Cinema To Fall Asleep To

As a rule, I try not to fall asleep in movies.

Home viewing is one thing. There's a certain satisfaction one derives from bravely refusing to remain conscious through an entire screening of The Break Up, for example. Some would regard it as a feat of endurance to stay awake for the entire film, I call it faulty prioritizing.

[And if you have kids? You're lucky to make it through a whole episode of Cougar Town...not that you'd want to.]

But falling asleep in a theater is something else entirely. Now, you could argue that your moviegoing companions are supposed to watch your back, though those people have obviously never met the fine examples of Homo erectus I like to call "my friends." I'd be better off passing out in a Bourbon Street gutter during Mardi Gras.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I didn't have a choice. Unfortunately, I couldn't even zonk out in the company of my fellow juvenile reprobates. No, I had to choose to fall asleep - all three times it happened - on high school dates.

I won't come as a shock to know that I probably wasn't the biggest prize in high school. Even after my extended play goofy-looking period, my tendency to drag unsuspecting females to every possible major movie release -- from Beastmaster to Krull -- made me a risky social prospect at best. And if "treating" a young lady to the thespian stylings of Marc Singer wasn't bad enough, occasionally I committed the double whammy of dozing off as well. Sadly, it happened not once, but three times. Names are omitted to preserve my ass.

1. Legend (1985): I blame Ridley Scott. And Tom Cruise. And the utter lack of anything in common with my date. She was a nice enough girl, and her only mistake was confessing to yours truly that she had a crush on me. I tried to make it work, but let's face it: Legend was engineered to put you to sleep. Its dreamlike, pre-Pandora forest landscapes and nonexistent plot practically dared you to bring a pillow with you to the theater.

Man, is that trailer some false advertising.

2. Children of A Lesser God (1986): I've heard this is a good movie, and it probably is, but the date in question took place after working all day in a concession stand during a local college football game and...probably drinking afterward (sorry, Mom), so I suspect I was ill-prepared for a thoughtful drama about deaf people discovering themselves. This relationship was doomed from the start, but at least I got some rest out of it.

3. Top Gun (1986): I don't really know how to explain this one; maybe the screeching of pubescent teenage girls has a soporific effect on me, or maybe I'm just so damned comfortable with my masculinity that thinly veiled paeans to homoeroticism lull me into a preternatural state of relaxation. Or maybe there really is something about Tom Cruise. Whatever the case, I never actually watched this all the way through until college, and then only to prove to my sophomore girlfriend I didn't know the origins of the expression, "Goose, you big stud...take me to bed or lose me forever."

It's downright criminal that Slider doesn't get more love.

I'll leave it to the reader to decide if my cinematic snoozing was meant to protect me from unwise romantic choices or vice-versa. The bigger question is: what movies have you fallen asleep in?

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