Without exams, papers, and dining-hall-induced digestive issues, summer should be easy and relaxing, right? SO EXTREMELY WRONG! Take moviegoing, second only to outdoor drinking on the Summer Fun Index. Your quest for entertainment is actually a modern retelling of the ancient hero's journey. Your experience will be exactly like Star Wars, the Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and countless other epics! Just less exciting, and with uglier actors.

THE HERO'S DEPARTURE

"I'm sooo bored. Let's do something. Let's see a movie." The call to adventure! You might be skeptical at first. All the best heroes are. Important questions stand in your way: What is "the matrix"? What is "the force"? What movies don't suck this week? As you learn the answers, avoid being seduced by power and turning evil (see: Vader, Voldemort, Lucifer, Gollum). In your case, consider the "dark side" to be anyone who spells movie theater with an "re. (The THEATRE is for Neil Simon plays, black berets and the French. The THEATER is for Jerry Bruckheimer and America. You're going to the theater.)


ROAD OF TRIALS

You aren't racing to detonate a bomb or escape authorities who don't seem to get that you're a misunderstood vigilante on the wrong side of the law. You have a far more important motivation: not missing the previews. Previews contain all of the movie's best jokes, explosions, and inspiring music but without the highly overrated "plot" and "character development." Each one is basically a music video with a $100 million budget. So beware: whatever time you leave, your dastardly foe, traffic, will magically expand to make you late.

THE DEADLY CHOICE

Just when you think you're home free, a new obstacle presents itself. It's time to choose a seat. You must strike the delicate balance between two evils: the neck-breaking front row, or so far in the back that you're in the front row of a tonsil hockey game between a pair of 13-year-olds. Choose with caution, for just as Odysseus (the OG quest hero) charted a course between Scylla and Charybdis without drowning his crew, so too must you find your seat without drowning in prepubescent saliva.

FINAL BATTLE

In order to force confrontation with the face of evil, you'll almost certainly be betrayed by a friend who's too by-the-book to stand up for what's right. Han had Lando. Lucy, Susan and Peter had Edmund. Peter Parker had James Franco. And you will have a friend who seems chill until the movie starts when they start asking questions and stubbornly refusing to suspend their disbelief for like, a second. "Ugh, that would never happen. If Wall-E were really programmed for a post-apocalyptic wasteland he wouldn't know to preserve the plant's roots." Yeah, that's what's unbelievable about this movie.

RETURN HOME

After victory, the hero returns home the master of two worlds. Revel in the knowledge that you have saved everyone from another boring afternoon when you probably would've just done something lame at home, like watch a movie.