Movie Phenomenon

My Fiancé and I went to see the movie Oblivion the other day; I won’t spoil the ending if anyone wants to watch it still (though don’t expect a recommendation from me, I am a hard sell when it comes to movies and television, as you know by now – very little impresses me when it comes to either). Going to the Cinema – as it is called here, not to be confused with a Theatre, which is exclusively for live plays and such – amuses me for just a couple of reasons, neither of which having anything to do with the movie specifically.

First, as I like to call it, is the the American Applause Phenomenon. AAP is more commonly observed in G to PG-13 rated movies, where, at the end, people start clapping as the credits roll. It doesn’t happen in the UK, hence the phenomenon. I suspect that AAP really was just started by parents who thought it was cute to make their young children clap at the end of a movie to show that they liked it. As these kids grew up, they continued to do it and even taught it to their children which takes me to where I am now: having to catch myself from applauding like a n00b (see: novice) in a UK Cinema. And I’m the only one doing it.

The second thing that strikes me as different is the UK obsession (yes, obsession) with sweet popcorn. It isn’t a question of “do you want butter” or not on your popcorn, it’s “Sweet or Salty?” Nine times out of ten, the typical UK resident will pick the sweet stuff. It has literally been months since I’ve had buttered, salted, American-normal popcorn.

It isn’t that I don’t like the sugar-coated stuff, it tastes good and makes a nice treat, it’s just that it doesn’t trigger that nostalgia factor that we all have that takes us back to our youths, to that first movie (see: Bambi) in the theater that we saw as children. Or at least, it doesn’t for me, but I’m weird, so I can’t honestly say that it holds true for everyone.

So while we had a date, we were still going on the cheap, I was perfectly fine skipping the usual concessions and just watching the movie. Can the movie really take credit for the fact that I didn’t even miss the snacks? It’s possible, but I’ll remain skeptical on that one, if only on the basis of the reason I already stated: I just don’t have any real desire for sweetened popcorn.

Go figure.


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