For the last month, I’ve been torn over whether or not I should go see Star Wars again before it leaves theaters. There were many times when I came very close to succumbing, but I resisted.
Why agonize over something so trivial? After all, The Force Awakens was my favorite movie of 2015. Why not enjoy it on the big screen a second time?
Well, I see it like this: There’s so much excellent content out there–particularly books, television shows, and movies–that if I’m going to spend time consuming something, I want it to be something new. Especially if it’s an “event,” like going to the theater (opposed to watching a movie at home).
Of course, that logic doesn’t work all that well. I play the same board games over and over again. I go to the same restaurants. I’ve seen the same bands in concerts (is Typhoon ever going to return to St. Louis? Because I will be there). I don’t want the exact same football games or soccer highlights more than once, but each game isn’t all that different.
The last time I saw the same movie more than once in the theater was Avatar. It’s not a perfect movie, but it was breathtaking in a sensory-overload kind of way. It took me two viewings to fully appreciate it.
It’s for that same reason I considered seeing Star Wars again. I was so in awe of it the first time; I think a second viewing would feel different. And maybe a small part of me is worried that it won’t be as good the second time, and I don’t want to tarnish my love for it.
The previous movie I saw more than once in the theater–three times total–was There’s Something About Mary. It was one of the first R-rated comedies I had see, and I had never laughed that hard while watching a movie. I wanted to see if it would be just as funny the second time, and it was.
The only other movie I can recall seeing more than once in the theater (I’m bracing myself for the embarrassment of admitting this) was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I saw it four times in the theater. Yes. I know. I had never before experienced a new Star Wars movie on the big screen, and it swept me away on its green-screen wings.
I genuinely enjoyed the first three viewings, and then when I saw it a fourth time, I snapped out of the dream and was like, “How have I spent 10 hours of my life watching this pretty terrible movie?!” I think the experience scarred me a bit. I learned that I had a blind spot, and I wanted to avoid it from happening again.
Regardless, I’m still tempted to see The Force Awakens again. Even just writing about the idea gets me excited about the possibility. Perhaps I shouldn’t deny myself of such pleasures. We’ll see.
What about you? Have you seen movies more than once in the theater? Why have you done that, or why do you not?