16 October 2009

"One for The Road....Please"


I had a friend who refused to see the film You Can Count On Me (2000), (pictured above starring Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo) in theaters because she didn't want to go up to the ticket window and say, "you can count on me." I saw her point.

I felt a little strange going up to the ticket window last Winter and saying I Loved You So Long.

I do plan on seeing the latest film based on a Cormac McCarthy novel, The Road, and will see it alone so I can say, "one for the road."

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a movie called, Tea? A couple could go up to the ticket window and say, "two for Tea." The ticket seller could reply, "and tea for two."

I've had difficulty buying tickets for movies that have titles that are difficult to pronounce as last fall when I saw Synecdoche, New York. And I felt silly two years ago asking for a ticket for Before the Devil Knows Your Dead (2007). I notice some theater goers shorten titles when they ask for tickets, as in saying "two for the 'Before the Devil.'" I'm sure most people got tickets for "Eternal Sunshine" rather than talking up valuable time saying Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind (2004).

Sometimes you don't actually say the number of tickets you're buying allowing a finger or two to denote the number. This proved embarrassing when I saw Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001).

And what was it like in 1963 when a couple went to see that rollicking Western/Comedy starring Frank Sinatra and said "two for 4 for Texas"? Or what if it was two couples asking for "four for 4 for Texas"?

Remember David Finchner's thriller Se7en (1995)? Yes, some patrons said "two for seven." If they wanted to see the 7 O'clock showing they could have said "two for seven at seven." Then again if it was a matinee it could have been "two for seven at two."

There was a quickly forgotten film in 2006 called Two Tickets to Paradise (2006). So did people ask for "two tickets for two tickets to paradise."? I'm just wondering.

In days of yore, before the advent of the multiplex, there was only one film, or a double feature playing in theaters, so film goers never had to say the name of the movie. This saved anyone from going up to a ticket booth in 1932 and saying, I Am a Fugitive from A Chain Gang. And people going to see Charlie Chaplin's The Circus (1928) avoided the confusion of stating their desire for "two ticket for the circus."

And imagine going to see the Frankenstein sequel and saying two for The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). You just now some wiseacre behind you would crack, "let her buy her own tickets." The same wag would offer the same quip to someone asking for two tickets for The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942). In more recent times, a descendant of this same wiseenheimer might have had a field day in line behind people buying tickets for the Farrelly brothers film Dumb and Dumber (1994). And what about when the same duo released Me, Myself & Irene (2000). "I'll have one for Me Myself and Irene." Perhaps in this instance our smart aleck would be the ticket seller who would retort: "you'll need three tickets!"

The moral? Better to buy your tickets online and avoid potential embarrassment.


25 comments:

Kate Gabrielle said...

I never even thought of this before (probably because I don't go to the movies that often) -- The fugitive from a chain gang one would have been hilarious!! And I love the tea for two one too :)

Armen Karaoghlanian said...

Ah, how nice. I'll say "Two for The Road" when it's time. Although I usually watch fims at Arclight Hollywood, which is easier to buy online because they use reserved sitting. By the way, it's "I've Loved You So Long." I've, not I.

Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoyed going up to the box office and asking for "One 'Antichrist' and a Coke, please".

Anonymous said...

I made some fun ones this year. For Moon, I asked," One ticket.. to the Moon! Please."
For Terminator: Salvation I said "One ticket for Christian Bale Teaches a Cyborg To Love, please."

Hornacek said...

Maybe it's just the US, but here in Canada we have automated tellers at the theater - use your bank card, no talking to anyone. Most people use these instead of the line-up with the person - it's much faster.

So reading this article was kinda funny, but it felt like watching a stand-up talking about audio cassettes. Maybe this would have been funnier 10 years ago.

Don Whittaker said...

Then there was the advertising campaign for "John Waters' 'Pecker,'" which was presumably intentional on his part. Just so filmgoers could ask to see the 7:00 o'clock showing of . . .

Stewart Burr said...

As a cinema worker there's been quite a few of these over the years, the most common one being:
"£12.40 for two tickets to Australia? that's awful cheap!"

CW said...

I worked at a theater when the 007 movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" opened. It sounded like people were scheduling appointments: "Tomorrow at 7:30", etc.

