My mom and I saw Divergent this afternoon (but more on that in a minute).
I always accompany my mom to the concession stand when we go to the movies, both to help carry her purchases and to make sure that I get what I want. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it is. Because heaven forbid the kid working the concession stand at the AMC Theatre actually sell me a fucking small soda.
I literally have trouble carrying any of their sodas bigger than a small and even the small is ginormous. But no, they don’t want to sell me a small soda; I must upgrade it. And it’s even worse because my mom is a member of the AMC Stubs program, which provides free upgrades for popcorn and sodas. So I end up practically having to yell at these kids that I understand I could get a larger soda for the same price, I just don’t want one. I literally told the girl today to stop trying to upsell me. (This was after her second attempt to coerce me into upgrading my soda.)
I understand that your manager has drilled into your head that you must always upsell, but at some point you should respect the customer as a human being who knows her own fucking mind. I mean, when I worked at the record store we were always supposed to try to get the customer to buy more than one item. And I’d suggest one of the dumb things we had at the register (disc repair kits and whatnot) if somebody came up with one CD. But if the customer was already buying multiple things I’d keep my mouth shut; I was getting my multi-sale so why harass the customer.
Hiccups at the concession stand aside, it was a lovely trip to the movies. Here’s a thing I hadn’t known going in, though: Divergent is a long-ass movie. And it felt even longer. I don’t know how they took such a well-paced page-turner of a book and turned it into a plodding movie, but they did. I think my mom liked it more than I did. (I think it helped that it wasn’t Hunger Games-level violent.) There were parts I really loved, even during the boring parts of the movie (most of them involved Four, because duh). But then there were things where I thought, “that’s not how it happened” (most of them involved Jeanine Matthews – I guess if you get Kate Winslet for your movie, you use her as much as possible). And there were things that I expected to see because they come up in the other books that weren’t in Divergent at all. So I don’t know how that’s going to be resolved in the other movies.
One thing that really bothered me was that I couldn’t tell Will and Al apart. This is not a problem I had reading the book. And the more I think about it, the more I wonder why they bothered including Al; they could’ve saved a few minutes without him and the film wouldn’t have been materially different.
I know I’m mostly complaining about the movie, but I really did like it. I just think they could’ve done better. And I have no idea if my opinion matches the Internet’s general opinion because I haven’t bothered to see what people thought. At the very least it’s good to know that it was one of the nine films this year that passed the Bechdel test.
One last thing about Divergent: my mom kinda didn’t believe me when I told her that Four was played by the same actor who played Downton Abbey‘s ill-fated Mr. Pamuk 🙂