In finding Neverland the playwright J.M Barrie, played by Johnny Depp, used children strategically in his audience and get the adult viewers engaged in the play by having the emotions of the kids infect the adults. I thought this was brilliant because I had a very similar experience when I went to go see castaway.
Allow me to lay my scene, my wife and I go to the opening night of Cast Away. It is packed. We find four seats together. My wife and I take two and we are followed by a man and his six year old daughter. They take the two remaining seats. The little girl is sitting right next to me.
In my mind I am going over the possible outcomes. She is a bad kid and squirms and chats up a storm about stuff because this movie is not going to hold her attention. She is into the movie but asks a hundred questions like “Daddy, why is he doing that” or she is very board and goes to sleep and I just have to put up with having kid feet kick me every so often.
During the movie she was the model of a good audience member. She was quiet and still and was riveted to the screen. I was unprepared for this so I was very pleased to enjoy the movie.
I have a bit of spoiler here.. Wait this movie came out in 2000 there has to be a statute of limitations on Spoilers. Humm another blog post, just making a note here. Back to my story.
In the film when Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is making a break for it on his raft and Willison his traveling companion floats away. My emotional state at this point is one of mild sadness I feel just the twinge of sadness for his loss. But next to me I hear the smallest of whimpers, and this angelic little girl who was superb during this movie is ever so quietly crying. My emotional involvement in the scene was immediately dialed up to 11. I cried like a hungry angry baby.
I was amazed at how much her evolvement had an effect on me. I know that who you go to the movie with can color if you like a film or not. A friend of mine wanted me to go see Dumb and Dumer because he took his girlfriend and she hated it so he couldn’t enjoy himself at the film. So after work he took me and I laughed at all the right bits. (I am not proud of this moment in my life) and he could let himself go and laugh at all the bits his girlfriend was scowling at.
To sum up, your enjoyment of a movie is affected by who you are with. You are out with your parents and a sex scene shows up un-expectantly in a film and you are now wishing you could fall into a hole. That you would totally enjoy if you were there with your friends.
Just an interesting experience I thought I would share. Do you have anything like this happen to you?