I went to the Route 66 Drive-In a couple of weeks ago, the first time this summer. Boy, the drive-in is the quintessential summer experience for me. When we were kids, we went to the drive-in, my brother David and I, in our pajamas with our pillows and blankets, and we watched the movie for a little while but quickly fell asleep.
I remember seeing the original M*A*S*H movie when I was very small. I only saw glimpses of it, when I'd sleepily look up from my slumber. For the longest time I thought the film was a bloody drama because I only saw the operating-room scenes. It was a double feature with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and the only thing I remember about that movie is that I didn't understand why anybody would want to watch a Western. I sort of feel the same way today.
I went to the drive-in at least a few times in high school but have no recollection of what might have been playing on the screen. The drive-in was for making out, period.
Last summer, I saw one drive-in movie, the hilarious Bruce Almighty. I went with my sister, Amy, and her boyfriend, Jim, and it was fun sitting in lawn chairs. Amy and Jim were prepared with treats and beverages and a good radio for tuning in the movie sound, plus blankets and flashlights and, actually, anything one might need for camping.
Camping is another topic entirely; soon I will tell you about my camping experiences, all of which have involved ill-preparedness and the setting up of tents in the dark and much rain and general misery. And one time we tried to fish, using a piece of salami as bait. But that story will have to wait.
This year, we went to see The Day after Tomorrow. Amy was adamant about going to see it. I'm not sure why.
This flick caused quite a furor in town because apparently the Kerasotes theater monopoly refused to show the movie if it played at the drive-in on the night the film opened all over the country.
First, bravo to the Route 66 for showing it. Second, is a monopoly ever a good thing? And is anybody planning on doing anything to remedy this situation? Doesn't it seem atrocious that Kerasotes wouldn't show a movie just because it plays at the drive-in? Usually the drive-in movies have already opened at the Kerasotes theaters. Isn't this discrimination against patrons of drive-in theaters? Don't we deserve to see a movie outdoors on its release date?
It's not as if the people who prefer sitting in air conditioning are going to suddenly decide to take all their business to the drive-in. It's not as if there are a dozen drive-ins in town, all owned by the same people.
All I'm saying is, if I want to enjoy a fresh new movie while sitting outside in the precious warm summer air, please let me, Mr. Kerasotes.
The funny thing is, The Day after Tomorrow is one of the top five worst movies I've ever sat through. Its superb message is that we need to be concerned about global warming. Very true. However, the filmmakers delivered this message with a sledgehammer, pounding it into our skulls so that we got a big collective headache -- not to mention that every bit of hackneyed dialogue and action was lifted from other films. Plus, at one point people were running from the encroaching cold; the walls were freezing around them, and the people were running and struggling, the cold was gaining on them, but luckily they burst through a door and slammed it shut so that the cold couldn't get them.
The fortunate part of this rotten film is that I didn't care at all, because I went to the drive-in with my sister, Amy, and her boyfriend Jim, and also with my new boyfriend. Yep, that's right -- you heard it here first. At first we sat outside, but it was suddenly very cold, so my new boyfriend and I snuggled in the car. We had to crank the radio all the way up for the benefit of Amy and Jim because we'd forgotten to bring a portable radio.
We started making cracks about the stupid plot (well, I was mostly making the cracks), and pretty soon Amy stuck her head in the window. "You're yelling, Grace," she said. "People are complaining."
I was talking loudly because the radio was turned up full blast, and it didn't occur to me that the people next to us could hear every word I said. When we left, Amy reported that the woman in the next car yelled, "Shut up! We're trying to watch the movie!"
So I deeply apologize to everybody whose moviegoing enjoyment I marred. It sure was funny at the time, though.
Me and my new boyfriend. More on him later.
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