Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Length: Short Story
A Hitchcock film series brings Angus, a film studies professor, to the theater where he meets cute concession stand employee, Benjamin. Getting Benjamin’s phone number was easy, especially since he and co-worker Abby were both a bit tipsy, but in the light of day, it takes Abby’s forceful persuasion to convince Angus to call Benjamin.
The two men meet at a coffee shop and after a bit of tension while they figure out their age difference and its relevance, it is obvious that both men are interested. This leads to a second date, which is cut short when Angus receives a phone call that a family member is in the hospital. Angus’ call to Benjamin the next day provides a slightly different explanation, however, which puts Benjamin on guard.
Benjamin is wary of dating due to his last boyfriend, and although Benjamin is happy with Angus, he feels that little things are off. The day after their first intimate encounter at Angus’ house leaves Benjamin feeling yet again that something is not right, but he can’t figure out what is bugging him. Angus’ secrecy is spawning harmful assumptions, upsetting Benjamin, and potentially ruining their relationship just as it begins.
I really did like the characters in Strangers in a Movie Theater, especially Benjamin, a strong, determined old soul who takes honesty and commitment seriously. I may not approve of Angus’ secrecy but can empathize with his thought process. The age difference seems significant and his insecurity, although annoying, is not out of the realm of possibility. Angus assumes that Benjamin won’t, won’t, won’t but never asks what Benjamin does want.
I like stories where the characters have an age difference since there are many couples out there in that situation, it is fun to see how a new couple is formed, how they deal with their differences and pasts. Speaking of pasts, Angus has a past, one that he is trying to avoid discussing and but really shouldn’t gloss over.
Benjamin’s past is less of a secret, but still very painful and affects how he sees the world. Benjamin has no patience for lies and feels that something is off with his new beau. Benjamin’s honesty is shown to be an inherent trait and not one that stems from a past betrayal, although he is pretty quick to forgive Angus for keeping things from him for the first two weeks of their relationship.
Strangers in a Movie Theater impressed me with its portrayal of the MCs, about how assumptions can cause tension and adversity, and also how people tend to think of the worst case scenario and act foolishly when a simple conversation would solve the problem. I can easily recommend it, especially if you are a fan of Hitchcock films.