I went to see "Babel" this weekend. I really enjoyed the movie - one of my neighbors, not so much. This theatre seems to skew older, as in my friend and I were doing our best to bring the average age of the audience down. And sure, the movie helped with that too.
It was at this same theater that we saw "Good Night and Good Luck". Ten minutes into the movie the person next to me said (and not quietly at all), "Look, honey, that's the same guy we saw in 'Syriana'."
For "Babel", my neighbor made more than her share of oohs, aahs, and oh my gods. Which, while a little irritating due to their number, was acceptable. It was the additional, "Are you kidding me?", "What?", "No way!" and "Oh, don't tell me" that tipped me over the edge. All of these were uttered at a volume that I could hear them perfectly over the loud soundtrack. We reached a point, about halfway into the movie where we could barely change camera angles without it causing some sort of exclamation or utterance. And, of course, due to their short (but frequent, did I mention the frequent?) nature, they were not long enough for me to do any shushing, to do anything more than glance over and hope she was finally done.
Still, the worst movie talking experience remains "Shrek 2" where I was seated in front of a child who had already been to see the movie. The child ws accompanied by an adult, who it seemed had not seen the movie. But apparently the adult was not at all bothered by the child narrated the plot three scenes ahead of where we actually were on screen. It's a good thing "Shrek 2" doesn't contain any serious plot twists, because I had a future broadcast of everything ahead.
Perhaps, in addition to the small children seatings that many theaters now offer, there should be a talkers seating. That way all the talkers could be together driving only each other nuts. And sure, I'm a bit of a reformed talker myself, which probably makes me like a reformed smoker, more annoying than others. But still. I can listen to you talk in Starbucks.