How to spot the neurotics in the cinema

Posted March 13, 2012

How to spot the neurotics in the cinema

I have a very vivid imagination. I ‘live’ and ‘feel’ every moment being acted out in front of me on the large screen. I’d always put this down to being completely immersed in the enjoyment of the film. Apparently not. Now I’m told that it is more likely to be a sign of neurosis. What …??

According to a recent psychology study, neurotics have a tendency to become more “immersed” in films than other people. They cry more at a sad film and tremble more at a scary movie. Yep, that’s me.

I couldn’t bear to look at, or even listen to, the scene in Braveheart where Wallace (Mel Gibson), gets hung, drawn and quartered. And yet my elderly mother-in-law was totally nonplussed; she watched the whole thing over a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. After all, she said (in gentle tones as if to a child), he wasn’t actually dying right in front of us, it was just a DVD. I wasn’t comforted.

So what the hell possessed me (no pun intended) to watch the horror movie, Jeepers Creepers? Ok - spoiler alert - but you can imagine my terror at watching a flesh eating, winged beast swoop upon its victims and peck their eyes out. No wonder I had recurring nightmares for months afterwards.

I think we can conclude that I’m definitely not good at distancing myself from the overtly scary or violent. But what about the weepies? Well, this is where I begin to doubt the whole immersion theory because my husband is way ahead of me when it comes to blubbing like a girl, especially if there’s an injured pet involved. Me? I’m not at all sentimental about animals.

However, I do sob uncontrollably as soon as I hear the first chords of ‘There’s a Place for Us’ from West Side Story and I have never understood how Harrison Ford could walk away from Kelly McGillis in the final scene of Witness. Anyway, I can't see what's so wrong about longing for a happy ending. Surely that just makes me a romantic, not a neurotic?

Or perhaps I’m a completely new breed: a romantic neurotic?

Image: ronniem 122, flickr

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