Movie companies deliberately overbook theatres for advance screenings. I have always felt that they secretly enjoy turning people away because they take it as a sign that they have a hit on their hands. At Wednesday night’s screening of “Eat Pray Love,” the representatives from Columbia Pictures and Regal Cinemas proved me wrong. Rather than disappoint any of the people who showed up, they held a second screening across the hall.
I gave away a lot of tickets during a remote broadcast at US Cellular on Monday. I felt bad for a lady who arrived at the end of my two-hour appearance, just after I had given away the last tickets. This particular movie was very important to her and she seemed crushed that she had missed out. I thought of a long-shot idea that might work if she were willing to approach some strangers.
The printed tickets for most movie screenings say “admit two.” I told the woman that she could try coming alone to the Pinnacle 18 before we started seating the audience. Maybe she could find a group of three and convince them to let her be their fourth. It worked. She found me inside the auditorium and told me how happy she was to have gotten in.
In the future, more preview screening tickets might be like those for “Dinner for Schmucks.” Each ticket only admitted one person and had a unique bar-code. Some small print at the bottom read “If you are unable to attend the event, please release your pass in the MyFobo area on www.gofobo.com. Gofobo is dedicated to recycling 100% of movie screening passes.”
“Eat Pray Love” would have been better if it stopped at “Eat.” Julia Roberts’ character goes on a year-long journey to find happiness. She seemed happy eating her way across Italy but left it behind to go to an ashram in India. Richard Jenkins’ character spelled it out for her quite plainly and she still didn’t get it. Happiness comes from within. God is in you, as you. We Catholics would phrase it as “we are the body of Christ.” Same thing. Then she goes to Bali to hook up with Anton Chigurh and continues to be unsure. I had long since lost patience with her by that point.