Libby Gelman-Waxner Answers Your Questions... on theater etiquette
No one likes to sit near a person who insists on texting during the movie, but even the most self-righteous filmgoer has probably sent off at least one instant message, even if it was during the coming attractions. Just be thankful that Libby Gelman-Waxner wasn’t two rows behind you. EW’s columnist is a theater vigilante and her approach to movie etiquette might scare you straight:
So glad to have you back! We all know how much you love the movies, so there is no way that you are one of those rude people who texts in a dark theater. Since that bright blue light must annoy you as much as it does any other rational adult, what is your strategy to get people to turn off their devices? Stare, shush, or launched projectile to the head, and if so, what works best? Thank you.
Thank you for both your kind words and for figuring out another wonderful way to spell “Susan.” As for texting, first, I politely hover over the texting person’s shoulder and I whisper, “Everyone hates you, and not just because you’re texting in a movie theater. Everyone hates you because of your attitude, your aroma and because of everything you’re wearing. Your parents hated you, especially your real parents. Maybe if you stopped texting right now, it would be a first step towards rebuilding your sad, wasted life.”
If this doesn’t work, I announce to the entire theater, using a louder, more assertive tone, “Please, everyone, try to understand. This person is texting his parole officer, because the red light on his ankle bracelet has just started blinking. As human beings, we must demonstrate compassion, even to registered sex offenders.”
If the person still won’t stop texting, I quietly remove a revolver from my purse, and I place the cold, hard barrel against the texting person’s neck. Then I murmur, “You have three seconds to stop texting. 1…2…” Before I get to 3, I blow the texting person’s head off, and then I wail, “I’m sorry! I should never have bought a used gun!”
Hey Libby. What’s good?
Anyways, recently, under the influence of some friends, I partook in the smuggling and consumption of some alcohol at the movies. And this isn’t some high-class theater that serves alcohol; it’s illegal to sneak in Milk Duds from the gas station and six-packs of beer. So I guess my question is: Do you think it’s okay to bring some alcohol to the theater? Not to dark dramas where it’s really serious but more like 21 Jump Street or This Means War? Inappropriate? Immature? Encouraged?
I completely understand the desire to drink heavily while watching most movies. When I saw The Lorax, there wasn’t a sober child in the theater. They were all guzzling vodka out of their juice boxes, and I noticed that one toddler’s M&Ms included Percocets. But still, I can’t really encourage anyone to drink at the movies, because you can end up missing so much, like the 3,083 penis jokes during the first five minutes of 21 Jump Street. As an adult, I believe that you have to look reality in the face and ask yourself, wait, which Jason Segel movie am I watching?
Jonah Hill: fat, thin, fat. What’s the deal with his weight?
I think Jonah Hill is adorable at every weight. Watching stars expand and contract is the great American pastime; I feel sorry for Meryl Streep, because unlike Kirstie Alley, she’s never hawked her own Organic Liaisons diet plan on QVC. I’ve also loved tracking Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy, because I think she’s giving birth to a Jeep Cherokee. Jessica is currently a panelist on that new show Fashion Star, and she’s much more fun, and seems smarter, as a plus-size than she ever was as a skinny singer.
I have a question concerning rom-coms. Why do they continue to put Jennifer Aniston in rom-coms when she’s too old to even be a soccer mom? She’s over. Accept it and get rid of her. She plays the same person in every film.
I’m begging you to have a little patience with Jennifer. It’s always tricky for a star to make the transition from ingénue to young mom to playing, say, George Clooney’s dead wife in a flashback. I don’t think that Jennifer’s too old for rom-coms, but she may be too rich. Whenever I see her, all I can think about are those syndication checks, and it’s just really hard for a zillionaire to remain waifish and cuddly, although of course, Warren Buffett is still awfully winsome.
Maybe Jen needs to head back to TV, or do a play, or just get the hair out of her eyes. Or maybe she can follow the paths of various male stars as they get older, and she can become either a dull Hollywood elder statesman, or an alcoholic wreck with multiple mug shots. And then she can play a grizzled police officer who, during the week before she’s about to retire from the force, gets assigned to one last case, and gets partnered with a sexy young hothead. But even if a studio made a big-screen version of Cagney and Lacey, the leads would probably go to Ben Stiller and Channing Tatum.