There’s a movie coming out that you and a bunch of your friends really, really want to see.
You talk about it, you’re all in agreement – you’re going.
It’s. Going. To. ROCK.
Then, for whatever reason – w0rk, illness, whatever – YOU can’t make it, but your friends go anyway. No worries. You’ll just have to go see it some other time.
In the days ahead, your friends are RAVING about it. Over Facebook, by text, or over drinks.
Meanwhile, you’re FINALLY available to see the movie yourself. But the immediate need to see it has passed.
So in the meantime, you try your hardest to avoid anything resembling a spoiler, until you can work a viewing into your schedule …
Until one day, you come across a reference or two to the movie. Maybe in a newspaper. Most likely, from friends of friends of friends.
Does it stop you from seeing the movie?
For a lot of people, this probably wouldn’t bother them. Who knows, it might even motivate them to go.
But, as you already know, I’m not like most people.
I already have a long list of movies I’ve never, ever seen, for a bunch of reasons. (Whether those reasons are valid, is subjective.)
But in the last decade or so, another list has been growing. A list of films I’ve REALLY wanted to see, but missed out on the opportunity, and then had it spoiled by people who – in their genuine enthusiasm – wanted to compare favourite moments of the movie and/or analyse the storyline … prompting me to put off seeing it until (a) people stop talking about it and (b) I no longer am thinking about it.
That, my friends, is my Movie Moratorium List.
And I may have to add another one to the list very soon – Bridesmaids.
After someone excitedly spoiling a scene/reference from the movie last week, I’m kind of annoyed. I haven’t slapped a Movie Moratorium on it yet, because I’m wondering: if I go see it, will the movie STILL be funny to me, despite what I know?
Yeah, yeah, I’m probably being weird and neurotic. Plus, you’ve probably seen all the movies on my list, and now don’t think they’re as big a deal as they were when you RACED to the theatre to go see.
But think about it: There are people who are PRECISELY LIKE ME when it comes to episodes of their favourite TV programs (or sporting events) that they haven’t yet had a chance to see.
They warn their friends, “I haven’t watched it yet! I only PVR’ed it! Don’t say anything until I watch it!”
Nobody says, “Get OVER yourself!” And most people are courteous of their friends and keep their lips zipped till said episode (or sporting event) is viewed.
So why can’t “The Episode Rule” be applied to movies (for, like, a month)?
Probably virtually impossible. But consider this:
I mean, if someone gave away a plot twist – or the ending – of a widely-anticipated book that you JUST got your hands on, would you still read it, knowing what would happen?
Or would you be able to read it, and NOT constantly wonder when you’d read said plot twist?