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Incompatible Movie Watchers

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike Frezon, Oct 25, 2016.

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  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I've long wondered if other HTF members have a problem similar to mine.

    My wife and I have been married 34+ years. We have one of the best marriages of anyone I know. We enjoy each other's company and do nearly everything together. We're empty-nesters now as both kids have been out of the house for several years.. We enjoy our new role as grandparents. We do crossword puzzles together, dine together, and pretty much go everywhere together. Peg suffers from anxiety issues and doesn't drive much. So, if she goes somewhere, I'm usually the guy who drives her there. When I was seriously ill a few years ago, she was my health care advocate at the hospital when I couldn't represent myself, she was my nurse...in short, I might not be here posting this thread without her. So, life is good.

    The problem comes when it's time to kick back, relax, and watch some TV/movies.

    Our viewing likes/dislikes are not completely compatible. I like a wide variety of films. My tastes are wide and far-reaching. Hers are very limited in scope. She cannot abide action/adventure, sci-fi, thrillers, suspense, scary films of any kind. She is pretty much limited to the drama and comedy genres.

    Our tastes within those genres are generally compatible. We both, for example, list Doubt (2008) as one of our absolute favorite movies. We agree that Groundhog Day is one of the best comedies ever put on film. And we both agree that The Gilmore Girls is one of the most smartly-written TV shows of all time.

    But the fact that she refuses to watch any films within those other genres makes it difficult for me to be able to watch those types of films. My backlog is huge.

    Since we are together all the time and she hates loud, action films, it requires me jumping through hoops to figure out how to find a couple hours to watch something like the new ID4 movie or 13 Hours (which I finally got to see just a week or so ago).

    I should add that my HT is in our living room--our main living area. Her office (she's a free-lance writer/author) is in an open area just off the LR (we don't have a huge house. So that complicates things further.

    In the big picture of life, this is certainly a small potatoes problem. But I figured I'd turn to my fellow hobbyists and see if you all have any similar issues or, better yet, any ideas on any potential work-arounds! :D
     
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  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Well, as a newly married man [insert Mike Frezon patented big grin smiley face here], I don't know that the workarounds in my house will work in your situation, but I'll try to mention what works for me and hopefully not ramble too much in the process. Use whatever's useful, discard the rest, etc.

    I don't think the divide between my wife's taste and mine is as wide as yours, but nonetheless there are certain favorites of mine she doesn't feel the same way about. Slower paced older movies are where we have an area of disagreement. I think Lawrence Of Arabia is one of the all time greats, but it's going to take me years to talk her into watching four hours of people walking around in the desert. And I feel compelled to watch It's A Wonderful Life every year; she watched it with me once and liked it but doesn't need to see it again, and just can't quite understand why I "need" to every year. I'll be watching original over and over Star Trek til the day I die; she'll sample an old episode with me a couple times a year. Stardust is one of her favorite movies and she could watch it probably every day. I'm good with once a year at best. She plays video games; I barely know how to turn the darned thing on.

    The things that make all of that work for us may not work for anyone else. We both work full time, but neither of us are 9-5. My hours and days are generally the same week to week, while hers often change. So that will inevitably build time into the schedule where one of us can be home alone. She also tends to wake up before me and I go to bed later; she can play video games before I wake up, and I can watch a movie after she goes to bed, and we can still have twelve hours together.

    After only four years together vs 34 years of marriage, we're probably more flexible to try (or endure) one of the other's suggestions. So a handful of times a year, maybe once every other month, I'll watch something of hers that I don't think I'll enjoy, and vice versa. Sometimes we're pleasantly surprised, sometimes it's exactly as unenjoyable as expected. But it's still two hours sitting next to my favorite person in the world, so that's not so bad in the end. Maybe you guys are beyond that kind of compromise but I find it to be worthwhile to watch a few things I absolutely wouldn't have otherwise - at best, I unexpectedly like something, at worst I proved that I know my tastes

    We've now got a television in the bedroom as well. Her video game can be played in there if I'm watching a movie in the living room. Or if she's watching a movie or gaming in the living room, I can watch a disc in the bedroom. (We're in an apartment so that's about all the room there is.)

    Wireless headphones have been great too, for when I watch to watch something loud and she's sleeping or working on something where quiet is needed.

