CHICAGO — A man reading the Wikipedia summary to a film literally unfolding before his eyes experienced the horror of somehow spoiling the very next scene for himself earlier today.
“Jimmy Wales has got to figure out a standardized way of writing synopses and enforce it with prejudice,” grumbled Wikipedia frequenter Dennis Charge. “There’s assholes out here writing about scenes well before they happen, or putting two big events in the same sentence like some goddamn psychopath. If you’re trying to remain unspoiled and your film has cross-cutting of any kind, forget it. You tried reading a Christopher Nolan or an Edgar Wright outline recently? …No? Oh. Well, it’s impossible.”
Charge has made a frequent habit of investigating films on his phone as they’re playing.
“We’re watching Donnie Darko and all of a sudden, he starts scowling at his phone,” long-suffering partner Sarah South explained. “I ask what’s wrong, apart from the general vibe of everything on our television, and he says, ‘doesn’t matter’. We keep watching, Jake Gyllenhaal has a big fight with Seth Rogan and the guy who sang The OC theme song, and sure enough, Johanna from The Hunger Games gets hit by a car. He scoffs, rolls his eyes and says ‘well, there it is’. I’ve spent the last hour and a half watching emo Mysterio mope at a scary rabbit and a pedophile version of the Dirty Dancing guy for him, and he’s not even enjoying the experience. Fuck this. We’re watching Freaky Friday tomorrow.”
Charge’s growing dependence on having a second screen to relay information has begun to extend beyond feature films.
“I told him, it’d come back to bite his ass,” friend Phil Carmine boasted. “Last year, I’m flicking around on my phone during Inception and it caught his eye. He starts laughing because I’m three beers deep, trying to figure out how they convinced Cillian Murphy to go into another dream, and all of a sudden I’m reading about the main guy’s wife shooting someone in a ski lodge or whatever. ‘Just pay attention’, he says. ‘The whole film is literally about explaining itself’. Well, explain yourself now, Dennis. In retrospect, I’m lucky I didn’t remember the names of any of the characters. I didn’t know which one ‘Robert’ was, so that was still partially a surprise.”
After a further twenty minutes of watching Donnie Darko, Charge realized that he had actually already read the synopsis in its entirety at 2 AM three years ago.