As a bonus, our tickets only had enough room to print the first word of the title, so I actually had people ask me why there ticket was for tomorrow and not today.

mike. said...

Not the same thing, but there was a theater that closed a while back on the upper east side, and the last film they happened to be showing before they shut their doors was "We Don't Live Here Anymore", the marriage psychodrama starring Mark Ruffalo and Naomi Watts.

They never bothered to take down the marquee when they shuttered their doors, so for at least a year (and possibly even to this day), you can walk past the boarded-up former-moviehouse, look up, and read the sign: "We Don't Live Here Anymore"

Prospero said...

Sorry to be so literal, but this wouldn't have been in an issue from the 20's through the 60's, when theaters only showed one film at a time and you didn't have to say what movie you wanted to see..

Adam said...

The titles on my theater are shortened on the tickets. Assassination of Jesse James printed out as "Assass of..." Very amusing.

The Former 786 said...

A very clever article! I especially liked "Two for 4 for Texas."

And I would make a joke about people buying tickets to Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, but I don't think anyone actually did go to the box office for that movie.

ZING!

http://theformer786.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I work at a movie theater, and I've seen some fun ones. Recently, there were tons of orders of "Nine for 9, please." One of the most difficult ones was "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," some people actually said the whole thing and ran out of breath before they could finish. Probably my favorite was recently, during the run of Inglorious Basterds, a guy walked up to my window and proclaimed, "Two Bastards!" I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Are you now?" Luckily he laughed.

Julio said...

Haha. Wow, this never bothered me. I just ask for the movie ticket and they give it and I walk in.

What I think would embarrass most people is asking for a ticket for a movie that's perceived as embarrassing. For example, a man going alone and asking for a ticket to "Sex and the City." Or a group of frat boys going to see "Hannah Montana."

As for "two for 'The Bride of Frankenstein.'" Sounds like some really kinky stuffy, if you ask me! :)

Anonymous said...

When the movie 'WHORE' came out like 20 years ago, my friends and I just wanted to go to mess with the ticket people and say 'How much for Whore?' 'What time is The Whore?' etc etc. You get the idea.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Jet Li's 2001 film titled "The One." I unintentionally asked for "one for The One at one."

Anonymous said...

My best friend and I make it a point to use quotes (written or air) when discussing movies which might paint our relationship in a strange light. "I Love You, Man," was the most recent example.

Richard Hourula said...

I can't believe I didn't use I Love You Man in this post.

Anonymous said...

I got a bit of a laugh a couple years ago when I asked for "Two Students, Knocked Up"

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I work in a cinema too and hearing people say "I love you, man" was pretty weird.

You also get alot of people getting the name completely wrong, mostly in the case of sequels. Coming to see The Bourne Ultimatum, most people asked for the Bourne Identity, same with the Pirates of the Carribean subtitles. In any case, customers should know that a cinema worker will understand what you mean if you just ask for Bourne or Pirates.

The funniest one I can remember is a few years back, this old Asian tourist came in looking very lost with a map in his hand, asking for a ticket to Hong Kong. I almost pointed him in the direction of a flight shop before I realised he must have actually meant King Kong (2005).

Anonymous said...

I work at a theater and get this stuff a lot! The funniest had to be a Jim Carrey movie from '06 Fun with Dick and Jane. "two for Fun with Dick..."

Anonymous said...

I work at a theater, and the "jokes" can get rather tiresome. Everyone thinks they are the first to make a joke of a title, and they want everyone to know how clever they are. And by the way, asking for a child or senior ticket when you are clearly not of that age group is also not funny. I'd love to be able to throw you out for asking, too.

Clive Dangerously said...

Last year I was corrected when I tried to buy tickets to Benjamin Button. "You mean... The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?"

Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I also work at a theatre and by far the most annoying was "Meet The Fockers". Many customers would purposely mispronounce the name to be funny.

Also having "District 9" and the movie "9" and having an auditorium 9, and 9 o'clock shows led to some very confusing situations.

Sameer said...

In August, a movie was released in India called 'Kaminey' which is a swear word equivalent to saying 'Bastard' in English. Awkward at the counter? Yes!