocky Horror.
So, what says “I love you. Happy Valentine’s Day!” more than a romantic date to see The Princess Bride at The Music Box Theater? NOTHING! I don’t care what you did, Mr. Money Bags, with your romantic gift of a Lexus wrapped in a 15 foot bow, champaign toast at The Signature Room and a deluxe “trapeze room” at the Sybarus. IT’S BEEN DONE, CUPID. Lay off! (I hope you got a VD test after the stay at the Sybarus . . . just saying.)
Megan treated me to an interactive viewing of The Princess Bride. And it was a blast. When we got to the theatre, they handed us a plastic bag filled with the following:
1) Chocolate Pill
2) A Reece’s Peanut Butter Egg (some people got Circus Peanuts)
3) A Tiny Container of bubbles
4) A Champaign Party Popper
What’s all this, you ask? Oh, well, I’m not telling you. You should have come wth us. We sent you an invitation . . . we didn’t? Oh. It wasn’t an E-vite or an annoying Facebook invite that was buried under hundreds of other invites for lame improv shows? . . . No? Oh. Sorry. Well, then, I guess I owe you an explanation.
This was handy dandy card was included with the above props:
That’s right. We had a cue card all set for the entire theatre to yell and blow bubbles and eat candy and just have a gay ol’ time. Really, for Megan and I, this is a perfect Valentine’s Day date. My favorite cue was yelling at that damn cute little Fred Savage every time he interrupted Peter Falk. First, what we screamed was right on – LET HIM READ THE STORY. And two, no one – NO ONE – interrupts Columbo.
Which brings me to the next great thing about this event. There was a costume contest. Sadly, there were only 4 entries, two of them were a team – so only 3 entries. The couple wore grey hoodies with ears attached to them and said they were ROSs – rodents of unusual size. Lame. Even more lame. One of the other entries was also an ROS, but this one was dressed as a slut with Micky Mouse ears and nose. She kept shaking her glitter hot pants at the audience. Nope. Sorry, Trixey, but ROSs are supposed to be gross and scary and disgusting and hairy . . . well, now that I think of it – you kind of nailed it on the head. Bravo!
The final entry was a little girl with a blonde wig and a gown on – she was Princess Buttercup. She won, because she put some kind of thought into it. If Megan and I had time to prepare, I would have gone as Peter Falk from Columbo and Megan as Fred Savage from The Wonder Years. We would have at least gotten applause. The little girl still would have won – because she a little girl and no one wants to see a little girl cry on stage . . . except the slutty ROS. She’s a bitch.
In any case, this was a great night for Megan and I. I leave in two days for LA (for 6 weeks) and we needed a fun, romantic night together. Sushi, interactive Princess Bride, a short walk through the Southport neighborhood and BOOM – you got a nice Valentine’s Day. So, Happy V-Day everyone . . . I’m glad we beat the Axis in WWII!