Day 11: A film I walked out on

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National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)

Starting a trend that I have embraced to this day, 1985 was the year I first walked out of a cinema part way through a film after having paid for a ticket. I think I lasted about half an hour or the National Lampoon equivalent of three sausage jokes. I had laughed myself silly at Animal House (1978) and either I had matured in those intervening years or the NL humour had regressed.

I was with a friend and we made a collective decision to abscond and make better use of our time. What surprises me now is to discover that Amy Heckerling directed European Vacation and the screenplay was cowritten by John Hughes. The next time (and only other time for many many years) that I walked out of a film was when watching Absolute Beginners (1986) at a tiny arthouse cinema in London’s Soho; even David Bowie couldn’t make it watchable.

Now, of course, at the Melbourne International Film Festival where I might be seeing three or four films a day, it’s much easier to bail and go find some warm food or a cold drink to help keep me going. There is an immense relief in pushing open the doors and stepping into the light, knowing that you have just salvaged a few hours that would otherwise have been wasted.

I’m aware, though, that most people will sit through anything if they’ve paid for a ticket. Am I the only one who does this?

Posted as part of the 30-Day Fillums Challenge, created by me. If you want to see what’s coming up, have a look at my post here and feel free to join in by commenting each day with your own choice.

Coming Next: Day 12: Your favourite remake/reboot

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