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Kathy Tofflemire, Published December 19 2011

Tofflemire: Please pass the popcorn

I texted my nearly 40-year-old daughter some weeks back to tell her that “The Smurfs” movie was at what we affectionately call “the cheap theater.” I also told her that I would not go with her to see it.

“That’s just smurfy,” she replied.

As a child, she was a big fan of the little blue creatures. She had quite a collection of small Smurf figurines, which unfortunately weren’t as likely to get sucked up by the vacuum as were tiny Barbie shoes. I think I even have one remaining drinking glass from a Smurf collection somewhere in the back of a kitchen cupboard.

I am not a fan. As someone who works with words on a daily basis, I have no respect for any “civilization” that apparently has an insufficient number of nouns and verbs in their vocabulary.

Actually, my daughter should have made me accompany her to the film. It would be revenge for my talking her into seeing “Milo and Otis” years ago. She has never forgiven me. That movie about the adventures of a cat and a pug dog isn’t a bad film, but you should watch it on TV – with the sound off. The narration by Dudley Moore is beyond annoying.

As a grandmother, I’ve gone to a lot of kids’ movies, and on rare occasions, films made for grown-ups – so rare that I can’t remember the last one.

I did take my older grandson to the PG-rated film “Super 8,” which he enjoyed. But I was glad that afterward he brought up the subject of the title. It hadn’t occurred to me that, of course, he wouldn’t understand the term; the movie was set in 1979.

That theater trip was in sharp contrast to one of the few previous movies he and I viewed without his younger brother. It was 2005’s “March of the Penguins,” an absolutely delightful film. He nodded off during the opening credits and slept through the entire movie.

The first time we took my younger grandson to a movie theater, he was a tad too young to appreciate the experience. He soon lost interest in what was on the screen, but he had a great time going down to an empty row of lower-level seats and sitting in every one.

Back in the day, when I wrote movie reviews, I preferred to attend the films alone. I guess it was the fact I was “on the job” that made it OK. I now often think about going to movies by myself, but I don’t.

Besides, I need someone with whom to share the popcorn. I could eat a six-course meal and still be unable to resist the smell of theater popcorn. Even shared, it’s a gosh-darn lot of calories because it must be buttered.

I buy movies. I rent movies. I watch them on HBO and Showtime free-movie weekends. But some films, especially the epic motion pictures, just need to be seen on the big screen.

I thoroughly enjoyed the showing at the Fargo Theatre of the 70-plus-year-old “Gone With the Wind.” And I went by myself, sans popcorn.


Kathy Tofflemire is a copy editor at The Forum.