Calling 777-FILM used to be a relatively quick and effortless way to get movie listings info.
But here’s what you go through now:
“Hello, and welcome to Moviefone! This call is sponsored by…”
[Segues into some undecipherable ad for a “mobile club” that begins, “Yo, check this out.”
I’d rather not, actually. I just want the movie information, thank you. Besides, I’d never belong to a club that would have me.]
“If you’re calling from a mobile phone, press 9 now for more information.”
[Yo, no, thanks. Pause.]
“To use our speech-enabled system, press star 2.”
[Gosh, I don’t really feel like talking right now. That’s why I called an automated hotline. Can I please just know where my movie is playing?]
“If you know the name of the movie you’d like to see, press one now.
“To choose from a list of current movies, press two now.
“To find a theater, press three now.”
[I pressed 1–now.]
“Enter the first three letters of the movie’s title now.”
[I did so–now–and then I clicked 1 when they said the title I wanted.]
“Last time you chose City Cinemas. For listings at that theater, choose 1.”
[Huh? I don’t think it’s even playing at City Cinemas! I’m not wedded to only seeing things at that theater. I don’t care about that theater at all. I just want to see the movie I asked about.]
“For a different theater, choose 2.”
[I chose 2. I then went through the list of theaters and picked one, practically at random. I prayed I wasn’t paying by the minute.]
“Showtimes–brought to you by Celebrity News Today!”
[Segue to a woman’s voice cooing, “Chris Brown gets into a bar brawl with Drake. Lindsay Lohan in a car crash!” Absolutely lovely stuff–but about my movie information…?]
Back to the guy’s voice: “Press 9 now for more info.”
[Long pause. I actually wish I had activated the speech-enabled system so I could scream “Shut the fuck up!”]
“Here are today’s remaining showtimes. To get them in a text message, press star 9.”
[Just say them! Please just say them already! If I wanted them in a text, I would have just asked a friend!]
Oy! By now I was ready for social security–and a straitjacket.
And believe it or not, I already knew about the Chris Brown/Lindsay Lohan dish.
Just stick to the Voice listings, OK, people?