Scoffs and Cringes
Most people lay in the middle of the spectrum of sincerety and irony. They are such opposites; black and white. It's rare for people to allow themselves to be so far on one side then jump just as far to the other side. It's like when my mom watches Step Brothers (2008) and suddenly there's a remark about Jesus and so she's immediately turned off and offended. Or when my dad is watching Chocolat (2000) with me and there is nothing but silence when Johnny Depp looks passionately at the woman baker so my dad suddenly slips in a perverted comment before the glance is over. Moments in film that are so far on the spectrum make people uncomfortable. The only person I've watched a movie with that has no resistance to make sly remarks or judge a comedy for being offensive is my brother D.J., who is autistic.
Growing up with my brother it was never clear what was different about him. I didn't know what to tell my friends when they asked why a nearly adult male would sit in his room in silence and inspect his collection of hotwheels or why he was so particular about his routine of eating a bag of popcorn and watching America's Most Wanted every day as soon as he was home from school. It wasn't until I was older that I realized there is a spectrum and we are all on it. Learning from my brother, he sees things very black and white. Sarcasm confuses him and he much prefers your company if you just sit in silence with him.
I absolutely love watching movies with D.J. We watched Borat (2006) together and I did't have to worry about offending anyone by laughing because we know the characters arent real. And if we are watching a movie like Amelie (2001), he's paying more attention than me. I see that he feels the sincerity of Amelie and her friendship with her fish and the eye contact that sealed their undeniable silent bond.
Films are made to relate and release us. You take so much more out of a film by silently appreciating what is happening in front of you. It's absolutely fine to let down the wall of worry and judgement to silently enjoy a films purpose.