Loud commentary and cell phone fumbling may be distracting, but new research suggests that the presence of other people may enhance our movie-watching experiences. Over the course of the film, movie-watchers influence one another and gradually synchronize their emotional responses. This mutual mimicry also affects each participant's evaluation of the overall experience -- the more in sync we are with the people around us, the more we like the movie.
Very true. It's risky to try and share a movie with someone... if they hate it, you might not like it either. All of which paints a fairly distressing picture of our ability to critically evaluate what we actually like.
Pass The Popcorn! Study Finds That Film Enjoyment Is Contagious