Dear God in Heaven, Whatever You Do, Please Oh Please Don’t EVER Let Me Hear That Song Again…
I swear, all I wanted was to see a movie tonight.
So I went to the Arclight Cinemas, to see a low budget movie that’s all the rage, called “Once.” And believe me, that was plenty.
My first time at the Arclight—oops—the ArcLight, Hollywood’s upscale movie theater. The one that has a card you can read called “What’s Different about ArcLight.”
I love the upscale, so why not. Besides, it’s the only place to see “Once.” I enter the theater, ask for a ticket, and the salesperson, with the shoulder length dyed-black hair isn’t printing the ticket at all. He says, “Are you a member?”
I say, “A member? You mean of the movie theater?”
He says, “Yuh.”
I say “No.”
I’d love to know what the benefits of membership are or what it costs, but before I can ask, he’s saying, “Frmsnatkabsnk!”
I say, “What?”
He says, louder and faster, “FRMSNATKABSNK!”
I look around. I say, “Look, I’m sorry, I have no idea,”
He says, “Frontcenterorback?”
I say, “Center.”
He prints a ticket with a reserved seat row and number: L 23.
I’m early. I walk into the theater. There are no letters marked anywhere on the rows, or on the seats, except for a random distribution of A’s. L being the 12th letter in the alphabet, I count back 12 rows, and sit in the twelfth, or back row of the theater.
Later, more people come. Now there are ushers seating people. I’m just going to sit here and see what happens. Finally, another audience member sits up in my row. I ask him what row number he has. He says “Y.” He says only the ushers know which row is which. Ah. Excellent idea. Let’s not spoil the surprise by letting the person who bought the ticket find their own seat.
But I’m not moving. No worries: the theater was about a quarter full.
The previews come on. The sound is terrific, the picture quality excellent. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Unfortunately the feature begins. “Once” is promoted as a sweet and simple movie about a young man and woman who meet on the streets of Dublin, and write songs together. Somewhere toward the beginning of the film, we begin to hear a slow, goopy song called, “Falling Slowly.” I found out the song title later, online, because we hear a dozen songs during the film, all of which sound similarly goopy and slow.
Like having molasses that looked lovely in the jar being poured over your head endlessly. The songs themselves are very repetitive—this writer gets a hold of a three or four word run of notes or words and marries them forever and ever. They all sound like “feeling bad is such a bad feeling I don’t want your hurtness to resound.”
Aw, gee. I really wanted to like this movie. And I especially wanted to like the theater. ArcLight gets a second chance. But I’ll sit wherever I wanna. Because I’m trouble.