Movie theater employees across America make sure to prepare themselves for an onslaught of cackling, innuendo-spouting packs of young women whenever a movie like Sex and the City or Magic Mike hits the nation's cinemas. But when those same groups of loud, boisterous girlfriends began showing up at screenings of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln -- and even shrieking in delight at the film's depiction of a volatile time in U.S. history -- managers at movie venues across the country realized their already tenuous hold on the zeitgeist was indeed slipping away.
"I could never have predicted this," said a Minneapolis area theater owner. "These women are throwing wolf-whistles at the screen whenever Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner pull off yet another intriguing analogy between the divided Congress of the 1860s and divisions in political discourse facing our nation today."
"I missed a lot of the movie," said one annoyed audience member. "Whenever Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens would get all fired-up about absolute equality between the races, there were so many ladies high-fiving that I couldn't even see the screen. And then, you never knew when they would all start fist-pumping and shouting, 'Doris Kearns Goodwin, Doris Kearns Goodwin!'"
Mary Todd Lincoln's struggle with depression, as depicted by Sally Field, seemed to divide the phalanxes of women taking up row upon row of theater seats.
"Half the time, they were, like, 'Step off, girlfriend. You're married to Daniel Day-Lewis, so suck it up,'" reported concession worker Erin Wilson. "But then, they'd also be, like, on her side, like they could see how the pressures of being a political wife in such a turbulent time could only have exacerbated any psychological frailties the poor woman may have had."
But nothing got the women hotter than Abraham Lincoln's sheer political will. Every time the legendary rail splitter, given expression by Day-Lewis, made progress toward getting the 13th Amendment passed, or told an amusing, homespun anecdote, these groups of female friends indulged in foot-stomping, hip-shaking and synchronized howling to express their excitement.
Multiplexes across the country hope this box-office boosting trend of politically engaged long-time female friends getting together to go berserk at a movie will continue. "Now," offers one unnamed usher at a Connecticut theater chain, "all we have to do is get the guys to perceive the inherent dysfunction percolating inside James Bond."
James Napoli is an author and humorist. More of his comedy content for the Web can be found here.