There is a huge personality difference between men and women that is best illustrated by our approach to stories. The most extereme example is a guy and a girl going to watch a mystery movie. Guys seldom talk in cinemas unless there is a particularily important and pertinent comment that needs to be coveyed urgently to either his friends or (depending on the level of importance) to the whole cinema. These comments usually refer to the quality and size of female mammaries or approval of directorial technique that shows off their quality.

These are perfectly understandable interruptions in any cinematic experience and the cinema crowd usually shows it’s unabowed appreciation to the male concerned in the form of gifts. These are thrown, if not at his feet, then at least in his general direction (gifts include popcorn, handfuls of slush ice and, in very appreciative cases, jumbo colas). Guys understand the concept of cinema.

Girls, on the other hand, do not. The dynamics of the guy-girl as opposed to the guy-guy movie experience are very different. The first major difference is that the guy may no longer make his highly qualified observations on the movie content without receiveing aforementioned gifts directly and accurately into his lap. The second is that whereas guys are there for a story to unfold in front of them, women want to know a certain amount up front.

These small details include, but are not limited to: the names of the actors; their character’s names; the plot of the movie; the sub-plot of the movie; who dies, who lives; who gets together with who; whether the cheating bastard gets his just desserts in the end; etc. This is okay. Some of us guys will, too, read the last page of a novel early to see what happens.

Alright, I lie, so guys don’t actually read. But we do occasionally watch the last acene of a video before the beginning if the previous person didn’t rewind. Especially if it’s restricted SN18 (I love these new restrictions, it’s like a Guide for Wankers.) We especially like it when the movie isn’t fully rewound but is half-way through because then we know the previous viewer was a dirty bastard too and we need not feel so alone in our depravation. But I digress.

Women don’t ask these questions (ref: the paragraph previous to the last) before the movie so that we can answer “I don’t know,” to all of them and get it all over and done with. They wait until the movie is well underway and in an important scene, crucial to the plot and in no way gratuitous, where Drew Barrymore is about to get into a shower (Naked, obviously, no-one get’s into a shower with their clothes on. That would be stupid.)

Then the questions start. The first one is a great start. It’s infuriating because it’s the only one you can answer (having seen the trailer) and could have been asked before the movie. “What’s the story about?” So you explain. And the movie continues.

The next scene involves one of the characters doing something slightly thoughtless and stupid because they are currently suffering an unusual and terrifying experience. “Why is he doing that?” she asks. So you explain that he is feeling just a little under pressure since finding out that his parents have murdered all his girlfriends since the age if 16, cut them up into small chunks and sold them in meat pies at the local weekend fétes, and that he is possibly not thinking entirely clearly due to this not insignificant matter. “Oh,” she replies, impervious to irony. And the movie continues.

Then is almost always: “Haven’t we seen him in something before?” As a male we feel that this is definitely an issue that can be dealt with after the movie. “No,” he confidently proclaims, hoping to settle the issue quickly and cleanly. Settled. Done. Well feigned that man.

“I’m sure we’ve seen him in something before.” This time the guy remains silent. That was statement, not a question and requires no reply. Besides which, he believes the question has already been satisfactorily dealt with. And Drew Barrymore is taking her clothes off again.

“It’s going to bug me the whole way through the movie,” she says. This one is a dangerous coded meassage that only guys of experience know how to translate. It does not actally mean it’s going to bug her the whole way through the movie. It means she is going to bug you the whole way through the movie. So you think and think and you lose a little concentration (everyone’s fully clothed anyway) and you remember. So you tell her. She doesn’t remember the movie and is not sure she believes you’re right. So you relate the plot, she remembers and you settle back. Victory. The movie goes on.

“What’s going on now?”

And do you know what. You don’t know. You haven’t a clue. One of the main characters seems to have inexplicably changed sex and another one seems to have turned into an alien or life insurance broker or, possibly, both. So you tell her you have no idea.

“Well, why don’t you know?” This is a crucial point. This is life changing. It is at this point the men who read women’s magazines, the ones with articles on how women just want men to be ‘open’ and ‘honest’ and ‘talk about their feelings’, suddenly find themselves single. “I’m sure they’ll explain as it goes along,” the rest of us confidently pronounce.

When the missing parts of the plot do not make themselves obvious she proclaims that: “This is a stupid movie.” And, again, you agree.

Before I was, again, single I used to get really embarrassed in cinemas because I thought that we were disturbing other patrons, but this is untrue. Since I started rather going to the movies alone I realise that most movie-goers are couples going through the same experience and, you know, I feel nothing but sympathy for them even if it disturbs my viewing.


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