Or an hour-and-a-half.
Just about the right amount of time for anything. Anything at all in this vast, cruel world.
Epics (any movie over 2 hours long) are a stretch for me. Theatres are cramped enough, the pacing of some films making it hard to predict the best time to get up, disturbing everyone, to go to the bathroom; the quality of others clearly showing that the film has been padded so that runtime can act as a sort of compensation.
But cut the thing down by 30 minutes? By 45? By an hour? That’s 90 minutes I’ll sign up for, for the good or the bad.
The Beautiful Game
A football match (or “soccer game” or variants thereof depending on your geographical positioning and/or semantic proclivities) lasts about 90 minutes. Plenty of time left after that to get on with the rest of your day.
Three of the Same, Please
It’s hard to commit to a feature-length film sometimes. But watching 3 half-hour installments of a mediocre show (or something I’ve seen over and over again)? No problem.
A 90 minute drive can sometimes to done in just over an hour, if conditions are right. An hour drive is a trip, while a 20 minute drive is an errand. A drive over 90 minutes? Well, it’s not like we have to see each other, is it? Might as well drive across the country and make a road trip of it.
Movies around at or around 90 minutes long (chosen from a gamut of genres and eras):
Beetlejuice (1988) – 1 hr 33 mins.
Dog Soldiers (2002) – 1 hr 45 mins.
Fargo (1996) – 1 hr 38 mins.
Finding Nemo (2003) – 1 hr 41 mins.
Get Out (2017) – 1 hr 44 mins.
Gremlins (1984) – 1 hr 47 mins.
Mulan (1998) – 1 hr 28 mins.
The Babadook (2014) – 1 hr 35 mins.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – 1 hr 16 mins.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – 1 hr 44 mins.
It Follows (2014) – 1 hr 47 mins
Wayne’s World (1992) – 1 hr 35 mins.
Dinner With (My) Family
Peak time = 90 minutes. We’ve caught up, desert is finished and oh, look at the time! With traffic (an hour drive, at least) and work tomorrow and the equinox and everything it looks like we’ll have to stop here and do this again another time byeeeee!
I once got into a huge argument with a woman in the lobby of a megaplex following a screening of Wonder Woman (2 hrs 29 minutes). Her kids spent most of the film talking, loudly, about what they thought was going to happen during the film as they watched it. I asked them to quiet down numerous times, which they did, for about a minute or so each time. She did nothing to stop them and actually countered, there in the lobby, with: “It’s a movie. They can talk a little!”
There was no winning for anyone that day.
Look. Everybody’s trying to get their money’s worth these days, and going to the movies is not as affordable as it used to be (actually, it can be quite expensive, especially at the megaplexes with the most movies at the best times). This, however, also makes opinions especially cheap, particularly among people already not entirely or even remotely sympathetic to your cause, situation or being.
2 hrs 29 minutes. That’s a long time to build up resentment and regrets. Perhaps 90 minutes of aggravation would have been easier to walk away from. But only in the comparative sense and in this case, I don’t think so.
Also: the woman carried a large piece of driftwood that she had tucked against her shoulders, and which ran down the length of her upper body and into the back of her pants.
So I guess this is also a cautionary tale about picking your battles and what in all honestly you can expect by engaging in them, even in the moment – which, when you think about it, isn’t any time at all and exactly as much as is ever needed.