The Cinema Experience for Parents

I am a parent of 40 years old. My daughter, Alice, is now seven years old. We’ve been to the cinema a few times now. The following is typical of my experiences.


OK, are you sat down?

Yes, the seat is wobbly.

It folds up. Look.

It’s supposed to do that.

No, don’t bounce on it.

Just sit on it.

I know it hasn’t started yet, but I don’t want to set a bouncing precedent.

Just sit on it.

No, these are just adverts.

Yes, you can open your sweets.

No, I’ve got my own, thanks.

OK, swap one for one of yours then.

Yyyeeeaaaahhh. I prefer mine actually.

No, this is an advert too.


I know there’s an explosion in it.

I don’t know why a watch needs an explosion to advertise it.

I guess the watch can blow things up?

No, I don’t want to buy that watch.

Yes, it does rather defeat the point of an advert, doesn’t it?

No, this is not the film, it’s another advert.

I agree. Another explosion is unnecessary.

I guess people like explosions in adverts.

Well, funnily enough, if you read the newspapers recently, there are stories of mobile phones blowing up, so this advert is ironically rather accurate.

It means: “sort of backwards to what it usually means in a funny way”

Yes, but not haha-funny.


Pick them up.

No, they’re all in individual wrappers, so you can still eat them.

No, I’m not going to hold them. You’ll just have to…

…no, this is not the movie yet. It’s just the trailers.

Don’t wanna see that.


Don’t wanna see that.

You want to see that??

Well, OK, if you really want to…

Yeah, I’d be up for that.

I’M REALLY UP FOR THAT!!! Shall we go when it comes out?

Yeah! Cinema buddies. [FIST BUMP]

OK, ssshhh. The film’s about to start.


Well you should have gone five minutes ago! That’s what the trailers and the adverts are for.

Are you sure? You can manage for nearly two hours?

Well, why did you make a fuss?

Well, if you do need to go, let me know.

Ssssh now.

Ssssh. It’s just the credits.




What is it?

But it’s the exposition! No, not an explosion… it’s the bit where… oh, all right…

…’scuse me, ‘scuse me, sorry! I’m so sorry, was that your foot?…

Hurry up.

Stop singing.

Yes, I know it’s echoey. There are other people in this toilet, you know. They’re thinking you’re weird.

Bloody hell, I need to go now.

Yes, I know.

Hurry up with the hand washing.

No, now’s not the time to sing at the taps.

Right, quick dry.

Yes, that’s enough.

OK, sssh now.

…’scuse me, ‘scuse me, ‘scuse me… no, next one along… sorry!



Yes, but do it quietly.

Stop rustling the plastic!

Right. Last warning. Shush!

(Hmmmm. I’m not getting into the film. None of this is funny so far)

(Huh. Fart joke)

(Fart joke again…)

(Fat joke)

(Joke about a gay character? Really?? In 2016??)

(Well, that’s a cock joke, and not a funny one)


Ssh! Stop rustling. OK, look, pro-tip, do it verrrrry slllooooowwwwwlllly…

Because people are trying to watch the film!


(This isn’t as good as the first film)

(Oh what?? This is a classic song!! Who the fuck is this mewling twat singing it?)

(Hip-hop breakdown? Oh puh-leeeeez!)

(Another fart joke? Jeeesus…)


Stop fidgeting.

OK, I bought one for us to share.

Here, put it in this cupholder, that way we can both drink from it.

Don’t drink it all!! I want some!!

Sssh now.

(Bloody kid)

(She should learn by now)

(Granny was taken by her parents to see the Royal Shakespeare Company at her age)

(She learned proper theatre etiquette)

(And I got taken to the theatre as well)

(I was bored shitless though)

(Why is the person three seats away looking at their phone, for God’s sake?!)

(Put! It! Away! For fuck’s sake!!)

Massive twunt


Stop fidgeting!

No, I’m not telling you what’s going on.

Because… I’m watching it to find out.

No, I’m not going to tell you what is happening.

You have to work it out for yourself.

That’s literally the whole point of films.

And books for that matter.

Just… sssh.

(Going to the cinema and learning how to behave when you’re there is important!)

(Bloody child)

(This film is nowhere near as good as the first one)

(Fuck, that kid over there is talking as if they’re in their front room!)

(Control your child, madam!!)

