Usually I leave discussions of film etiquette to the pro in the family, but following an ill-considered trip to Loews Boston Common, I am conducting a feasibility study on a presidential campaign on the following platform:
Parents who bring squalling infants to the movies should be sterilized, and their children should be sent to work in textile factories in China.
I am still working on a foreign policy and an economic plan, but the spectatorship plank is solid. Note that I modify "infant" with "squalling." If you are feeling lucky, and hoping that Trevor or Bethany will be quiet for the duration, go ahead and gamble your $10.25, but get your ass to the lobby if the kid starts hollering--standing up in the aisle with an inconsolable moppet is no less distracting.
The movie we attempted to see under these conditions was a little picture called Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It is possible that the distracting kerfuffle surrounding its principals has stifled conversation about what a curious little film this is. Forget the allegory of deadening, Ref-stizz marriages as battles to death--this is Fight Club a few years older and moved to the suburbs, which I observed to my seatmate even before the kid from the OC turned up in a Hot Topic-distressed Fight Club tee. Like FC, this movie fetishizes and then destroys the accouterments of a particular demographic, in this case Williams-Sonoma, rather than Ikea: the glee with which Brad and Angie shoot up their Scarsdale palace (kudos to the stylist who had the bullets dent the door of the Sub-Zero, but not exit) was contagious, and may be the best reason to see the film in the theater, just because it is so perverse. Perverse, because the life Brad and Angie lead, the cover life represented as so boring, is far beyond the means of the vast majority of the folks who will see this film. In light of the ongoing discussion of class in America Punch and his lads cooked up, it would be good to figure out just what is so compelling about watching movie stars pretend to destroy appliances we dream of owning. In light of the popularity of kitchen porn, is kitchen snuff the inevitable consequence?
If you need me, I will be at Kitchen Arts, fondling the Sabatier machete.