I need to start this post by clearing the air a bit. First of all, I love families. I love kids. And I think that a family with kids should be able to go see movies whenever they want and/or are able to do so.
Except when I don’t think that…
I went to see Incredibles 2 on Sunday afternoon. It was great, btdub. My favorite part was where the family of four with two little girls under the age of five sat right next to me.
I know what you’re thinking… He was asking for it, going to a matinee on a Sunday afternoon! Or maybe… How dare you complain about a family that paid money to see this movie! Do you have any idea how hard it is to get little kids ready to go out in public under the best of circumstances?!
To answer that last question, no, I don’t. I can imagine. But as a single man with no children, I have no idea what it’s like to try and get a kid dressed and prepared to visit outer space*. So maybe that means you’ll tune me out for the rest of the post. Or… you would if this was a podcast and I was ranting vocally. So maybe you’ve already clicked away…
But if you’re still here, thanks for sticking around. Let’s not focus on every family that struggles to enjoy an afternoon at the local cinema. Let’s, instead, focus on the specific family that sat next to me Sunday afternoon.
As I mentioned before, this was a family of four, consisting of a dad, a mom, and two very young daughters. I didn’t strike up a conversation with anyone, so I can only estimate the ages of the girls. The older of the two, I believed to be about five. I assume this only from her ability to mostly sit still and be entertained by the story being shown on the big screen. The younger could not have been any older than three. And she didn’t even try to sit down. And when the parents attempted to force her to sit down, that’s when the screaming began.
Look, I get it… This is a small town and movie options are limited. So when you have an opportunity to take the kids to a movie on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, you do it. However, I will say that I now see the appeal in some theaters I’ve heard about that have age restrictions on movie showings. I’m not sure if that would apply to films like The Incredibles or its sequel, but maybe it should.
Again, before you sharpen your pitchforks and light your torches in preparation for running the cynical single guy out of town, can we talk about the dad in this scenario for a moment?
Every time the three year old would cry for him or the mom or would run out to the stairs, giggling all the way, he would sigh. Loudly. It was the kind of sigh that communicated, “I cannot frickin’ believe she’s doing this again!” I know that’s what it communicated because I was probably thinking the same thing most of the time. But I withheld my sighs of annoyance. I figured the dad’s sighs of disgust were plenty for everyone around us to understand.
Don’t get me wrong, I rolled my eyes fairly hard each time one of these incidents occurred. If an eye roll was audible, everyone would have heard me. But in a darkened theater, I’m the only one who knew I was rolling my eyes.
I want to address the dad who was sitting next to me and who will likely never read this blog post. Dude, what were you thinking? You can’t sit there and tell me that you were unaware that your two small children, the smallest in particular, would act the way they did. You really don’t have a lot of room to get frustrated at them or your wife because you made a choice. You chose to go to the movies and bring your kids along for the ride. And don’t tell me it’s because those girls were dying to see Incredibles 2.
The Incredibles was released 14 years ago! Long before either of your children was a gleam in your eye. Today, I’d say you are in your mid- to late-twenties. So I’m guessing you were in middle school when the first movie came out. If you try to tell me that you planned to see the sequel for anyone but yourself, you’re lying. You know what, it was Father’s Day on Sunday. If there was ever a day for you to make an excuse to go see a movie you wanted to see, that was the day to do it. Instead, you sat there, seemingly more frustrated than the single guy next to you who was just trying to enjoy the movie.
Look, man… Movies are expensive. I have no clue how much you spent for your family of four to not watch a movie, plus have popcorn and a couple of drinks to share. It’s wasted money if you’re just going to huff and puff the whole time because your three year old doesn’t have the self control required to sit through a 90 minute feature.
Okay. I’m done now. Go see Incredibles 2. It’s very good, if a little predictable. Just don’t take your very young children. Remember, it’s rated PG. I’d rank it somewhere with a Shrek movie by way of how appropriate it would be to show your small kids. But with more action that could, in fact, be frightening for some kids of a certain age.
*That’s a Fraggle Rock reference for you 80s kids out there.