Friday, July 15, 2011
You'd have to take a roadtrip to Ahwatukee to see the Sarah Palin documentary opening today in Arizona, but you might be lonely in the theater. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf went to a movie theatre in staunchly conservative Orange County, California and found that the few people who ended up in seats for The Undefeated really wanted to see a certain wizard:
I hurried through the teenage hordes, bypassed a concession stand that sold 1,020 calories of soda for $5.25, and entered theater number 30, hoping I'd have ample time before the previews to talk to some people. But inside, the theater was empty. I sat there alone for 20 minutes, at which point an usher stuck his head in the door, gave me a quizzical smile, and said, "How come you're not watching Harry Potter?" Then he left me by myself again, and without any good answer.
It isn't strictly accurate to say that I sat through the whole movie alone. Just as the previews started, two young women walked in giggling together and took seats three rows behind me. Afraid that they'd ruined the only story I had at that point — What If Sarah Palin Starred in a Movie and No One Showed Up? — I hoped they'd at least oblige me with an interview, and so they did.
Jamie Watkins, 22, is a Missouri native, which qualifies her as a real American. She only recently moved to Southern California, and her little sister, Jessie, age 18, was visiting for the first time.
"So, um, what made you come out here tonight?"
"We're going to Disneyland tomorrow," Jamie said, "but she just got here, so we decided we should go out."
"We looked online for the latest movie playing," Jessie added. "But all the Harry Potters were sold out, and then we saw 'The Undeafeated.' We don't even actually know what we're seeing."