Saturday, August 20, 2011


ON MY DAY OUT, I decided to go see "The Help" since I had read and enjoyed the book a year or so ago. What I didn't factor in was my tendency toward theatrical narcolepsy. Sleepy Mr. Bob never, ever snoozes in the theater, but when I was 19, he had to take me to see the movie, "From Here to Eternity" twice so I could see the complete film.  I gave up going to the legitimate theater when I dozed through a stage production of "Ragtime" at $70 a seat.

Last Thursday I arrived at the multi-screen theater at the appointed time, purchased my ticket, stoically passed up the refreshment counter and selected a seat in the back row on the aisle. Soon I was asked to move by someone who had brought a friend in a wheelchair so I heaved my bones up and moved a row ahead and one seat over so that my head, which sports rather large hair, wouldn't interfere with their view and resettled myself.

I'm in the habit of snapping a picture with my iPhone and immediately sending it to my kids, just to show where I am and what I'm doing. It's a superfluous act on my part, for I don't think I get many comments back. So I did that, and got through the endless coming attractions, none of which were of must be my age showing......and when the opening credits came on for the featured film, I was out like a light before they even finished rolling. When I sleep at the theater, I'm aware that I'm doing it but am helpless to lift my eyelids, so that went on for a while before I'd had enough rest and regained consciousness, berating myself in the process, for paying the price of a theater ticket in order to sleep.

I was surprised to find someone sitting next to me in a nearly empty theater. I don't think any of my belongings was missing, but it was startling to think that a criminal could have helped himself.

Since I had read the book, I wasn't at a total loss when it came to picking up the plot and I saw enough of the film to know that I was pleased at the casting, directing and acting (not usually the case when a book is made into a movie). I definitely recommend seeing it and also urge you to consider reading the book first. And remember to get a good night's sleep ahead of time.


  1. You should start a series of narcoleptic movie reviews. Your naps could be your "thumbs up" trade mark.

  2. You probably needed that sleep badly...but geez, what a shock to wake up next to a stranger in a theatre that was not filled. I'm glad you had people sitting behind you. I hope they were alert to any situation and looking out for you. We really do run into angels everywhere. T.O. Joanne

  3. Didn't read all of the book but loved the movie - and atayed awake the whole time, unusual for me.

  4. The question, Dear Jane, is: Are there any movies you have NOT slept through???

    That would be a HIGH recommend. : )

    However, you are not alone! I often fall asleep, guiltlessly, in movies! An actress on The Talk admitted that when she takes her kids to boring movies---she packs a blanket and neck pillow and ZZZZZZZ's away happily!

  5. Jane,

    I was interested in your meditation on sleep.

    My really wonderful grandpa used to say that he "was resting his eyes" indeed he was.

    It's interesting that sometimes it seems an imperative, this quiet activity called sleep. At other times it is almost transparent, and you can feel yourself in it and make plans to remember your great insights. Mostly it's not being here. The your self reappears some number of hours later, in a science-fictiony twist that we take for granted daily.


  6. Help! The Helper! Jane, dear, you are so funny, so articulate. You make me laugh and that is a good thing.

    I read The Help, also and hope to movie one day. A brave book. Someone in my group said, "I was ashamed," and I think "ashamed is a good word here. Then I began to think of other shameful things historical and witnessed and I conjured up quite a stack...

    I saw a picture of you and your Bob dancing in the Windsor ad in the local paper this am. How nice. A smiling you.

    Love, Marlene

  7. The problem is that my sleepiness has nothing to do with how interested I am in the movie. When I was taking trazadone, prescribed by a doctor, the problem disappeared, but the drug had some not-so-good side effects that I didn't realize until I ceased taking it (at another doctor's orders).

  8. Chris's suggestion is brilliant. A narcoleptic movie reviewer.

  9. Susan H writes: So funny, I do remember that you always fell asleep during movies, in the theater and at home. I am amazed at the different positions you and dad can sleep in while sitting up. I do the same when flying. Like a baby in a car seat. I don't remember taking off on my last several flights, I fall asleep that fast. love you

  10. Loved the book, loved the movie. Next time, don't pass up the snack bar. Buy popcorn-eating it helps keep me awake when I'm sleepy.