Long Movies and Bathroom Breaks

24 Jan


As I wrote yesterday, I saw American Hustle on Wednesday night, a movie that is OK but also wayyyyy to long. This, unnecessarily long movies, is something that drives me crazy. How am I supposed to enjoy a movie when I spend the last hour of it desperately trying to hold off on a bathroom trip? It just doesn’t make sense.

Think about this: how many leisure activities force you to partake in the “fun/relaxing” activity while having to go to the bathroom? Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything. Sports games have TV timeouts and halftimes. When you watch shows you can click pause. Bars have bathrooms, though some might make you pass on taking care of your business but that’s a whole separate discussion. I guess skiing and ice skating, things that I haven’t done in years, are “fun” activities that might tempt you to postpone a bathroom trip, thus making you partake in the “fun” while having to go to the bathroom, but the difference is you’re not missing anything crucial by taking a time out. In a movie you might. The only event I’ve ever been to where I felt a comparable feeling is a Bruce Springsteen concert. There, though, I just waited for Jack of All Trades.

Of course, this problem doesn’t apply when watching a movie at home. There, give me as many hours of plot as you want. As long as it’s good stuff, and I have the ability to click pause on a remote, I really don’t care how long the movie is. Movies in theaters, however, should be always kept under two hours, unless America adopts a practice that I know is used in Israel, and maybe is one you can find in other places around the world.

Intermission. That’s right, at one point, about midway through the movie, the screen goes dark, the lights go on, and everyone goes sprinting for the bathroom. Except for those people who go out for a quick smoking break, which I’m pretty sure is why Israel, a country not exactly lacking in chain smokers, has this rule. We get intermission on Broadway and at most concerts. Why not in movies? The only issue might be where to pause the movie, a decision which, yes, could hurt the film’s flow, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make. Because I’m sick of paying $14.00 (Manhattan is crazy) to spend 90 minutes watching a movie, and then another 60 holding in a piss.


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