Writer’s Block: A call for more time in front of the silver screen

If there is one thing in my life I don’t have nearly enough of these days, it’s movies.

Mandy Moran Froemming
Mandy Moran Froemming

More specifically, movies seen in the theater.

I’m wracking my brain, trying to remember that last movie I saw not from the comfort of my living room. I’m loathe to admit it might have been “The Way Way Back” … and I have no idea when that was. Sometime last year.

Ugh. This is sad news, considering I was once a theater regular.

In my pre-marriage, pre-Minnesota days I had a standing date every Sunday night with my girlfriends: dinner and a movie. I loved it. We often went to the same show, or sometimes split off depending on taste. Then we would reconvene for coffee after and dish about what we had just watched. We rarely agreed, which was the best part.

Going almost once a week, I saw a lot of bad movies over the years. I slept through several.

But when a movie is good, there is nothing like it. I love how a movie doesn’t have to be critically acclaimed or full of high-profile actors to worm its way into your heart. It just needs to connect with your own story.

I feel like in an era of so much change, the act of movie going has largely stayed the same.

Granted, the movies we see now are done differently than they used to be. Special effects.

But the experience of spending a couple of hours in a dark room, absorbed and transported into another time and place remains.

I’ve got a lot of good memories of my movie going.

I remember having the giggles with a friend during our screening of “Hannibal.” How inappropriate.

I recall standing in line to see “The Titanic” with my college roommates on New Year’s Eve.

My first official date with my husband was at the movies. We saw “War of the Worlds” which would have been more appropriately titled “World’s Worst Movie.”

A memorable night out was my first visit to the old Uptown Theater (pre-renovation) where we saw the endearing movie “The Waitress.” I loved the vibe in that place, how I felt connected with the audience and we were all on some kind of adventure together.

So what happened.

Life. Parenting a toddler. I know, what a lame excuse.

Close family said after they had their son, the Netflix videos just sat and sat beside the TV and they never seemed to get around to watching them.

I thought that was the silliest thing I had ever heard. Then we had a baby.

And now it seems like it’s just an awful lot of effort to plan ahead, arrange for a sitter and spend about $70 for a night at the movies.

It just seems so much easier to wait until it is released on DVD, which we never seem to get around to watching.

So here came the Golden Globes last week and then Oscar nominations not long after. I have not seen a single movie on either best picture list.

What a disappointment.

What’s on my list? “The Dallas Buyers Club,” “American Hustle,” “August: Osage County,” “Gravity,” “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

I better get busy… and find a babysitter.

So here’s my belated New Year’s resolution that should be easier to keep than one that involves eating more green stuff or spending more time on the treadmill.

I’m calling for a little more screen time for me – especially the silver screen.