Family fun or Fight Club, film nights are the ticket this autumn - Janet Christie

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Mum's the Word
Family fun or Fight Club, film nights are the ticket this autumn

I’m wondering what to do to brighten the long autumn nights when Eldest Child messages on the family Whatsapp: “Going to see this film, Dune - who’s up for it? Only a fiver.”

“Me,” I respond immediately. “Loved that film, and the book,” Even though I can’t remember anything about it apart from the big worms bursting out of the dunes and no-one’s interested in me chuntering on about the 1980s until I mention David Lynch.

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“Nice. But this is the remake,” says Eldest. Course it is. Interesting anyway, and I’m up for it. I’ve only been to the cinema once in the past two years, as life becomes a re-run of my Borders 1970s childhood, which is why I’ve been stocking up on candles - more for fear of another Winter of Discontent than Countdown to Christmas.

As the Whatsapp group pings away about Dune for a few days I’m impressed by Eldest’s persistence as he herds the cats, gets a time nailed down, tickets bought, most of us (Youngest is working last minute) assembled at the cinema with pre-drinks from the bar using his discount because he works for the same chain. Where did he get these organisational abilities? Could it be from, whisper it, Other Parent?

After the film the consensus is “Good, cool,” and no fights, so Family Film Nights is born.

Again Eldest goes through the tortuous process for The French Dispatch, another success: “Good”, “cool”, “Except I missed Owen Wilson cos I was getting snacks” (Youngest), “Be like me and bring your own popcorn in Tupperware (Middle)”, “Weirdo” (Someone, possible me), “I wouldn’t have missed it if you’d all let me queue for them BEFORE the film, but no... (Youngest)”, is the verdict.

So what’s next? I ask because this is Family Film Night not Fight Club.

“Nah, that was it,” says Eldest. “Those were the two films I wanted to see,” happy to kill it off and deny his Social Convener skills.

“No!” says Youngest. “We WILL have Family Fun together!”

“Family Film Nights, yay,” says Middle, “good times…”

“You’re not doing that Eldest Child thing,” says Youngest

“What Eldest Child thing? Says Eldest.

“And I’LL choose next time cos everyone forgets me, and I know about films,” she says. “I know, that one that changed my life. We could all watch that again. Four Billboards, that’s it. What? What?”

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