When “Super 8″ opened on June 10, I wanted to see it. But that was impossible since I was in the midst of working and keeping children alive and packing my household belongings. (My calendar page from that week is covered in my stressed-out scrawl.)
Finally, a few days ago, I went to see the movie.
First of all, I had to find the movie theater. Thanks to my iPhone app (Flixster), I located the theater and the time of the show. Thanks to my GPS, I was able to find the theater.
To my great delight, the theater was blocks from the ocean and I had enough time to park and walk down to the beach and stroll down to end of the Oceanside pier. The sun shone, the surfers surfed, the swimmers swam, the fishermen fished and I tried to observe it all and remind myself that I was not on vacation but a resident of this idyllic place. Sunshine! Palm trees! Sea breezes!
Then I walked back to the theater.
Ahead of me in line were four black-haired girls. The ticket-seller said, “Harry Potter?” and they said, “Super 8.” That was my first clue.
I bought my ticket and my popcorn and headed down the hallway. I noticed the four black-haired girls in the theater–and no one else–and so I made my way to the upper row of seats, one down from the top.
As I sat and nibbled my popcorn while waiting for the show, more and more Asian kids came into the theater. I realized that I was in the midst of a school group of some kind. I listened to the chatter and counted the kids–a dozen or so–and waited some more.
Then a young woman (teenage girl?) came right up to me and said, “Hello? May I sit next to you?” and I said, “Sure,” even though I was thinking NO NO NO, I came alone and I want to sit alone!
She sat down and said, “There is someone I do not want to sit by,” and I understood that so completely that I forgave her for invading my solitude.
My curiosity got the best of me and soon I leaned closer to her and said, “Are you all in a group together?” and she said, “Yes.”
As it turned out, I watched Super 8 in a small theater with forty Chinese exchange students who had been in the States for one week. (I’ve never been in an audience which paid such close attention to the pre-preview commercials–they giggled at the Jennifer Lopez razor commercial and I was aghast at a commercial for a feminine hygiene product.)
Many of the boy students chattered in Chinese during the whole movie . . . which was oddly enough not distracting because I had no idea what they said. More distracting was the fact that some of them pulled out Tupperware and silverware and ate the lunches they brought from home.
The movie was excellent.
My fellow movie-goers were entertaining.
All in all, two thumbs up. I love the odd communal experience of watching movies with an audience and this particular experience did not disappoint.