Author Topic: Cinema Shenanigans  (Read 6829 times)

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Cherry91

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Cinema Shenanigans
« on: March 25, 2014, 02:01:33 PM »
For the last little while, I've been trying to arrange a cinema trip for myself and a fairly large group of friends (between 8 - 12 people) to see the new Captain America film.

Part of the reason I've taken the trouble to try and make a concrete plan is that we all went to see the first CA film 4 years ago, and in between most of us went to university, so we weren't seeing as much of each other as we used to for quite some time, so this has a little bit more meaning than just a jolly to the movies. I've stated that this is fairly important to me to the group as well. Trying to find a date and time everyone/the majority of the group can make has been fiddly and taken a bit of doing.

Only now, on FB, one of the friends who has stated he intends (on a whim, not a pre-planned decision) to go and see the film tonight, and he invited other members of the exact same group I've been arranging this outing for (we have a private FB group), and one other friend has accepted.

While he has stated that he intends to still come to the outing I'm planning, I'm a bit put out that he's decided to do this. It makes it feel like the effort I've gone to has been sort of invalidated.

Am I overreacting by being a little annoyed by this? If not, how can I politely tell him this?

ChinaShepherdess

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 02:11:09 PM »
I can 100% understand being put out that he's invited many of the same people, but if the plan is already in motion, I'm not sure there's much to be gained from addressing it with him -- it would be an awkward conversation, and unless you foresee a similar situation arising in future, I don't know that there would be much utility in having this conversation. It's entirely possible that he's a mega-fan of the franchise and wants to see the movie before he can hear any spoilers, or likes to see movies multiple times, or that this first viewing is to see the movie seriously and the second viewing is intended as more of a social occasion. My feeling is, as Ma Ingalls would say, "Least said, soonest mended."

lowspark

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 02:15:42 PM »
Oh yeah. It's annoying. However, it totally depends on your relationship with this guy as to how to react. Is it someone who is a friend and who you want to let them know, "hey, not cool, don't do this again please" or someone you hardly ever speak to and this sort of thing will probably never come up again?

If it's the former, then I'd probably just make him aware of how much effort you've exerted trying to get this event organized and let him know he stepped on your toes by doing this. If it's the latter, well, I don't see much point in saying anything.

Either way, it's too late to do anything about it. He's sent out the notice, some people are going to respond in the positive, and if you do anything to try to stop it from happening, I think it might make you look like a petulant child.

One lesson I've learned over the years about trying to plan an outing for a large group is that the more people you are trying to include the more impossible it becomes to find "the perfect date" that everyone can attend. I usually throw out a list of dates, 3-5 choices work well, and the date with the most "yes" responses is what I pick. Yeah, it means that some people will miss, and that's unfortunate. But that's the way it goes. Even if you can pick out the one perfect date, inevitably someone's going to have something come up at the last minute and miss anyway.

Yeah. Been there, done that.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 02:32:59 PM »
I will be watching this thread with interest, because I once found myself on the opposite side of the situation, and I was really confused by the whole thing.

The situation was, an old friend was living far away and we were making plans for her to come visit me for a while.  We were making plans far in advance and it had briefly come up that a certain movie would be out in theaters during the time she would probably come and we should see it together if that timing worked out.  I thought this was great and I agreed that it would be a good idea.

Well, eventually, it turned out that she did come during that time period, when the movie had been out for quite a while.  Before she came, some family asked me if I wanted to see that movie with them and I said sure.  When this came up in conversation, my visiting friend was really mad at me!  She said that we had agreed to see the movie together.

I was really confused, because for one thing I knew she was really anti-spoiler (the exact opposite of me) and so I didn't tell her any spoilers.  And for another thing, we hadn't agreed firmly to see the movie together anyway, much less that we would see the movie for the first time together. (Apparently she had really wanted to see this movie and had been not seeing it, and going to lots of trouble to avoid spoilers, because she thought she and I would see it for the first time together.)

