Thursday, May 17, 2012

Acceptable circumstances for viewing a comedy

You may remember in this post I talked about some new rules I had for watching comedies. I was no longer going to watch them by myself -- as in, without anyone I know. Failing that, the theater I watched them in had to be packed.

Plan B came into effect last night.

It was once again $7 Tuesdays at the local theater, though I did not at first understand why my Tuesday choices included The Dictator, which does not officially release until today. However, I soon realized that it was already today on the east coast when I saw it, since the first showing at this theater was at precisely 9 p.m. Without even looking it up I can assume that as long as it's May 16th somewhere in the U.S., the movie can be played. I'm sure there was at least one Hawaiian theater playing it at 6.

I know the theater was at least 37% full. That's the percent sold it was when I showed up a half-hour early, just to be on the safe side. I guess opening night isn't what it once was, or maybe this surprise early showing of Sacha Baron Cohen's latest fooled other people as much as it fooled me.

But I'd say the theater was 70 to 75% full by the time the show started. Entering the screening room five minutes early was enough to get me a seat where I could put my feet up on the bar. Because that's how I roll.

We were a good crowd and we were ready to laugh. And SBC gave us plenty to laugh about. I won't review the details of the movie for you, since they are worth discovering on your own. But just wait for that sequence where Admiral General Aladeen discovers a certain ... pleasure that he never knew about previously.

In fact, I'm going on record: The Dictator is my favorite of Cohen's three starring vehicles, if you are considering the other two to be Borat and Bruno. (My tendencies toward anal retention would ordinary require me to spell out the whole title of Borat, but not this morning.) I didn't like either of those movies as much as I wanted to, but they're still movies I like pretty well. Yes, even Bruno.

So what Cohen was bringing last night was in my wheelhouse.

But I can't deny that the crowd had something to do with it. There was probably a little extra buzz from it being opening night, though I'd be lying if I said it was tangible. We were just ready to laugh, and laugh we did. Pretty much every time Cohen wanted us to, with a couple minor exceptions.

So maybe I've got a new optimism about the idea of seeing a movie on opening night, as long as it's a comedy, and as long as it's only 37% full a half-hour before the movie.

And even if no one I knew was there, it's funny how much like a friend your neighbor feels when you are both laughing hysterically.

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