The Time I Saw A Movie Alone

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What are the complications of dating your operating system? That is the basic premise of Spike Jonze’s Her. Joaquin Phoenix plays a man in a world similar but a tad more futuristic to ours who has a relationship with his computer.

Yesterday I had plans to meet a friend downtown to see the movie. But, to our chagrin, both of the closest show times were sold out, and due to my friends busy schedule, he could not see a later showing. So we decided to have a quick meal and chat instead. As our man-date was coming to an end a crazy little thought entered my big neurotic head…”What if I went to see the movie alone?” I voiced my thought aloud and the responses I heard were not to encouraging, “Really? You’re going to sit alone in the theatre? You might seem a bit like a loser.” Realistically the only negatives is what other people will think about me seeing a movie alone. I was already downtown away from most people I know, so in the real world, there was no way anyone would ever find out. But of course this is not the real world, this is my life.

My friend and I parted ways and I went off to buy my ticket. When it was my turn at the box office I politely asked for one ticket to the 7:20 viewing of Her. The employee stated there was only one ticket left. My response, “That’s ok, I’m alone.” A sad look seeped over his face as he handed me my ticket.

Please Retain Your Ticket and Your Dignity.

Please Retain Your Ticket and Your Dignity.

There were only 10 minutes to spare before the movie started. This scenario would usually make me anxious if I was with someone. A sold out movie with only 10 minutes before it starts- almost a 0% chance we would find a seat together. But, being a former theatre employee and a social philosopher, I knew there was an advantage to seeing a movie Han Solo. You see, theatre dynamics work as such: people generally see movies in groups. Human beings are uncomfortable sitting beside strangers which makes the seating arrangement somewhat like a game of Tetris. Every group is a different shape filling up spots, but they don’t like to ever connect, always leaving one awkward seat open, forcing groups of two or more in a sold out movie to either sit in the very front or leave. But alas, I was alone and that awkward lonesome seat was for a lonesome awkward me. I walked in and saw an upper middle seat fully vacant. I walked up and exclaimed “is anyone sitting there?” to the whole row. All the heads turned and paused for a moment of silence, they were commemorating the dignity they had thought I just lost. The 20 something guy and his girlfriend on one side of the seat and the grandmother with her family on the other both mumbled that it was available. I slithered my way past 6 people and claimed my throne in the best seat in the house as the pity of the theatre patrons surrounded me.


At least he was with his computer….

The movie experience was incredible. Not only was it one of the best movies I think I have ever seen, but I was able to fully enjoy it without worrying about what someone else thought as I was watching. Also, after the movie I knew right away that I had loved it and my opinion was not clouded by what my viewing partner thought.

I left my companionless movie viewing very pleased with the experience. I was scot free, the only ridicule and awkward glances I had received were from complete strangers, which is perfectly fine by me. But as I said, this is my life, and there was no away this was going to end harmoniously. As I exited the theatre I locked eyes with a girl whom I used to lust after, who was aware of my inner desires, and was seemingly on a date. She walked over and merrily asked “SAM! What are you doing here? Did you just see a movie?” I said that I had just seen Her. She asked, “Who did you see it with?” I confidently said “I actually saw it alone.” The look of pity overwhelmed her face. She then quickly introduced me to her date, we shook hands, had some quick small talk and parted ways.

I was alone, watching a movie about a guy in a relationship with a computer, and was caught in this experience by a former crush who was currently on a date.

Read my last blog about New Years Eve Anxiety

Sam Berns

Sam Berns

  • Amy

    it could have been worse – she could have voiced that you used to have a crush on here…or she could have laughed in your face. so thankfully it wasn’t all that bad.
    I actually enjoy going to movies by myself. As you mentioned I’m able to react to the movie however I want without feeling like I’m being watched or if I needed to change my thoughts/opinions to placate someone else.

    • SamBerns

      Very true Amy! Thanks for the comment!