Evenings in our house usually take one of three forms. The first is that Laurie has work to do, so we both sit on the sofas with our laptops and I repeatedly huff angrily and ask how long he’s going to be. That’s probably the most common. The second possibility is that we are caught up in a television show and watch it obsessively until we can no longer stay awake. This happened most recently with Sherlock, I know, years behind, but it’s so good. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch. Totally get it now. The third and most enjoyable evening is movie nights. A movie night means we are free of work and aren’t currently knee deep in binge-watching a television series. With that in mind, here are seven things you need for the perfect movie night:
#1: A good movie
This one is non-negotiable. If the film is crap, we just turn it off and try a different one. Quitters and proud. The only way we can ever agree on a film is if one of us puts one on sneakily while the other person is out of the room. Otherwise we end up arguing over whether we should watch a gory, violent drama (Laurie) or something a little cheerier (me).
Technology-wise, we’re not all that up to date, but we have enough to string together a movie night. Ebony chewed through the remote for our tv when she was a baby (excellent parenting skills, I think you’ll agree) so we have to get up to turn the volume down. We do that a lot because I live in constant fear of waking Ebony up even though she sleeps like a log, I think it’s a throwback to the baby days when everything woke her up. If it was the perfect movie night, I’d want a fancy new tv like this Panasonic 4k tv. We have an Apple TV box with a linked Netflix account so that’s where most of our movies come from.
#3: No distractions
If there’s one thing that ruins movie nights, it’s me texting. I need to leave my phone in another room to stop myself (on a side note, what does self control feel like?). Now that Ebony is pretty reliable (ish) with her sleep, we don’t have to worry about being disrupted by her waking up. I don’t think we watched many films when she was a baby, there was just no point. I think I spent most of my evenings walking up and down the stairs or commando crawling out of the bedroom in the hope of not waking her, which never worked.
#4: A blanket
I really love going to the cinema. This is a recent love. It’s so nice to be totally away from every possible distraction, and to just be absorbed into the movie. But, you can’t take a blanket. Well, you probably could, but, erm, I wouldn’t. We bought a blanket when we visited the Ideal Home Show last year and it is one of my favourite things. It’s a brightly coloured patchwork quilt and is really warm to snuggle up under. This blanket is a regular fixture at movie night.
Nobody should be forced to endure movie night in jeans. There should be no buttons or zips where comfort is involved. Pyjamas all the way. I consider it a strict dress code.
I’ve never been a huge fan of popcorn, I’ve always liked it and had it on occasion but I’ve just never really been that bothered about it. But then I discovered salt AND sweet. This is now my new favourite thing ever. I know it’s really not good for me, at all, regardless of how few calories it claims to concern, but I don’t care because it tastes so good. I think it’s actually addictive.
#7: Hot Chocolate
No movie night is complete without a hot chocolate. There should be vegan marshmallows and, ideally, amaretto. This combined with the popcorn is probably the reason I should limit our family movie nights. But I won’t.
What are your movie night essentials?