Home > Life > The Oscar Goes to… Any Movie Viewed On An Airplane

The Oscar Goes to… Any Movie Viewed On An Airplane

Whether it’s the high altitude messing with my oxygen flow, or the need to engage my mind to stop it from dwelling on being hurled through the air in a tub of steel, my entertainment receptors switch to their simplest form of engagement on airplanes. I suspect All About Steve could have passed as acceptably funny if I’d seen it on a plane. In a movie theater, it just fell into the “creepy’ category.

Am I alone, or are funny movies hilarious when viewed from great heights? And do you weep with anguish and sympathy more than usual during sad movies on airplanes? Could flying actually force your body into a temporary menopausal state? Why is the entertainment bar so freakishly low when suspended mid-air?

Last weekend I was on a three hour United flight which didn’t offer a movie. I wanted to disembark after take-off, but then an episode of 30 Rock came on, which is funny at the best of times, but at 30,000 feet its hilarity could barely be borne. It was an episode from season five called “The Fabian Strategy”, in which Matt Damon guest stars as Liz’s boyfriend. Every line delivered was yet another knee slapping situation, with no commercials to let you breathe. My seatmate, trying to sleep, was not impressed, prompting me to think they should divide passengers into laughers and sleepers for higher levels of customer satisfaction.

On the return flight, Air Canada actually put me on a decent plane, so I had a wide array of movies to choose from on my personal screen. (Traveling days when you hoped for a good movie seat are so yesterday!) I watched The Social Network, and was captivated by both the storyline and the concept of having Facebook during my university years, and the unimaginable dramas that it would have caused.

I now realize my movie reviewing abilities are askew at high altitudes, since ranting and raving about Twilight to anyone who would listen after watching it on an overnight flight (along with Revolutionary Road and Australia, LOVED all three – coincidence?). Sharing elbow space with teenagers in all Twilight sequels since, I’ve noticed these movies don’t hold the same appeal with the voting-age crowd. (Incidentally, only ten months to go until the Breaking Dawn Part 1 release.)

Was it just another high-on-altitude situation, or was The Social Network an incredibly great ride? I’m not sure I trust my own judgment.

  1. February 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    “Air Canada…decent plane” That’s an oxymoron! If I can fly WestJet instead, I do!

    I saw “The Social Network” in the theatre, and it was a decent movie (however, I wouldn’t see any of the Twilight movies unless I was under the influence of heavy prescription meds!).

    I suppose they play “dumb” movies on planes to appeal to the “lowest common denominator.” The unfortunate part is, you can’t leave if you don’t like the show!


    • February 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Yes, I generally prefer WestJet too, but after United even Air Canada felt like a private jetliner!

  2. February 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Hahaha. I think life in general should divide people into laughers and sleepers. I have actually NEVER seen a Twilight movie (my sister informs me that this is Un-American) but I loved The Social Network. Facebook actually started when I was in college, and it was mind-blowing. I thought the bhind-the-scenes explanation of how the site came to be was really cool!

    • February 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      OMG – you have to see Twilight. It is like Romeo and Juliet with vampires, no joke. Then again, I don’t have the highest standards. Worth watching if only to be in the loop though, and you are too young to NOT be in the loop!

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