I tried to apologize, but it took her a while to get over it.   We did go to see the movie together but she was clearly not as happy as she would have been had it been the first time for both of us, not just her.  This was even though I had not said any spoilers to her, either before we got there or while waiting, and didn't give anything away during the movie itself (I put a lot of effort into not preemptively gasping when something dramatic was about to happen, for example.)

 Had I known her specific feelings on the situation, I would have waited to see it myself.  To me, the most important thing of going to the movies, for the first time for a given movie or not, is the social experience.  I know not everyone is that way.  But I hadn't realized how far in the other direction my friend was, though I would have respected it had I known.

Anyway,  it was a very confusing experience and I am hoping that this thread gives me some insight into how I could have known better in advance and behaved better than I did.  Nothing's been said between this friend and I about it since it happened (probably 10 years ago now) but I do still feel a bit bad.

Twik

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 02:42:58 PM »
There is a mystique to seeing a first-run movie in the theatre. So, by having half the group already experience it, it dilutes the fun for the rest. You don't expect the same level of excitement.

The other problem is that people who are inconsiderate enough to start planning an earlier visit to a movie that they will be seeing with someone else sometimes don't enjoy it that much. Then you get "Awww, do we HAVE to go to Awesome: the Movie? I don't wanna spend money to see that hack job again. How about we go to Absolutely Terrible instead? I heard it has some great gross-out moments. No? Well (sigh), if you insist. But you'll not like it. I hated it when (spoiler), and when (spoiler) happened."

The only decent way of doing this (and I've been in the position where I've promised two groups to see a particular movie), is to not let on in any way to the second group that you have been to it before. Arranging a prior showing by FB is not showing any discretion at all.

Personally, I would send him a private "Dude, not cool," message. He's basically inviting people he knows will be at your party for one of his own.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 02:44:30 PM by Twik »
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camlan

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 03:34:03 PM »
If I could take your friend's side of things for a moment--

Maybe he really, really wants to see this movie. He's been waiting for it. He was willing to go with your group, but even you admit that it has been difficult to set a date. From the OP, I can't even tell if a date has been set yet.

So, in his shoes, I'd be getting pretty impatient with the delay in setting a firm date. Your stated goal of getting the old gang back together to see the movie might not matter much to him. It's important to you, but it may not be as important to the rest of the group.

So I can't blame him for going ahead and seeing the movie, especially if your group still hasn't locked down a date. I get the sense he's fed up with waiting and wants to make sure he gets to see the movie while it is still in the theaters.

However, I don't think he should have invited the same group, and he should have made any invitations to see the movie with him much more private.

So, I don't think you should be annoyed with him for seeing the movie. (Bear in mind he might be equally annoyed that your plans are taking so long.) However, I do think you have reason to be annoyed that he co-opted your guest list and did so very publicly.
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Twik

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 04:08:50 PM »
Honestly, I'd expect that Captain America will be in the theatres for a little bit longer than it will take the OP to get her group together. It's not even released in NA yet.

In any event, I can understand someone so desperate to see a movie that they just HAVE to go opening night. What they should not do is let the people they're going with know it's not their first viewing. Trying to poach people from a group already committed to going together is extremely rude. It's basically accepting an invitation to a party with a bunch of friends, and then going "Hey, why don't some of us have a party of our own just before that?"
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 04:10:07 PM »
So I can't blame him for going ahead and seeing the movie, especially if your group still hasn't locked down a date. I get the sense he's fed up with waiting and wants to make sure he gets to see the movie while it is still in the theaters.

However, I don't think he should have invited the same group, and he should have made any invitations to see the movie with him much more private.

So, I don't think you should be annoyed with him for seeing the movie. (Bear in mind he might be equally annoyed that your plans are taking so long.) However, I do think you have reason to be annoyed that he co-opted your guest list and did so very publicly.

i agree.
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Ontario

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 04:18:47 PM »
Well, eventually, it turned out that she did come during that time period, when the movie had been out for quite a while.  Before she came, some family asked me if I wanted to see that movie with them and I said sure.  When this came up in conversation, my visiting friend was really mad at me!  She said that we had agreed to see the movie together.

<snip> To me, the most important thing of going to the movies, for the first time for a given movie or not, is the social experience.

