Our Thoughts On: Peeing During a Movie
Do you pee during a movie?
By The Film Team
I drink more peppermint tea than could possibly be FDA-approved and can’t go from the living room to the kitchen without bringing a 40-oz water bottle with me, so I can’t remember the last time I sat through a whole movie without having to get up to pee at some point. Therefore, I have many thoughts on peeing during a movie. My favorite kind is when you’re at a big AMC theater inside of some mall that smells like popcorn and new carpet. Being jolted out of your own dark chamber of emotions into a fluorescent liminal space lined with heavy “choose your own adventure” doors. Walking down the hallway toward the nearest bathroom and hearing the muffled explosions fade into violin music and then into screams feels like touring a laboratory conducting some weird scientific experiments on the human experience. Makes me feel kind of silly for being affected by something projected onto one little screen while the rest of the world is so unaware.
I will do whatever it takes to not pee during a movie. It's a mix of not wanting to disturb other people and wanting to get the most out of my $15 ticket. Whether that means not drinking for hours before the film or sitting through the last act extremely uncomfortable, I will not miss a minute. I genuinely think films with a runtime over 2.5 hours should have intermissions at theatres, providing viewers a chance to go to the bathroom AND buy more snacks, a win for everyone! The only exception is if I've seen the movie before and know when nothing will happen. For example, Michael’s jaunt around Italy in The Godfather is my intermission—I’m confident I can make it to the bathroom and back without missing a beat.
After listening to this episode of Poog, I’ve come to believe that going to the bathroom alone in the middle of watching a movie (in the theater) is one of the most profound experiences a person can have. You remain part of the group (the audience), but briefly separate yourself as your physical needs take over. While you’re gone, you’re guided by the knowledge that you will return safely to the others. As you walk to the bathroom, it’s like walking in a dream along the psychedelically patterned carpet. Part of your consciousness somehow remains in the story, even as you pass by a giant promo cutout of Adam Sandler and Kevin James for I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (a core movie theater memory for me). As someone who needs to pee near constantly, this is the kind of romanticization I need so I don’t worry that I’m missing the most important part of the movie.