Movies are a sacred form of escape these days.
It is rare to have a precious few hours without “having” to check your phone for an email or text message or Instagram notification or Snapchat… the list goes on and on. This world is hectic and I truly think that my only reprieve from technology and the demands of millennial life is in a movie theatre.
Not to mention that there is no better popcorn than ‘movie popcorn.’ The only place that I allow myself to have a Diet Coke (my one true love) is at the movies. And it is the only place that I feel truly free to laugh, cry, get angry and feel inspired because everyone is focused on the screen and their own experience. Movie theatres are a magnificent and beautiful place. Hence, why yours truly, the cynical jerk, prefers to go to the movies alone.
When I joined Virgin Mobile and Elevation Pictures for their Virgin Mobile Member Experience at TIFF, I was sceptical that it would be as great as my beloved ‘Lone Wolf movie-going experiences’ are because I like to go to the movies alone. I prefer to sit by myself, with a nice cushion of several empty seats on either side of me. And I do it. On the regular. I arrived at The Keg for drinks and appetizers with the Virgin Mobile Members. My first glass of wine was delicious. The second was even better! You see, Virgin Mobile brought a group of 30 winning Members out to experience TIFF the way that most do not have the opportunity to. They wined us, dined us and took us to the hottest premiere at TIFF – Suburbicon – and then to the after party. That’s right – THE AFTER PARTY. With George Clooney. And Julianne Moore. NBD, guys. NBD.
As we entered the Princess of Wales Theatre for the premiere, we passed the red carpet as the stars walked in. We were not part of the crowd who were screaming for selfies on the sidelines… we were a part of the event. With prime seating, near the stars, producers and Hollywood big shots who did not take off their sunglasses – no joke – I got to watch the film and escape into my technology-free world. I was a ‘Lone Wolf’… except that I was a ‘Fancy Lone Wolf.’
When the house lights came on, my good friends (give it to me, okay?) George and Julianne went on stage to discuss the making of the film and what it meant to them. That was pretty cool.
I then joined the Virgin Mobile Members at Patria for the Official Suburbicon After Party. Have you ever skipped a line? I haven’t. I’m just about the least cool person on the planet. In University, I was the 20-year-old shivering in line at a student bar with no winter jacket and 4-inch-high Aldo shoes for over an hour. Personal revelation: maybe that’s why I refuse to go out for anything more than a delightful mid-morning brunch?
The after party was beautifully lit so that I could take some selfies that didn’t emphasize the bags under my eyes and the cocktails were frothy and in high ball glasses. Taster plates were passed around in abundance and oh yeah – George Clooney was there. Again, NBD. At the end of my night, on the cab ride home, I slipped off my shoes and thought about the experience that I had been privy to that night. It was literally a once in a lifetime experience. And it was all thanks to Virgin Mobile. Full disclosure – I am not a Virgin Mobile Member. But maybe I should be…
While that experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity, they have a ton of other opportunities that are not one-offs. I can buy 2 for 1 Cineplex movie tickets if I am a Virgin Mobile Member. And while I do prefer to go to the movies alone, I think I may have a guy that I can tolerate to sit next to, to use a benefit like that. I decided that he was a keeper when he insisted on going to a movie one rainy Sunday afternoon and bought me my own popcorn and drink and automatically sat one seat away. He understands my needs. And apparently Virgin Mobile understands mine.