    So I think it's possible to get more individual choices in, but harder to convince your partner to watch something they don't want to see. In all honesty, sometimes I think it's silly how a partner can just refuse to watch an entire genre. I think sometimes it's unfair to not be willing to compromise and every now and then spend two hours watching not your first choice of things - but it's also one of those things where you're not really gonna break up over it, so it is what it is. But I think it's also legitimate to say "I'm interested in seeing this movie, and it's totally okay if you're not, but at some point this week, I'm gonna check it out." So whether you designate a specific date and time where the next two hours on the TV are under your control and she's absolutely welcome to join if she wants (and no hard feelings if she doesn't) but you're choosing the movie, or whether you keep a list of "these are things I want to get to soon, and I'm gonna try to do one a week", I think it's doable. If you want to watch something and she doesn't, it's reasonable to agree on a time when you watching it won't interfere with her plans. It's not reasonable that you never get to see it just because she doesn't like it. But I think it requires some communication and being willing to say "it's important that I get this time to participate in my hobby".

    My wife recently finished rewatching all of the Gilmore Girls seasons; I caught up on my reading in the other room. In other words, all of this is manageable :)
     
  3. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Well it is small potatoes, but it is limiting your enjoyment of films. do you have a basement, a guest bedroom? do a quick fix setup in one of those rooms. Get a nice tv, (55" is the perfect size for my bedroom setup). and slip away once or twice a week to indulge in a title or two you have been wanting to watch. She shouldn't mind, especially if they are not her type of film.
     
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  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    It's perfectly OK to have some separate hobbies, although it sounds like it could be a tough change in habits for you guys after 34 years! Could you use headphones for movies she isn't interested in while she does something on her own?

    I go to play board games once a week or so, while Lucy couldn't care less about them. But if I go hang with friends for a few hours on Saturday, she'll watch TV or chat with pals online and it's no big deal. We have Sunday to spend together.
     
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  5. atfree

    atfree Producer

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    It can be a challenge. My wife doesn't like "old" movies, which pretty much means pre-1980s, while my main love revolves around really old stuff, mainly pre 1970.

    I have a lot of vacation time (40 days a year), so I usually take a day off every month and do nothing but watch my backlog of Blu-rays! And usually she does grocery shopping and runs errands on Saturday so I can sneak in a movie.

    She doesn't preclude me from watching "my" movies when she's around but we don't watch them together which is kind of a drag.
     
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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Yeah, that's basically where I'm at - it's a drag that there are some things I love that I'm unlikely to get the chance to share. But my wife has moments where she's a little more open to suggestion than usual with movie choices, and I just try to take advantage of those moments when I can. Lately I've found it helpful to have three or four potential ideas in mind, and then I present her with the cases - she'll look at the cover art, read the description on the back, usually knock out a couple choices and leave me to pick the final selection. Sometimes I'll get lucky and something that I didn't think would appeal to her does, or she'll genuinely have no preference and just go with whatever. I keep trying to find ways to not make it seem like I'm ramming these choices down her throat, which never works!
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I'm in the same boat. My wife and I have different and sometimes overlapping taste in viewing likes. She is not that enthused about watching movies at home but prefers TV series. We do have a lot we both like. She doesn't like sports or chiller/thrillers or gore movies. I don't care for gore much but do like some of the classics.

    So she's got a DVR in the bedroom and and I've got mine in the living room. Our common interests are watched in the living room.

    Mike, like you my wife has become my nurse and is in the process of saving my life. This is a time in my life I shall not forget. I've been privileged to watch her step up to the plate and bang it out of the park for me multiple times.

    Still, I've proven to be shameless and between it being halloween time and not feeling well, Ive gotten her to watch several of the old monster flicks from the 50's and earlier which she is not fond of. Just another way she has extended her nursing duties.
     
  8. atfree

    atfree Producer

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    I've been lucky to have a couple of "Aha" moments with my wife too.....she loved The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Father Goose.

    I think part of the issue is she wasn't weaned on old movies like I was although our ages are similar (53 for me, 49 for her). She's also a hospice social worker and very "reality" based. While I was watching old movies at 12 years old, she was volunteering at a summer camp for kids with cerebral palsy or working as a volunteer at a local nursing home. For instance, she loved Winter's Bone and I felt like I'd lost 2 hours of my life I'd never get back. She'd also prefer to watch TV shows over movies.

    The one glaring inconsistency in her "reality" view is she absolutely loves Hallmark Christmas movies every year and will watch them continuously. I use this to my advantage though, as I get no complaints when I pull out an old Humphrey Bogart blu-ray to watch after she's watched the Hallmark movies for a couple of days straight!
     
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  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    It sounds like several of us are in the same boat. I've been married for 27 years, and there are quite a few film types that my wife doesn't like but I enjoy -- westerns are a big one, plus she doesn't like long films, either. It's not a huge issue, though, as I will watch the films she doesn't care for on evenings when she has some TV show to watch, or something else to do. I save the films she likes for nights when we both watch.

