Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"I'm a Loner, Dottie, a Rebel:" A Guide to Solo Movie-Going

I'm an only child, which means I grew up doing a lot of things alone - dressing up my cats, rocking out to Amy Grant in my bedroom, playing The Game of Life. Though I no longer force my cat to wear clothes designed for my American Girl doll, I am still perhaps most comfortable when by myself. In keeping with my affinity for aloneness, I see nothing embarrassing about going to the movies all by lonesome - but I've learned that apparently, a great number of adults do not share this belief.

Recognizing that others are not nearly as comfortable, I have put together an instruction guide for all you would-be solo cinema-goers.
  1. Arrive early but not too early. Do not be late. The more inconspicuous you are, the less awkward you'll feel. This includes not being the first person sitting in the theatre - "HI, I'M HERE BY MYSELF!" - & not having to shuffle through half a dozen seated, popcorn-eating folks to get to the only open spot in the joint.

  2. Stay away from animal movies, unless they are animated. The first time I saw a movie by myself, I was a junior in college, depressed & bored. I chose an admittedly cheesy/weepy/ridiculous movie, "Because of Winn-Dixie," which amused my friends to no end. There is something terribly sad about seeing an animal movie by yourself. I do not have an explanation for this. Just trust me.

  3. Keep your weird noises to yourself. I have friends (please take a moment to consider whether I'm talking about you) who react to every little thing in a movie. If you cannot refrain from grunting/sighing/chucking/talking, solo movie-going is not for you. In fact, movie-going is not for you. Invest in Netflix.

  4. If you're planning to show-hop, dress like a chameleon. Depending on the set-up of your local theatre, it may be easy to pay for one show & slip into another afterward (even though you shouldn't do that because it's illegal, OK?!?!). Still, if you plan to do this, you should also plan for the worst-case scenario, which is that theatre employees may recognize you. To prevent this, wear layers - this way, you'll be wearing a totally different outfit from one show to the next. "No, no, my identical twin saw Thor alone right before me, I swear!"

  5. Pick movies with generic plots. This goes back to the animal rule. If a movie is too heavy, you will wish you had someone to break down to. If a movie is too complicated, you will wish you had someone to clarify questions with. If a movie is too freaking awesome, you will wish you had someone to high five. I suggest emotion-free movies such as Thor & Something Borrowed, both of which I saw last weekend & neither of which required the input of a fellow movie-goer - or any brain cell usage whatsoever. 
Remember: Seeing a movie alone in a theatre is no different than watching a movie alone in your home, except that it's against the law for you not to wear pants & it's more likely that you'll end up eating corn dog nuggets & Sour Patch Kids. Above all, be confident. The truth shall set you free & encourage you to see movies alone: No one cares who you're there with or that you're there at all. So hold your head high as you slink into the movies unseen & unjudged. Enjoy the popcorn & lemme know how the movie is.

    46 comments:

    April said...

    I was actually planning to see Something Borrowed by myself this weekend, do you recommend putting the time and money into going to see it? I've heard mixed reviews ranging from "cute!" to "just another dumb Kate Hudson movie."

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    Honestly, I'd wait for it to come out on DVD unless you're really looking
    for something to do. It's not terrible, but it's not one of the better chick
    flicks I've seen, either. Still, I was looking for something to pass the
    time, & it did that!

    mandy said...

    I am a big fan of going to the movies alone. I really like being able to go unwind and not feel like I have to rehash the plot with someone else. Its nice to just enjoy it.

    Michelle said...

    Love going to movies alone! The husband and I saw Something Borrowed and we both left liking the movie and hating the story if that makes any sense?

    Heather Marie said...

    I love going to the movies solo! I've never been ashamed. I never miss the trailers and I don't have to share the popcorn. *perfect*

    justatitch said...

    I loveeeeee going to the movies alone. Love.

    Also, what's up, Amy Grant?

    thelovelygirl said...

    I lovee going to movies solo too, I usually go on Fridays or Saturdays after work and I don't generally feel ashamed for being alone either. Go us!!!

    Alycia said...

    i've never gone to a movie alone but i think i'd consider it depending on the movie. and i was just thinking that if I saw someone sitting alone in the theater before the movie started, i'd just think the other person was either in the restroom or getting snacks. then i'd forget all about it :)

    LBB said...

    I loved this post!

    And the advice is so practical. I saw X-Men by myself and I loved it. I was one of 7 people in the theater. I thought, "I should do this more often." But I never do.

    April said...

    Nice- it's supposed to be raining all next week DURING MY VACATION here so I may very well need something to do. Boooo.

    Erin B. Inspired said...

    I've never seen a movie alone but not because I'm afraid to, I've just never been put in the situation. But I totally get the only child thing. Having to entertain yourself all the time is kind of a bore and probably why I'm so dependent on having a lot of alone time as an adult. Amen.

    Jaclyn said...

    Mmm, I LOVE going to movies alone. I haven't been in a while ... I need to, soon. I've never understood why people are weirded out by the thought of doing this activity solo. I like eating out alone too, but at least I can understand why you might not want to go to a restaurant sans other.

    Magda said...

    ooh, I liked this post. In some months I'm moving to a new country completely alone and well, the idea of going to the movies alone kind of excited me in a strange way. Kind of the idea that, hey, it's okay to be alone (in public places).

    MalnurturedSnay said...

    Hahahahaha. I feel like I can provide expert commentary. So I will.


    If you're going to sneak into another movie theater, don't do it on busy nights. Also, if you're sneaking into another movie, don't bring your own snacks into the theater. Most ticket sales go right back to the studios, and theaters stay open and pay their employees largely through sales from the concession stand. It might seem ridiculous to pay $4 for a bottle of water -- and it is -- but believe it or not, paying that is what keeps staff on the floor.


