RunPee at your own risk
As a film nut with the bladder of a pregnant woman, I appreciate the RunPee.com mission to find appropriate movie bathroom breaks. I nearly burst a kidney in 1993 gluing myself to the three-hour Short Cuts, and recently couldn’t make it through Inglourious Basterds without taking a personal intermission.
Current moviegoing conditions are ideal for RunPee—sodas are sold exclusively in buckets, and much of the modern movie is extraneous subplots and pop-song montages. RunPee.com offers several “pee times” for new releases, explaining when to leave and how much time you have to return, with a description of the missing scenes scrambled in a separate box to prevent spoilers.
I recently put RunPee to the test during Whip It, starring Ellen Page as a teenage roller-derby queen. The first suggested “pee time” came about halfway through, and the site gave me five minutes to do my stuff. When I returned, I didn’t feel like I missed anything essential, but then the hopelessly formulaic Whip It pretty much writes itself after the first 10 minutes. Sure, I missed an insignificant amount of skating action, but I wasn’t spared any Jimmy Fallon, either—in all, a real mixed bag.
The problem with RunPee is that it’s user-controlled, without any system in place to rate the “pee times.” Thus, while one could argue that dreck like Whiteout and Surrogates offer endless reasons to leave the theater, RunPee advises hitting the toilet during critical plot developments.
Their advice is worse for good films; they suggest skipping great scenes from Ponyo, The Informant! and Inglourious Basterds. Right now, RunPee is more a product of our short-attention-span culture than a useful resource for bladder-challenged cinèastes.
In other words, guzzle those refillable 96-ouncers at your own peril.