Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This American Life Story Idea

Last night my wife and I attended a sneak preview screening of Hot Fuzz. Our local free weekly newspaper gave out free passes, and somehow I got my hands on one.

I have not trolled for free passes in a long time, and being in a crowd of free pass junkies reminded me of a This American Life story idea I’ve had for a few years now.

Every week, the local weekly newspaper has a series of ads telling you how to get free movie passes. Go to such-and-such used book store at 10 am to get passes to one movie, go to this-and-that nail salon at noon to get more passes.

There are people who hit all of these places in search of free entertainment. Lines usually begin a few hours before the passes are offered, and people have nothing to do but stand there and make small talk.

There is sort of an uneasy camaraderie – the people in line don’t want to give out personal information about each other (seriously, would you want someone standing in line for free passes to Grindhouse know where you live and work?), but they all have this urge to talk… to talk about movies.

Some of the strangest movie conversations I’ve ever had I had when waiting in line for free passes and then waiting in line again to get into the first-come-first-served sneak preview screening.

If they were going to make a movie out of your life, who would you want to play you?

Which biopic would you like to see the most?

If you were going to make the highest grossing film of all time, what would it be?

My favorite answers to that last question include:

“Something with space and girls in it. Something like Earth Girls are Easy II: Even Easier”

“Something with a yodeling, baseball playing bear in it.”

“I have no idea, but it stars Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Wilford Brimley as the Spirit of Christmas.”

[Cue guitar music.]

1 comment:

alex said...

I really don't pay attention enough to these free screenings things. I usually just head straight to the movie review section of the Observer, read the reviews, and then thumb through the rest of it.