Audiences Riled Up Over ‘Greenberg’


Have you ever asked for a refund after seeing a movie?

I’ve said it before, but the only movie I’ve ever walked out of as a patron was Steve Martin’s L.A. Story back in 1991. Of course, I was 14 at the time and perhaps the humor was over my head, but my friends and I weren’t interested and we bailed.

We didn’t consider asking for a refund and I would never do so unless a technical glitch affected the viewing of a film. It wasn’t the theater’s fault I didn’t like the movie. It wasn’t the director’s or the actors’ fault either. It was me. I didn’t like the movie due to some internal judgment no one else has control of. So why should I be due my money back because I lack the capacity to enjoy what I decided to spend my money on if the product itself was not tarnished in its presentation?

Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule such as crying children, people talking loudly, cell phones and what have you disrupting the film. I wouldn’t stand for that considering what theaters are charging now. I would also say if a film causes you to suffer from motion sickness that’s another exception and I am sure there are more exceptions to add beyond that, but I think you get my point. If the film screens without interruption and as it was intended to be shown do you think you are entitled to a refund?

I ask because of the image you see above, which Jeff Wells received at Hollywood Elsewhere from a reader. The idea Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg has caused so many people to complain and ask for a refund that a theater owner felt it was best to put up a notice warning them beforehand is astonishing. While I disagree with Wells when he says “[there’s] really no disputing that Greenberg is one of the best films released this year” — because I would certainly dispute that — it is almost impossible to imagine someone so disgusted with the film they ask for their money back.

Wells turns it into some sort of critics vs. the masses issue, when in fact it’s simply a matter of people not doing the research and then blaiming others for their lack of insight. Just because a film stars Ben Stiller doesn’t mean it’s going to be Meet the Fockers, a film I would much sooner consider asking for my money back after watching before ever considering asking after Greenberg.

Like Wells, I wonder where this was taken and by the way, if any of you ever see a sign like this please send photos in whenever you see them.