The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Bad Moviegoers

Warning… rant ahead.

A Seattle film critic and her noisy obnoxious friends utterly ruined my first viewing of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

She and her rowdy friends took up about half of a row in front of us, and they began by bragging loudly about their knowledge of the books by Douglas Adams and their contempt for those who haven’t read them. (By their attitude, they must not be too familiar with the book that The Passion was based on.)

They proceeded to revel in their expertise by laughing uproariously at everything that ever appeared onscreen… to exhibit their enthusiasm for the books, I can only assume.

They certainly weren’t laughing because the movie was funny, because they laughed immediately at everything before the scenes even had a chance to become comical. Heck, they laughed at the Chicken Little preview as if it was a stroke of comedy genius. Thus, I spent the entire film straining to hear what characters were saying. It turned out that I didn’t need to hear the movie… these clowns in front of me repeated and discussed every punchline at a high volume. So I’ve heard all the jokes. From them.

It was a packed house, so Anne and I had no options to take other seats. It was either endure or eject. I was tempted to eject, but Anne and I had been looking forward to this for a long time. You see… we’ve read the books too. But we’ve never understood, apparently, that being a Douglas Adams fan gives you license to create great civil unrest in a crowded movie theater.


I wish I could tell you what I thought of the film. It seemed like it was probably pretty funny. And Sam Rockwell certainly seemed to be having a good time.

But beware of Seattle film critics’ reviews of this film. One of them, at least, had her mind made up before the film even started. And her sense of judgment was off… she seemed to believe she was in her own living room where she could make as much noise as she wanted.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has relaunched a bigger, better version of this blog at The new Looking Closer doesn't have any of the trashy click-bait advertisements that you're probably seeing all over this Patheos page. So give yourself a break.

  • jasdye

    Thanks, Peter and Eddie.

    I’ll continue to hit this page just for the links.

  • eddie

    The NT Wright page has a nice collection of links from/of/about his stuff. Seriously consider tackling the “Christian Origins” series if you have the time/patience to do so; its well, well worth the read. “The Resurrection of the Son of God”, IMHO, is brilliant, brilliant, uplifting stuff.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    It’s been a few years since I tried reading everything I could on the historical Jesus, but I believe it would be safe to say that Wright’s Jesus and the Victory of God (Fortress, 1997) was the heavy-duty academic book, and The Original Jesus (Eerdmans, 1996) was the easy-to-read book filled with pretty pictures, and The Challenge of Jesus (IVP, 1999) was somewhere in between — no pretty pictures, and not as long as the heavy-duty book, but for the general, intelligent reader.

    FWIW, the first book of his I ever read — right after hearing him give a couple of free lectures at Regent College in 1993, when I was first hit by the angst of historical inquiry into the gospels — was Who Was Jesus? (Eerdmans, 1993), but that book is mostly a critique of three other books that had just come out around that time, none of which I think commands much attention nowadays. Still, it’s a good intro into some of the key issues.

  • jasdye

    Seriously, if we wasn’t married, a male, old and an Anglican, I would fall in love with N.T. Wright. Anybody know a good place to start reading his works would be? I’m especially interested in his “Jesus in the context of 1st C. AD Judaism.”

  • Mike Todd

    Thanks for the link.

  • WNGL

    You should have brought a towel, to snap it at that rude gal. At least someone could have stuck a goldfish cracker in her ear – or your own, to block out the noise. Then you would at least know if the film works as a silent movie!

  • Danny

    Heh, You have fallen prey to Croaker’s Curse! All I have to do is be in the same building. I must have just missed you guys. I was there to see Melinda and Melinda, and saw the DOUBLE RING line around the atrium. No way all those folks actually made it in. Must have been a madhouse.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    BTW, I have no idea who’s who in Seattle film-critic circles, but I do want to know just one thing — does this particular critic write for anybody important? Cuz if so, then that would really, really suck. But perhaps she could be reported. :)

  • Adam Walter


  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    No, no, no. MM is the epitome of good manners and grace. She’s a wonderful person, not just a wonderful critic. It wasn’t her.

  • Adam Walter

    Gosh, hope it wasn’t MM–I’ve had such respect for her reviews (I had it on good authority she was buying some Adams material at a local bookstore recently). But then there’s only so much you can tell about a person from their writing.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Wow, you do have bad luck with your Seattle screenings.

    But in a way, I can’t say I’m surprised; I think the risk of this sort of thing increases with films that have cult followings. Ordinarily, you would hope that people would wait until after they had seen the new version of their favorite story, but eventually they do begin to treat the theatre like their own private living room. When I saw the extended versions of Fellowship and Two Towers on “trilogy Tuesday”, a guy behind me kept saying “Mister Anderson” after every single line of Elrond’s. It got very annoying very fast.

    Thankfully, when the time came to see Return of the King, the idiot in question shut up. But that was probably only because he hadn’t seen it yet — the film was brand, brand new then.