I divide movies into three categories: 1) great films I’ll view over and over; 2) those I’d like to see once; and 3) ones I have no interest in watching. Classics like The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Robin Hood, each of which I’ve caught more than twenty times, fall within the first group. As for the much larger second group, my interest in viewing them once depends entirely on my ignorance of their endings. I won’t even start such a film if I know its conclusion in advance. And I’ll take great pains to ensure no one else inadvertently spills the beans to me before I have a chance to see the flick.
One of the films in my second group is The Wrestler, with Mickey Rourke. The wife and I have both wanted to view it, solely because neither of us knew its outcome. If you haven’t yet seen it and feel the same way we do, then keep in mind the following two words before continuing: spoiler alert!
Last night, Sophia rented The Wrestler while I procured dinner. We don’t live in a city, so there’s no such thing as home delivery of any food other than Chinese or pizza. If a guy has a yen for any other restaurant fare and doesn’t wish to dine in, then he’ll have to retrieve the edibles himself. Neither of us wanted Chinese or pizza yesterday, so I placed a takeout order at a local tavern and waited there while Sophia drove off for the movie.
After placing my order, I got to talking with a guy sitting at the bar. Our respective plans for the evening came up, and I mentioned our intended entertainment. He responded: “Small world; my wife and I saw that movie last month …”
Before he could continue, I rudely interrupted: “Don’t say another word! I can’t see it if I know how it ends!”
He did not take offense. To the contrary, he shared my viewpoint and said as much: “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t have told you what happens. I’m like you; can’t stand it when someone blurts out the ending of a movie I want to see!”
Just then, my new friend’s wife returned from the restroom, and he introduced us. We’d exchanged no more than initial pleasantries when Sophia walked in, proudly displaying a copy of our desired DVD. “Look what I found in stock, Richard!” She playfully announced.
“Mrs. Barfly” glanced briefly at the box cover and, without missing a beat, exclaimed to her husband: “Honey, I still say Mickey Rourke dies from a heart attack when he jumps off the rope during his wrestling match, even if the screen fades to black right after!”