    Also, if I ever see you - Kate! - at E Street, I'll be asking for your ticket stub to make sure you're not sneaking between screens.

    Sam Lehman said...

    It almost looks like "Thor & Something Borrowed" is one movie title. I'd see it.

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    The perfect blend of romcom meets superhero.

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    I should note that - seriously! - I almost NEVER sneak into second movies.
    I've done it twice in my life, & once was on Christmas - at the urging of MY
    MOTHER! That's right, the woman who birthed me also encouraged me to commit
    this egregious illegal act...

    Stephanie said...

    SO between this post and the penis route to Wal-Mart, you are officially awesome. I'm so glad you commented on my blog. :D

    Stephanie said...

    Oh and, we shared many of the same favorite past times as only children. I have pictures of my cats in doll clothes... but luckily there is no footage of me rocking out to Amy Grant.

    eleise said...

    cute post!

    i go to movies by myself all the time...it's kinda nice having some me time =)

    Stephany said...

    I've never gone to the movies alone but you know, I should try it sometime! I don't mind doing things alone like shopping and eating out so why not a movie? ;) Plus, I don't like talking during a movie ANYWAY.

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    I still haven't mastered - or even attempting - going out to eat alone. Too
    scary. Maybe YOU should write a post on this one. I need guidance!

    andreaki said...

    I love this post! I also love watching movies by myself. I never felt weird about it until I had lunch with my mom and her friend once and they both admitted that they couldn't do it. So strange!

    I'm working on eating out alone. It's scary! But I'm going to take myself out to dinner SOON.

    Tatiana said...

    I found this post really interesting because I go to the movies all the time by myself. In fact, it was a REALLY long time before I found someone to go with. So I've never really felt the stigma of going alone; I'll go see anything! So I'm always fascinated when I hear or meet people who are fearful of going it alone.

    I've also eaten alone, and I've traveled alone as well. Generally, I spend A LOT of time with myself. But this is because I've never had friends growing up, so that meant that I either stayed home all the time (which happened a lot also) or have the courage to do social activities by myself (also happened quite a bit).

    San said...

    I personally find nothing wrong with going to the movies by myself, but I have gotten "the look"... like, "you must have no friends" or something.


    Loved this list! :)

    graceelena said...

    I don't mind going alone. And now I want to see Scream 4 and eat corn dog nuggets.

    a nony mouse said...

    I think confident people don't mind doing things by themselves. I know a very confident woman whose name is Jeanne - she goes to the movies, out to dinner, to museums or travels by herself all the time, so you're in good company! <3

    Ashley said...

    This is something I always mean to do more often, but never seem to get around to and then I miss all the good (and bad) movies. Putting it back on my list of priorities.

    Andrea said...

    I honestly prefer watching most movies alone. I'm easily distracted during movies and I can focus better on the movie when I'm by myself.

    Bethany Parry said...

     This post make me giggle. I also played life, rocked out to Amy Grant, and subjected my cat to American doll clothing when I was a little girl. Never thought about these tips and they are awesome. :)

    Andrea said...

    I honestly prefer watching most movies alone. I'm easily distracted during movies and I can focus better on the movie when I'm by myself.

    a nony mouse said...

    I think confident people don't mind doing things by themselves. I know a very confident woman whose name is Jeanne - she goes to the movies, out to dinner, to museums or travels by herself all the time, so you're in good company! <3

    San said...

    I personally find nothing wrong with going to the movies by myself, but I have gotten "the look"... like, "you must have no friends" or something.


    Loved this list! :)

    andreaki said...

    I love this post! I also love watching movies by myself. I never felt weird about it until I had lunch with my mom and her friend once and they both admitted that they couldn't do it. So strange!

    I'm working on eating out alone. It's scary! But I'm going to take myself out to dinner SOON.

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    I still haven't mastered - or even attempting - going out to eat alone. Too
    scary. Maybe YOU should write a post on this one. I need guidance!

    Stephany said...

    I've never gone to the movies alone but you know, I should try it sometime! I don't mind doing things alone like shopping and eating out so why not a movie? ;) Plus, I don't like talking during a movie ANYWAY.

    eleise said...

    cute post!

    i go to movies by myself all the time...it's kinda nice having some me time =)

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    I should note that - seriously! - I almost NEVER sneak into second movies.
    I've done it twice in my life, & once was on Christmas - at the urging of MY
    MOTHER! That's right, the woman who birthed me also encouraged me to commit
    this egregious illegal act...

    Sam Lehman said...

    It almost looks like "Thor & Something Borrowed" is one movie title. I'd see it.

    Bee said...

    I go to the movies by myself all the time now. The first movie I ever saw by myself was "The Kids Are Alright" so I know what you mean when you say see something generic. That was a heavy movie that made you think about your family and it was kind of weird not having anyone to talk to about it.

    Nln340 said...

    I really loved your article! I myself am an only child, and I know what its like to be more independent than most people. Going to the movies alone shouldn't be that awkward, however, people tend to think there is something wrong with doing that. I just got gripe from my friends because I dared to go to the casino by myself.

    Rhys Davies said...

    I used to go to the cinema alone often, but I feel it's kinda sad doing it now, I'd rather go with someone, but that's rarely an option.

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

     Thanks! :) Glad you enjoyed.

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    I do like going to the movies with others, too, but I'll never forego seeing something just because there's no one to go with me!

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    I totally agree!

    Suburban Sweetheart said...

    people are so bizarre about what they deem acceptable. That said, I'm still nervous about going out to eat alone, so I guess I'm a little strange, too!

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