Life Imitates Art



Neighborhood: Midtown

Life Imitates Art
Photo by Tanakawho

This weekend I went to see a film called The Wrestler.

I am quite neurotic about going to the movies. Because in New York City, theaters, especially on weekends, tend to fill up and sell out quickly, I make it a point to show up about an hour early. I feel panicked when there are lines, and I really like to be the first one in the theater to pick the perfect seat. I am really OCD and sitting in the “wrong” seat that just feels off, it can ruin a movie for me.

I rarely go to movies at night, especially on weekends. I tend to go to the first morning show to avoid crowds and find it way easier to go alone than to have to coordinate meeting with others. Movie-going is a process to me and others don’t find it so. They find it annoying to have to show up early and prefer to just slink in a few minutes before the show with a devil-may-care-attitude. Me? I’m uptight and can’t take that attitude about anything.

However, last night it was cold and snowy. I was getting cabin fever and a friend mentioned he’d drive into the City from Queens if I wanted to see a movie. I had been wanting to see Mickey Rourke’s big comeback, so we made plans to see The Wrestler.

He complied and showed up an hour early. We found parking right outside the theater and he suggested going to sit in Starbucks and having a tea for a while.

“Good God, man, are you nuts?” I shouted, explaining that with only 40 minutes to go now there could already be a line.

I asked the ticket seller if many tickets had been sold and she said yes, it was almost sold out. I gave my companion an I-told-you-so-look and hightailed it down there. The line had not begun to form yet, but I stationed myself at the front and was victorious in getting in first and getting the exact right seat.

The movie is about Randy the Ram, an aging New Jersey wrestler. His glory days are fading fast and he is faced with his decline. The movie goes from sad to sadder. Not the movie for someone like me–prone to depression–in the middle of an icy and grey winter.

About 45 minutes into the movie a bearded guy in the very first row corner (loser got there last) stood up and started cursing at the guy behind him.

“You f*cking kicked my seat three times. Cut it the f*ck out,” bearded guy said.

Behind him a much meeker blond guy sitting next to his girlfriend murmured something about it being an accident.

Collectively our eyes moved from the fighting on the screen to the fighting down below, so much more enthralled with real drama than the manufactured one on the screen. The juxtaposition a study in real life high definition.

Bearded guy said, “I’m not afraid of you,” turned around and swung, landing a punch on the startled blond guy.

I mentally asked for the movie to be turned down so I could hear what was happening on the stage below me.

Blond guy pushed bearded guy–who apparently is insane–off of him, and tried to walk away, girlfriend in tow. They were gathering their stuff when bearded guy pushed blond guy really hard and then spit in his face.

The movie-watching crowded gasped.

The girlfriend led her blond, somewhat defeated boyfriend, out in front of all of us and brought back a burly usher.

In concept, what was transpiring on the screen was being mimicked down below in real-time.

The movie employee ushered out the bearded guy who suddenly lost his bravado, standing next to the massive usher. Later he returned, sheepishly, taking his front row seat.

I leaned over and told my friend, “Amazing! Life imitating art!” He agreed. The ponytailed guy just in front of us, turned and told us to “Shut the f*ck up.”

They say rock music will make you aggressive and that video games can influence the impressionable to commit crimes. Apparently, watching a movie about a juiced-up wrestler will make audience members confrontational.

Maybe from now on I should stick to chick flicks.

Kelly Kreth is a malcontent that often feels trapped in a Seinfeldian Hell. She’d like people to love her for her flaws, not in spite of them. That rarely happens.

You can read more by her at:

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