Remind Me Not To See Movies At the Mall
So aside from the script problems, the worst thing about seeing Elizabethtown the other night was the hoards of teenage girls in the theater. In a poor choice, we saw the movie in a mall in the Valley; they were obviously there for Orlando Bloom.
I don't think they liked the movie much. Not that they really gave it a chance. Because they talked all the way through it.
Similar thing the previous weekend when I saw In Her Shoes. Different theater, but same situation; teenage girls 13-16 getting dropped off by their parents, winding up in a slowly-paced movie that they seemed to be settling for in the absence of anything else they particularly wanted to see, and deciding that they'd rather chat with their friends. I have no idea why they need to do this. Isn't there a pair of shorts with a sassy word on the ass that they could be buying with their ticket money? Aren't there immature boys they can be off chasing somewhere, anywhere?
(In both instances, there were much fewer teenage boys there. I'm going to assume they were off playing video games somewhere; it's easy to entertain teenage boys).
Obviously, things are worse in October because it's good-movie time. All the summer crap is gone, and with it the movies that exist just so teenage girls will go to them, to keep them out of the movies that adults (you know, us stick-in-the-muds who actually want to hear the dialogue of a movie) want to see.
So, an elegant solution (because I'm told cages or shock collars might violate some sort of moral code). Set aside a screen in each multiplex just to show something that teenage girls (and only teenage girls) want to see, a continuing stream of Hilary Duff/Lindsay Lohan movies, with the occasional Britney Spears epic thrown in.
Paint it pink.
Then herd them in there. They have no choice, that's the only movie they can see -- but bonus, they can talk all they want! Cell phones are allowed! And then make sure they don't leave, unless it's out the rear exit.
It's win-win. Girls get a place they can go, where they aren't being "shushed" all the time. Adults can safely return to the multiplexes, knowing that the movie they want to see will be chatter-free zones. Business will boom.
(Teenage boys I'm not as worried about. Just have one loud action movie playing in the theater somewhere for them to go to. No one can hear if they are talking anyway).
But wait, you say. There are intelligent teenage girls, who want to see intelligent movies, and promise not to talk. Bright girls, who will soon be appalled by having to see movies with their bubble-headed peers. What about them?
Fine. Come up with a card. If they pass a test (sample question: name a Martin Scorcese movie), they get to carry the card, that gets them into a real movie. As long as they keep quiet and watch the movie, they get to keep the card.
Radical? Maybe. But if theater owners are so concerned about attendance, sometimes you need to take radical action to get adults back out to the multiplex.
And it would be a lot easier than breaking out the cattle prods.