Staring at a screen. Sitting in a dark room alone. Stuffing your face.
This is the experience (for many people) of watching movies and TV alone. Contrast that with gathering together with your family to watch a beloved movie.
Your dad is belly-laughing. Your mom is asking unnecessary questions about the plot. Your brother is joking with you about one of the characters. You’re all groaning at a hero’s bad decision, or making critiques of bad writing, or doing impersonations.
It’s a qualitatively different experience.
At their best, movies are thought-provoking and inspiring pieces of art. But they are generally wastes of time – ways to use waking time in low-energy ways. Watching one alone is about the worst-case scenario for engaging with movies.
When you watch with people, however, a movie can become a wonderful and rare way to bond over a story or at least share time together. The movie becomes the vehicle by which (semi)-quality family or friend time can happen.