My review of The Adjustment Bureau will be in Friday’s edition of the paper, so I won’t preview it here, but I wanted to share a story that happened while I was watching the movie at a preview screening.
Now, I’ve been reviewing film in town for almost 17 years (geez). This is a job to me — fun, yes, but still a job. I bring a notepad and pen; I go to my seat and hunker down. I like to enjoy it and the people I share the experience with (many of the critics know each other pretty well). But that’s not always the case.
If you’ve ever attended a preview screening, you know they rope off a few rows for critics, studio reps, media professionals, etc. Sometimes they put our names on individual seats, but last night they did not. I found a seat that was unoccupied and started to sit.
“I’m sorry,” said a man I’d never met before. “Those seats are taken by folks from Gordon and the Whale.” Those people were giving the curtain speech, so it was cool with me. But I still needed a seat.
“Is the one on your right free?” I asked the gentleman. “Yes,” he said. He turned to the woman sitting two seats away from him. “This seat isn’t occupied, is it?” he asked.
“No,” she said. “But I’d like to keep it free. I don’t like anyone sitting next to me.” The seat on her other side was empty, too.
“Well,” I said, “not wanting a neighbor isn’t a good reason. Move your bag — I’m taking it.” “What did you say?” she said, insulted. “I said, you don’t get to claim three seats in the middle of a row simply because you don’t want to sit next to somebody.”