¿Qué carajo es tu problema?
My friend V and I went to the movies the other night. And I’m glad we went with her pick.
For one, I thought Papás a La Fuerza was the twisted drama starring Robin Williams (who I hate) called World’s Best Dad and made a pretty good bid to see it. I heard that an autoerotic asphyxiation death plays a pivotal role in a drama directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. Well, who wouldn’t want to see that?
V, apparently, who saved me from actually watching Old Dogs, Disney’s latest heart singeing offer. No thanks. Not even autoerotic asphyxiation could redeem a warmed over pile of shit in the vein of Look Who’s Talking, Too starring John Travolta, Robin Williams, 7 year old twins and, apparently (since all that wasn’t cutesy enough) a St. Bernard.
Instead we went to see It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin the title of which was translated to “Falling in Love with my Ex” (Enamorandome de mi ex). For Spanish speaking markets (of which Argentina is one, duh), movie titles are translated for effect rather than literal meaning. I scowled as the real title flashed on the screen. Seeing a movie that utilizes a FaceBook relationship status as a ‘witty’ title seemed a far cry from how I would have preferred to spend the evening.
Just moments into the movie, I had to beg V to move with me to another seat. Behind us was a couple with an enormous bucket of popcorn, the female component of which was, it seemed to me, taking two pieces of popcorn at time and chewing them as loudly as possible, never actually closing her mouth. It would have taken her the entire movie to get through the bucket and I had already started to imagine that I could feel the warmish steam of her breath on the back of my head.
We hopped up and scurried to the front of the theatre, one seat away from a schlubby woman sunk low into her seat and mercifully popcorn free sitting next to someone else. While I hadn’t had high hopes for the film, I was enjoying myself, so much so that I forgot to critique the subtitles and couldn’t tell you if they were on the money or not. It was much funnier than I expected it to be.
I heard a snuffling sound, looked to my right and the woman one seat over from me was crying. She was dabbing her eyes and blowing her nose. This was odd because what we were watching could be described in a booming, authoritative movie voice as a rip-rollicking comedy. Yet here was this woman slung low, tears streaming from her eyes, repeatedly blowing her nose and dabbing away her tears with a quickly disintigrating tissue. I nudged V. We were already laughing. This made it so we had to squelch the sound to avoid inapproriately laughing out loud.
When the crying stopped, the talking started. I had imagined this woman as a single loser with her elderly mother at her side, perhaps too blind to read or senile to understand the subtitles. What other explanation could there be for someone speaking in a whiney but conversational tone throughout the course of a comedy. She had to be speaking to an old woman who couldn’t otherwise understand.
Upon further scrutiny, however, I noticed that this pair next to us was a couple. Whether her husband or her boyfriend, this woman’s unceasing and indistiguishable commentary was directed to someone she was on a date with. The only time she stopped yammering was when she was crying soundlessly but for the intermittent nose blowing and snuffling. So during any scene in which someone was emotional or confused, I would whip my head to the side and was never disappointed. Without fail, the woman would be crying.
The best part was when the camera panned from face to crying face of the adult children of the Meryl Streep character as the movie came to its emotional crux. One crying face, another crying face, and then I panned my vision towards the right. There was no interruption in continuity from the silver screen to the train wreck to my right. V. and I shared a laugh over that.
I suppose, having gotten such mileage out of this woman’s misery, that I should have been less annoyed by her talking. I was aware, though, that she wasn’t having to explain to an old person what was going on and that the incessant chattering had more to do with her constant need to emote than it had to do with augmenting the cinematic experience of a shrivelled and half blind old prune who needed her assistance. And it was annoying as hell.
It was probably half an hour from the end of the movie that I looked at her pointedly and commanded, “Para.” (stop). Her teary eyes flashed me and angry look that seemed to say, “¿Qué carajo es tu problema?” (What the fuck is your problem?). What the fuck is my problem?
The nerve of some people.