9 Reasons Going to the Movies Alone is Actually Super Rad
While I fully appreciate the convenience of Netflix, Hulu, and Comcast On Demand, I usually prefer to see movies in the theater. A trip to the theater is an event. Movie theaters provide a change in scenery, access to the grossest foods you could dream of, and a much-needed break from my nonexistent life at Northwestern.
Luckily, here at Northwestern, there are literally thousands of nerds to choose from when it comes to finding a movie buddy. There was no shortage of people to accompany me to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, The Lion King in 3D, and Wreck-it Ralph. I even managed to find a person with whom I could watch trees, cosmic swirls, and a stern-looking Brad Pitt on a loop for 139 minutes in The Tree of Life.
Unfortunately, going to Northwestern also means that every week is midterms week, and it can be hard to plan a trip to the movies that fits everyone’s schedules. And since we live in a society where going to a movie is considered a social activity, if none of your friends have time to see a movie, chances are you won’t see it at all.
This phenomenon caused me great frustration for quite some time, and my life was, like, really hard because of it. It wasn’t until Spring Quarter 2012 that I decided to do anything about it. I was lying, face-down, on the floor of my dorm in Bobb, wallowing in self-pity after getting a B on a physics test. Everything was terrible, and as an undeserving recipient of a non-A grade, I felt I deserved to treat myself to a fun-filled afternoon.
I turned my head and saw a glint of red from under my bed. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a Lululemon bag containing a pair of running shorts I would never use. “Do one thing a day that scares you,” it said. Because I’m the type of person who derives inspiration from plastic bags, I swallowed my fears, walked to Century 12, bought my overpriced ticket from an unfriendly teenager, and took a seat in the back row of a semi-populated theater for a viewing of Moonrise Kingdom. Within minutes, I forgot my physics phailures and felt a million times better about my life. More important, however, was my experience as a first-time solo movie-goer. It turned out to be way less scary than I had expected. In fact, it was totally rad, and I’ve continued to see movies alone ever since.
As a now semi-experienced solo movie-goer, I have several insights as to why seeing movies alone is not only entirely un-lame, but why it’s also just the best thing ever.
1. People don’t care about you as much as you think. Much to my surprise, people did not point and laugh. Nor did they knock my box of Milk Duds from my hands and demand that I leave the theater. They mostly just chatted with the person next to them or stared at their iPhones.
2. See the movie you want to see. Imagine — no more coin flips.
3. See the movie you want to see when you want to see it. Your friend has a super-important midterm to study for? Sucks to suck, I guess.
4. See the movie you want to see, when you want to see it, and without the resent. Whenever the coin flip goes in your favor and you get to choose the movie, your friend will be sure to make you pay with hours of passive aggression. Don’t expect to chat it up before the movie starts, because from the time you take your seats until the curtain goes up, your friend will be somberly Snapchatting in silence. Go to the movies alone, on the other hand, and you won’t have to deal with this crap.
5. See the movie you want to see, when you want to see, it without the resent, and without the judgment from your terrible friends. If you want to see The Croods for the fifth time, see The Croods for the fifth time. Avoid the disapproval from your pretentious and unsupportive friends, who already suspect that you only like the movie for Emma Stone’s hot CGI body.
6. Avoid looking stupid in front of your movie companion. If you’re like me, you tend to miss a lot of plot details, and you’re constantly fighting the urge to seek clarification from your movie buddy. It’s likely that they’ll politely reply to the first couple of inquiries. After that, they’ll delay their response by five or so seconds, subtly hinting at the fact that you are interrupting something of greater importance. They’ll eventually just ignore you altogether, relinquishing you to your weaker mental faculties. Fortunately, there’s a solution. If you opt for a solo movie experience, your friends will never need to know exactly how dumb and annoying you are. You’ll even come to find that you enjoy the movie, despite missing a line or two or fifty.
7. Enjoy movies without interruption. If you’re usually the question-answerer in the relationship, going to the movies alone will finally allow you to soak up the cinema in silence. Abandon the simpletons in their struggle — they’re only bringing you down, man!
8. Eat and drink whatever you want, and with zero judgment from anyone who matters. Indulge your appetite’s every whim. If that’s chocolate ice cream, a bag of Swedish Fish, and a beer from the Rhythm Room, so be it. Who cares if it’s 11:00 am on a Tuesday and you’re rocking some sweats, a pit-stained T-shirt, and your make up from last night’s frat party? You can eat whatever the fudge you want, and no one would ever need to know. Toss a dark movie theater into the mix, and you don’t even need to be fully aware of it yourself — since all the lights are off, you’ll never really know exactly how much you ate.
9. Dare society to change its ways. Staring at a screen should not be something that needs to be done in pairs. The same could be said for eating at a restaurant, playing the game MASH, eating fondue, riding a Ferris wheel, and — if you’re a girl — going to the bathroom.
Enough is enough. It’s time for a revolution of thought.