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The WrestlerMarch 10, 2009

The Wrestler made me sick. I twittered it, but I must say it again (what? You don't twitter? You should! If you're in an RSS reader, jump over to my site, grab my twitter feed, and follow along!).

It made me actually, physically ill. I've NEVER had that happen to me before in a movie, and I think perhaps in my head I thought people who said they got motion-sick in movies were just A Little Sensitive. But my god. It was like I was on a ship -- no, wait, I don't get seasick. It was like I was riding in a car on a winding road up to Yosemite, trying to read a dictionary (oh, the very thought.... I DO get carsick).

Of course, I didn't know that's what was going on, and I just thought, oh, no! I'm getting the stomach flu! And hoo-EEE, it's comin' on fast. Ninety minutes into the hundred and five minute movie, I left. I have NEVER left a movie before, no matter how bad (which is odd, given the ease with which I jettison books I'm not enjoying).

But the movie was unpleasant and violent (duh) and sad, and even though the characters were wonderful and believable and sympathetic, it was wounding my soul to watch it. Plus, I had the stomach flu.

Then I left, and the flu went away. The vertigo disappeared. My brain stopped spinning, and my stomach stopped heaving.

I find it completely fascinating that film footage (shaky, handheld)  can do that to a person. I'm rather glad I went, just for the experience.  Did you see it? Reactions?

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Comments

I haven't seen the wrestler but I have gotten sick in a movie once before....with experiences similar to yours...thinking I had the flu, etc. Then all symptoms disappeared about 20 minutes after leaving the theater. It was so long ago I can't remember the name of the movie......darn. Violent movies aren't my thing to start with so I think I will give The Wrestler a pass...thanks Rachel.

Maybe yer pregnant.

I haven't seen it...I go to very few movies, and though I heard this one was really good! amazing! Mickey Rourke! and all that, it really didn't sound pleasant. Watchmen, now, that was fun.

I had the same physical symptoms the first time I saw Se7en back in the mid nineties. I think that was as much emotional overload as the camera style, though. That film was unrelenting: it just kept piling on the angst and pain and darkness, and at twenty I was much more innocent and easily shocked.

HEH! Thanks for the heads up! I get seasick, carsick, sick at Imax movies, sick during spiderman movies, blair witch project... even handheld tv shows (I am glad that trend vanished!)
If it happens again: Stare at the floor for a minute, and hold onto the arm rest.

...remind me to have the top down on my mini, if you ever ride with me.....something about fresh air and all that..... :-}

I didn't see The Wrestler, but Bonfire of The Vanities did it to me. There's a scene with the camera circling overhead of a very loudly patterned carpet - the thought of it still makes me a little queasy.

I had a mild version of this with one of the Bourne films in the theater. Wasn't so bad when I saw it again on dvd at home. Thanks for the warning, I'll give The Wrestler a pass.

I haven't seen The Wrestler, and now I probably won't. Thanks for the heads up! I get sick watching The Blair Witch Project years ago. Since I had a 2 month bout of vertigo last year, I would rather miss a spectacular movie than go through that again.

The first Harry Potter movie (I think it was the first, that's the only one I've seen in a movie theater) had a few scenes that gave me the feeling of the seat moving under me, *very* unsettling.

As did an IMAX movie about the history of flight - much worse because of the wrap-around effect. I had to close my eyes for parts of that, which I didn't want to do because the views were absolutely amazing.

Most of my movie watching is small screen, and I think I'll just keep it that way ;-)

I haven't seen it. But like PP I got sick watching Blair Witch... the *only* movie I've ever walked out of.

Sorry you got sick, but glad I read this post.... I will wait for the video.

Haven't seen it but my husband mocks me for getting motion sick while playing video games....

Haven't seen The Wrestler, but thanks for the heads up. Remember the cartoon Dr. Katz? I tried to watch it a couple times and just ended up feeling seasick each time.

I have to be careful in movie theaters. Certain kinds of motion onscreen triggers optical migraines. I never had migraines prior to menopause but then, blam! I never got motion sick on anything except trains when I was a kid. However I've had problems with anything that has a lot of long pans and zooms for the past six years or so. I've had to walk out of 1 LOTR showing (one I stuck it out through and regretted later as I was sick for a day and a half) and the last Harry Potter movie I tried to watch when the magic started to make things sweep and swirl. It's not all movies (Shrek 3 was no problem for instance) but the motion can trigger my brain to do stupid stuff. And I'm NOT known for being "sensitive" - at least I wasn't until a few years ago lol. And kiddo, you've got me having severe Kindle-envy. Now that I've found that, even out of the US, I can still download all those books, well... I need to win the lottery I do!

Haven't seen The Wrestler, but I clearly remember a few years ago Sin City making me physically sick. Thanks for the warning Axx

my mom has that happen in movies all the time.

i definitely thought (about 10 minutes in) "well...i hope i don't puke."

i thought the ending was complete bullshit. in a "real humans" way rather than "plotwise" way. email me if you want to know what happens.

