"The Artist" surprised some moviegoers in the U.K.
"The Artist" is earning acclaim, including three Golden Globes. But not everyone appreciates the black-and-white, almost entirely silent film.
British newspapers are reporting that some moviegoers there demanded refunds after starting to watch the film and discovering it's silent (a few lines are spoken near the end).
The U.K. paper The Telegraph said that theater staff had issued a "small number of refunds" to patrons who complained. The article also noted that patrons buying tickets to "The Artist" at one Liverpool theater were now being asked if they understood that the film was silent to stave off any future confusion.
A spokesman for the Odeon theater chain told the paper that "the cinema is happy to offer guests a refund on their film choice is they raise concern with a member of staff within 10 minutes of the film starting."
In a similar incident from October of 2011, a Michigan woman actually sued the studio that released Ryan Gosling's "Drive," claiming, among other things, that the trailer billed the dark drama as an action film along the lines of the "Fast & Furious" series. The suit actually called out the movie for having "very little driving."
The "Drive" and "Artist" incidents raise the question: Why do people who don't bother to research a movie before paying money to see it think their ignorance is the moviemaker's problem?
We can imagine the future lawsuits this trend could produce. "I thought 'Easy A' was a guide to rocks-for-jocks college classes!" "I believed 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' was a rock concert movie filmed from the front row!" "I expected 'Friends With Benefits' to be an instructional dating film!" Or even: "War Horse" had too much "War," not enough "Horse!"
Perhaps the movie title that applies here is "Dumb and Dumber."
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