(What the…? You brought a… DON’T GIVE HIM THE… what sort of degenerate arsehole brings a tablet to the cinema??!)

(Make the kid watch the fucking film, you cretin! It bloody cost £25 to get in here!!)


No, really. Ssh!

I don’t know, because you keep distracting me!

Yes, he’s the baddie. Now sssh!

Probably the baddie. Oh, I dunno, I can just tell.

Stop fidgeting

Please stop fidgeting

Stop fidgeting please

Stop please fidgeting… no, that doesn’t work

Stop fidgeting NOW, or I will take you home.

There that works.

No, don’t cry!

Stop crying!

I know it’s quiet crying, but I didn’t mean for you to cry!

Yeah, but don’t fidget either.

Just… sssh. I’m trying to watch the film and so is everyone else.

(Apart from that twat on his mobile…)

(…and that stupid cow over there who is allowing their child to play on a tablet in a fucking children’s film for fuck’s sake!!)


(Why, God? Why??)

(I need some of that drink now)

(What the…?)

Did you drink it?

Did you drink the drink??

There’s nothing left but ice-cubes!!

Sorry, sorry. I’ll be quiet. Sorry mate.

Alc! Thr’s nthng lft!

I knw i sd t’s fr shrng! I wntd sm fr myslf!!!

[Big Eyes from Alice]

[Big animated eyes on screen]

[Big real eyes in real life being all innocence and I-just-wanted-some-of-the-drink-Daddy-I-didn’t-mean-to-drink-all-of-it]


Cinema Paradiso raised my expectations of how children behave in cinemas. Cinema Paradiso has a lot to answer for.


(Grumpy now)

(Too grumpy for this fucking film)

(The first one was miles better)

(Didn’t bloody murder great songs)

(How many fart gags now?)


No, I’m not getting you another drink. You drank all of that one!

(Oooh, big ballad song)

(Oh, and the ugly one takes off the glasses and…)

(…yup. She’s all… really?? This is not even as realistic as that perfectly rendered CGI beard we saw a few moments ago in glorious close-up)


(Oooh, baddie doing stuff)

(OK, I saw that coming)

(Yeah, standard twist)

(Oooh! Getting dark now…)

(Ooof. That’s a bit much for a…)

(…oooh, this is a bit scary for…)

You OK?

Just cuddle me if you’re scared…

(Woah! No need for that! A bit harsh…)

(Actually, there would have been four ‘shits’, two ‘son-of-a-bitches’, several ‘assholes’, a human sacrifice of some sort, and a melty face by now if this were a PG-rated flick in the 80s…)

Parental Guidance: General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children A PG film should not unsettle a child aged around eight or older. Unaccompanied children of any age may watch, but parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger, or more sensitive, children.

(He’s not dead)

(Of course he’s not dead)

(This is a children’s film. It’s a standard trope. He’s not dead)

(Bloody hell… what if…)

(…What if this is one of those films where, just to have an edge, he really DOES die…?)

(I mean… Watership Down, yeah? That’s a U-certificate!)

(Dead bunnies everywhere…)

A U-rated film should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over, although it is impossible to predict what might upset any particular child.


Just cuddle me, OK?

(I did NOT see that coming!)

(Heh! This is going to get complaints!!)


(Ah, there he is!)

(Phew! Er… I knew he was all right in the end)


(Oooh, that’s going to cause nightmares)


(You know what, kid? Bounce on the seat. I want to.)





(Heh, well that leaves room for the next sequel)

(Hmmm, downbeat ending for a kid-friendly film)

Oh, they’re trying to be all ‘Empire Strikes Back’)

(Don’t blame ’em)

(‘Empire Strikes Back’ is the motherfucking bomb)

No, I don’t know if there’s an end-of-credits scene

Yes, we can stay

(Heh! Look at all these losers leaving the cinema before the end-of-credits scene…)

Yeah, I liked the music too

(Stop tidying up the cinema, overworked and underpaid cinema staff! Don’t you know there’s an end-of-credits scene??)

(Christ, how many animators? Most of Korea, by the looks of things…)

(Is that it?)

Oh, here we go.

Heh! Cute.

Did you enjoy it?!

YEAH! I did too! It was great!

You know that there’s another sequel coming out next year?

Shall we go?

YEAH! Cinema buddies [FIST BUMP]


Woah, you can see it bursting from his stomach!!

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