I truly don't mean this to sound accusatory, but I'm confused what exactly this "social experience" is, if you've already seen the movie in question.  I would think, when the friend made plans so far in advance to see this movie together, she was looking forward to the specific experience of watching the movie for the first time together with you, anticipating it beforehand, and being surprised by the same things at the same moments, etc. - that's the shared experience.  You'd already had that experience.  I mean, since you already knew what happened in the movie, it seems to me you could have driven to the theater together, and she could have watched the movie while you read a book in the lobby, and then driven home together afterwards, and it would have pretty much amounted to the same experience as the one you two had together.  BUT I am very aware I come from the side that places a lot of importance on these things, so I'm honestly curious as to what the experience was supposed to be to you.

As to the OP, I am completely understand where you're coming from - one of my first posts here (perhaps my first?) was also regarding Cinema Shenanigans.  To make a long, long story short, I had planned what I considered a Very Significant movie outing with one of my best friends, many weeks out.  At the last minute, she invited another friend along that I barely knew, which hurt my feelings, because it showed that this outing wasn't nearly as significant to her.  Because we'd been friends a long time, I thought I could be honest with her and tell her this hurt my feelings; I mainly expected that she would say she didn't get what the big deal was but that she was sorry. But instead she blew up at me, saying that was the stupidest thing she'd ever heard, and the movies were a public place, and it's not like we were on a date... you get the idea.  Our friendship never really recovered - NOT because of the Cinema Shenanigans per se, but because of her reaction.  I wasn't asking her to disinvite the other girl, just to acknowledge my feelings, and she couldn't do that even a little bit.  Anyway, I reiterate this whole thing as a cautionary tale.  Though I believe you are right, your friend won't.  While I don't know your friend, and while they might be more compassionate than my ex-friend, if they felt the same way as you do, they wouldn't have made these other plans in the first place.  So to you, this is Important, and to him, it won't be, and he's going to say you're making a big deal over a movie.  I know, you're not, you're making a big deal over your friends, and tradition, and all that. Believe me, I know!  I'm right there with you!  But unfortunately, he's not, and that's a bummer, but from my experience, there's nothing you can say that's going to get him there, so let this one go. 

Roe

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 04:28:07 PM »
Your friend is rude, IMO.  First, he invited the same group.  Not cool. Second, part of the experience *is* seeing it all together for the *first* time.  That's the fun of it.  Talking about it in line, gasping in all the right places, laughing at the same jokes and talking about it afterwards.  If you've seen it before, you see it differently.

My guys and I (DH and three sons) are looking forward to CA. I mean, really looking forward to it!  I can't imagine seeing it beforehand. It would dilute the experience for all of us. 


whatsanenigma

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2014, 04:30:59 PM »
Well, eventually, it turned out that she did come during that time period, when the movie had been out for quite a while.  Before she came, some family asked me if I wanted to see that movie with them and I said sure.  When this came up in conversation, my visiting friend was really mad at me!  She said that we had agreed to see the movie together.

<snip> To me, the most important thing of going to the movies, for the first time for a given movie or not, is the social experience.

I truly don't mean this to sound accusatory, but I'm confused what exactly this "social experience" is, if you've already seen the movie in question.  I would think, when the friend made plans so far in advance to see this movie together, she was looking forward to the specific experience of watching the movie for the first time together with you, anticipating it beforehand, and being surprised by the same things at the same moments, etc. - that's the shared experience.  You'd already had that experience.  I mean, since you already knew what happened in the movie, it seems to me you could have driven to the theater together, and she could have watched the movie while you read a book in the lobby, and then driven home together afterwards, and it would have pretty much amounted to the same experience as the one you two had together.  BUT I am very aware I come from the side that places a lot of importance on these things, so I'm honestly curious as to what the experience was supposed to be to you.

Well, I admit it is hard to explain.  I'm just, well, I don't want to say I'm "not a movie person".  Because that implies that I actively dislike movies and would rather do something else.  And that's not really the case.  I just, am not into the "movieness" of the movie, as much as other people are?

