HAHA. This article is so funny. It is so true about Japanese politeness. I have it ingrained into my character that being rude to others is the biggest sin one can commit (exaggerating a bit here).
I hear crunching of popcorn here and worry that my own crunching will be heard! I always turn off my cell phone and only whisper into my companion's ear if there is something important to say. But I'm not a robot! LOL.
Once in a theater, there was group of the loudest women who screamed and talked back to the characters on the screen! "NOOOO! DON'T TURN AROUND!!!" I was so startled and didn't know how to take this. Was it funny? It was a little bit funny. But when they continued, I found it rude and disruptive to my enjoyment of the movie. Their running commentary was not mirroring thoughts I was having about the movie.
Someone else kept kicking the back of my chair. Another person was repeating the dialogue loudly to her hard-of-hearing mother (I had more compassion for that.) But then some drunk guy urinated in the corner of the theater. Seriously.
Of course, it isn't like that at all the theaters here. Thank goodness.
Yeah, restraint is not a bad thing, especially at the movies, but to the point where you have to rein in spontaneous reactions? Spontaneous (verbal) reactions from the audience actually help to improve the atmosphere.
Of course, expressing yourself so freely to the point where you seriously disturb other people, like the examples you've mentioned is not a good thing. That drunk guy urinating in the corner is just... *urgh*
Boy, are the Japanese in for a shock if they watch a movie at an American theatre ;p
I hate to mention this because it sounds so socio-economically prejudiced but...that urination incident occurred in a dollar theater in LA.
Actually, the theaters here in OC are very nice and people tend to be polite and courteous.
I had my own little outburst last night when we took my son to see "The Hobbit" (his third time) and when the two dwarves greeted each other with a big bash to their foreheads, I went, "OUCH!!!" My husband laughed but I was embarrassed because it took me by surprise.
The good thing is that there were only maybe two other parties in the place.