    She does like most older movies (as long as they are not long), and shares my love for Humphrey Bogart's films. I cannot get her to watch the Marx Brothers or Charlie Chaplin films, though, even though they are quite short.
     
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  10. MarkMel

    MarkMel Cinematographer

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    I was lucky. When I met my wife she said she didn't like a movie unless it has a killing in the first 5 minutes. I thought perfect! However, that has tempered some in recent years as I will watch something like Saw and she has no interest. We're not limited to Horror/Action/Thriller though. It works out for the most part.
     
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  11. Everett S.

    Everett S. Movie King (formally a projectionist)

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    I heard of a tv that lets you see two shows at once, one wears special glasses and headset while the other does not. Togetherness at last ?
     
  12. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Some game consoles will let you do that with a 3D TV, I think. You both wear glasses, but the set shows two different images instead of two angles of the same image, and the glasses lock both eyes to one image or the other. Audio would be an issue for movies, though!
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Another reason to have two home theaters in one's household even if it's a smaller version of your main HT.
     
  14. skylark68

    skylark68 Screenwriter

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    Don't have much in the way of advice, when I want to watch a pre '70s/'80s era film I have to wait until late night to enjoy it. The only exceptions are holiday related films such as White Christmas or It's a Wonderful Life. It's not limited to Christmas time though, my wife enjoys watching the original Bela Lugosi Dracula and Boris Karloff Mummy films on Halloween. Fortunately she enjoys action films, Die Hard 1 and 3 are some of her favorite films. I have a problem with her TV shows though, I can't stand most of the modern era television programming. So we both have our own "blacklists."
     
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  15. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Nope. Single. If I was married I wouldn't be doing this stuff.
     
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  16. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    While I'm in the same boat as you Mike, in that I am a movie maniac liking practically all genres, my spouse has very limited tastes. However we have almost the opposite problem. Our work schedules are such that it is hard for us to find time to watch anything together, but I have lots of time when I'm home alone and can watch "my" stuff!
     
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  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    In our case, my wife is not that interested in the home theater experience for what she watches alone, so our second "home theater" in the master bedroom consists simply of a 37-inch LCD TV, my original Sony BD player, a Comcast HD cable box and a Roku player. I used to have a receiver and external speakers in the room, too, but they were more bother than they were worth, so the audio is simply from the TV speakers now. My wife doesn't care, and I only watch old TV shows or sporting events in that room at bedtime or when folding laundry.
     
  18. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Yep, pretty much how my world is. Occasionally if me and kiddos have a movie spinning in the main "theater" living room she may wander in and watch for a bit, then wander off if she isn't too interested in the movie. She isn't much of a movie person at all.
     
  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Mike, rereading my original post, it read a lot harsher than I intended - my intended vibe was good natured amusement and I'm sorry that it may have come across a bit stronger than that.

    In my situation, I can usually just stay up a couple hours later and get an extra movie in. It's harder to do on days when my wife and I have the same schedule. We're in a small place so there's not a lot of room to go somewhere else if the main setup is in use. Wireless headphones have been really helpful - I can watch an action movie without having to worry about the volume being annoying if she's in the bedroom. I think my pair was bought used or refurbished for about $40. They're not going to win any awards for most impressive sound quality, but I don't use them enough to justify getting a super expensive set. Might be worth trying a low cost pair just to see if you can get any use out of the idea.

    At first, I felt a little guilty staying up later to watch an extra movie, or deciding to spend two hours on my own instead of with her. My (now) wife set me straight and said that while she appreciated the thought, that I was being silly to forgo things I liked just because she didn't share the same interest. She would much rather me say, "I'm not really interested in watching this sitcom, go ahead, and I'm gonna watch a movie I've really wanted to see on my own instead" than pretending to want to watch the sitcom and being fidgety and disinterested throughout. And I've learned that I'm generally a better partner and person to be around if I can get a little time to myself every now and then. But it was the hardest thing to do at first because I felt I was somehow failing her by not needing to spend every waking second in her presence. I had to learn to trust her that when she said she didn't mind me doing a movie on my own, she really didn't mind and that it wasn't a secret guilt trap to fall into it.
     
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  20. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    I've been like that myself (fidgety and disinterested) when I was faced with seeing films that I disliked, such as The Revenant w/Leonardo DiCaprio. I couldn't stand a minute of that junkfest (it was a junkfest at least IMO), but I didn't know how else to be.
     

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