Maybe it would help to explain that, while I totally respect other people's need to not be "spoiled" to a movie or book, and I keep my mouth totally shut if I have seen or read something I even suspect someone else has not read and would be upset to hear what happens, I actively seek out "spoilers" for myself, because, I just kind of prefer to know what's going to happen before it does.

 This is my preference, though, and I respect the preferences of others.  Even if someone I know gets upset by spoilers gets tempted and directly asks me something,  I always ask "Are you sure you want to know?" and I respect the answer, whether it is "You're right, I don't" or "On this thing, yes I do."

So, maybe that's why it seems so neutral to me one way or the other.  I like to know what's going to happen in advance, and if I've already seen it, then I really do.  But if I haven't seen it in advance, that's fine too.  It just, well, I don't want to say "it doesn't matter", but that's kind of it.  And it's the discussing of what happened in the movie afterward that is entertaining to me also.  And if it's my second go at it, I've had a better chance to catch and understand things maybe somebody else caught on the first go.

And, as I said, if we had made a firm commitment to watch it together for the first time, I would have honored that.

Hopefully that explains things a little better, though I'm not sure it does!  :)

ETA: The bolded part is what I didn't understand that she was thinking.  We honestly didn't know if the movie would still be playing when she came, when we were discussing seeing the movie together. 

ETA2: And for me, the "social experience" part of it is, we go to the theater together, wait in line, get tickets, share some popcorn, whatever.  That has a lot of the value, though not all of the value, for me.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 04:34:43 PM by whatsanenigma »

Cherry91

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2014, 05:08:22 PM »
Hello, OP here.

To the people who noted that we haven't set a time yet - that's because the cinema we'll be going to only plans its screening a week in advance. We have a window we'll be going in (next week between Monday and Friday), we know that much, but until the times go up, I don't want everyone to commit to a certain day only to discover none of the available times work. I think that's also part of what bugs me though - it's either less than a week or just over a week until we're all going to see it.

As people have noted, yes, I wanted the social experience - I wanted us all to laugh at the jokes, gasp at any twists, etc, in a way that may now be diminished because certain members of the group will know they're coming.

However, I'm not going to say anything because I now, with the help of the forum, think it's a little thing that will only turn into a big thing if I let it, and I'm certainly not going to let it spoil a film I've been eagerly anticipating for months (I'm an MCU fangirl).

TurtleDove

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2014, 05:26:22 PM »
However, I'm not going to say anything because I now, with the help of the forum, think it's a little thing that will only turn into a big thing if I let it, and I'm certainly not going to let it spoil a film I've been eagerly anticipating for months (I'm an MCU fangirl).

I like this solution so much.  I don't mean to diminish your feelings, but I confess it would never have ocurred to me if I were your friend that seeing the movie a different time with whomever would affect you at all, let alone so deeply.  I doubt he meant to hurt you, even though I believe that you are hurt.  Don't let this situation diminish your joy of the future outing!

VorFemme

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2014, 10:02:39 PM »
There have been several times when I put off seeing a movie because VorGuy & I were going to see it together when he got back from traveling for work....

Only to have it be the movie showed on the plane on his way out or on the way back.  He *hates* seeing the same movie twice in a short period of time...

I'm glad that he no longer flies for work related travel.  We see more movies TOGETHER.  It is more fun seeing a movie with at least one other person that you can talk to about the movie than by yourself....
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Ceallach

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Re: Cinema Shenanigans
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2014, 10:11:34 PM »
It's definitely inconsiderate.    It feels as though he's creating a "rival" event which diminishes from yours.   

Of course you don't own the movie, nor their time, and of course they are entitled to do whatever they want to, and committing to go to your event doesn't mean that he or anybody else can't watch the movie earlier if they want to do so - he's completely fine in that regard. 

But this does sting and I don't think it would be SS of you to mention to him casually that you were a little hurt / surprised that he invited some the group to go earlier than the planned date.   Did he include you in the invitation too?  Because if not, then I think it's doubly inconsiderate.    Basically it feels as though he's cutting you out. 
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