Last night, I attended a screening of Superbad at Regal Gallery Place. The film featured Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and one of the most powerful movie-theater-talkers I have ever encountered.
Sure, Gallery Place is notoriously loud. But strangely enough, at this particular showing, the audience was fairly quiet, save for this one man. He was tremendous: a massive, booming presence. He sat alone. And he was seated directly behind me.
The man’s commentary track began almost immediately, precipitated, strangely enough, by the first sign of cleavage. “Mmm-MMM!” the man announced. “Aww, yeah, baby!”
This man was there, it seemed, for one purpose: He was there to speak for us. At a time when—-owing to the oppressive imposed silence of the movie-theater environment—-we had no voice, this man stepped forward to provide the entire audience’s verbal response to the film. “Mmm!” the man said, over and over and over again. Depending upon the situation, the man also provided a resounding “Aww, no!”
After a good two hours of constant exposure to this man’s verbal remarks, I was able to pinpoint their nature. The man’s comments, I determined, served two functions. They existed (a) to encourage boobs; and (b) to discourage potential homosexual behavior. (“Oh, no!,” the commentator announced, as the two boys in the film moved to hug each other. “Oh, no! Oh, don’t do it, man!”) I began to think that I had this man figured out. It got to the point that, when a pair of breasts appeared on screen, I began to think it—-“Mmm-HMM!”—-before the moans even boomed out from behind me.
As the film neared its end, however, I was forced to amend my binary theory. As one of the boys began to engage in foreplay with a girl—-a girl whose breasts, of course, had already earned a sharp “MMM!”—-the man stepped away from his standard homophobic/boob commentary to offer a remark of a different nature.
“Oh, no, man, come on,” our commentator yelled. “Oh, come on! Don’t come in your shorts, now!”
Our commentator, it seems, also provides (c) sage advice.