MegaMovie Theatre Chain AMC has decided to offer a no questions asked, money-back guarantee to anybody who sees Cinderella Man and doesn't like it. After spending nearly ten years of my life in the popcorn trenches for the very same company, all I can say is "HUH?"
I can remember working at the theatre during a long, successful run of the Bob Fosse film, All That Jazz. Just like clockwork, when the open-heart surgery scene began, I'd get a stampede of people demanding their money back. "It's too gross!" They'd all complain.
I can remember working at the theatre during a long, successful run of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. People got upset and offended for all sorts of things in that film, but just like clockwork, when Mr. Creosote exploded after eating too much food (Just one tiny mint? It's wafer-thin!!) I'd get a stampede of people demanding their money back, with an apology to boot. I hated that, because I wasn't sorry at all. Personally, I loved the film, and would spend a ridiculous amount of time spouting lines (A tiger? In Africa??)
I can remember working at the theatre during a long, successful run of Grease. You could set your watch for the mid-movie exodus during Beauty-School Dropout. No refunds here. Go back in and gut it out people. You paid for Frankie. You get Frankie.
When did we get to be so wimpy? See a movie, watch TV, read a book -- you can research it all you want, but in the end it's part personal preference and a whole lotta luck. What one person loves, another might not be able to stand. And hey -- if you really didn't like it, be sure to recommend it to an annoying coworker. After all, if you threw your money in the road, there is no reason why they should miss out too.
I find it a little hard to believe that the National Alliance of Theatre Owners (the other NATO) thinks that the population-at-large suddenly became discriminating with their entertainment dollars. After all, we are a country who supported no less than three Smokey and the Bandit movies, Anaconda and Anacondas, and Crossroads, a fine pile of cinematic waste starring Kim Cattrall, Dan Aykroyd and Britney Spears.
But hey, if the powers that be are truly serious about handing out refunds, I think the patron should have to answer questions. Lots and lots of questions. What's Your Name? What is Your Quest? What's Your Favorite Color? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? If they can get all of THOSE right, then we'll move on to phase two:
Submit a 500-word essay on the following topic:
Jar Jar Binks Why?