I haven't seen it, but that happens to me in any movie with any degree of shakycam. Also first person shooter video games. I actually had to go throw up after The Bourne Identity. Classy!

I loved the Wrestler. Not in that "ya gotta see it" kind of way, but as a look at a side of life that felt real. Regardless, yes, I also get the motion thing going and had to look away a number of times and "ground" sip cola, breathe......Blair Witch did that and I NEVER IMAX. Sorry that you had to miss the end...I hate not completing an experience! Obviousley applies to a number of issues in my life!!!

Oh THANK YOU for saying that, I have been wanting to see it but I would be puking in the first 5 minutes so I think I'll hold off. I "watched" most of the Blair Witch Project with my eyes closed for that exact reason.

I haven't seen The Wrestler, but I had a similar experience in A Time to Kill, during the initial rape scene. It was just too much, and everything was in extreme closeup. So I managed to miss the whole movie. The husband left with me, so at least I wasn't waiting alone! I'm a big fan of horror, and I usually don't mind violent movies, but apparently even I have my limits :)

Ug! I know that feeling all too well. I couldn't go to a movie for about a year because EVERY movie did that to me. Turns out my glasses were just bad enough that it made every movie just a titch out of focus, which left me wanting to throw up. I actually did once, in the hallway...I was racing to a trash can. That's when I stopped going.

New glasses and now I can see movies again, yay!

I think I'll stay away from The Wrestler, though...thanks for the warning :s

It didn't make me motion sick, but the part with the staple gun and barbed wire almost made me physically ill. And I kind of agree with you about it being depressing, with very little to redeem it. What was the message? That we are all horribly, horribly alone? That life sucks and then you die? Not sure what to take from it.

I totally know what you mean. Sometimes movies hit you the wrong way. I was so over-prepared to watch The Wrestler that I got through it even with shaky camera work. I really wanted to compare Mickey Rourke's performance to Sean Penn's Harvey Milk. I am a fan of Rourke and I can absolutely appreciate his acting, BUT I'm so glad Penn won the Oscar for Milk. It was such a genuine and sweet performance. My blindsided-by movie was Dancer in the Dark with Bjork.

yep, I get that same way when I watch 'Battlestar Gallactica'. The shaky, focus-in, focus-out camera work drives my eyes batty. I knit while I listen to it. :)K

Yep, shaky camera or sitting too close to the screen make me sick, too. So thanks for the warning about that movie.

I haven't had any bad experiences watching movies with shaky camera shots but I have had a few gross out moments. A few memorable ones include the scene in which Hannibal escapes in Silence of the Lambs and more recently, pretty much the last half hour of Million Dollar Baby. My sister made me plug my ears and close my eyes during the first scenes of Saving Private Ryan in order for me to watch it with her in the theatre! Sensory overload for sure! I have to have a sense of humor about how I get the "vapors!"

Havn't seen the Wrestler but Rachel Getting Married did that to me. But then again I can walk along the bay and get sea sick!

You totally crack me up with the "I'm glad I went" at the end! I don't think that's an experience I'd be grateful for. :)

I saw The Wrestler and thought it was a great movie. Funny, thoughtful and sad. I knew it was going to be violent so I was ready for that.
There was a Sylvestor Stallone movie a few years back, Cliffhanger. The opening of the movie made me dizzy with sweaty palms. I have issues with heights and I will never ever rock climb.
Oh, and King Kong when Naomi Watts is at the tippy top of the Empire State Building. I thought I was going to fall onto the theatre floor! I was so glad when she was off that building!

I thought it was a really inspired performance by Rourke. I actually was kind of rooting for him to get the Oscar but I also liked Sean Penn in Milk. Apples and oranges really.

The movie didn't make me physically ill, but the scene with the necromancer or whatever his name was and the staple gun. . .Yes I could feel the bile coming to the back of my throat. That was a little fucking intense for me.

I got sick once watching a home movie my ex FIL shot. I blamed it on the gin & tonic and the pain killers. :) And my ex was so offended when I taped over it!

I know several people who got sick watching that Blair Witch thingie due to the hand-held film camera deal.

I sorta got sick during it due to it being an all-round lame-assed waste of time, but that's just me.

And next time I'll tell you how I really feel.

Well, I dunno about the motion sickness, but everytime I've seen Micky Rourke in a movie I feel like I need to take a shower and scrub my brain with bleach. I simply cannot stand to see him in movies anymore.

Portal on the small TV--no prob. Portal on the projector? Bad scene. Good thing the cake is a lie; I couldn't have eaten it anyway.

I'm the same as Amy Jo - the movie Dancer in the Dark totally made me nauseous. Will beware of the Wrestler.

This is why I have never seen all of Moulin Rouge or Blair Witch. Owie.

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