12 Annoying Things Movies Always Get Wrong About Real Life
Movies are meant to be a pleasant escape from reality, but sometimes, their versions of reality are incredibly flawed.
Meals and how human beings eat them
If screenwriters write what they know, then they all must have the luxury of time to eat a full breakfast buffet every morning. Film characters have no problem sitting down to a table of eggs, toast, pancakes, and orange juice on a regular Tuesday morning, while real-life moviegoers settle for a granola bar to-go. But don’t expect them to eat the whole spread. It doesn’t matter if they eat at home or at a restaurant; no one finishes an entire meal in the movies. At best, they get a few bites in before being called away to some emergency. Perhaps industry execs think audiences would be bored watching characters eat a full meal like normal people. But I want to see Ryan Reynolds finishing off a plate of spaghetti, dang it!
Normal work life
If a scene takes place in someone’s office, work is rarely being done. The characters are planning pranks, planning to quit, planning to take over the company, planning how to get their work done—but they’re never actually doing their jobs. And this trait isn’t just found in movies. How Ross, Rachel, and company could spend so much time at Central Perk without getting fired, I’ll never know.
Addressing other people
How often do you say someone’s name during a conversation? Possibly once at the beginning when you greet each other and maybe once at the end, right? You may just make eye contact, start talking, and then say, “Alright, see ya.” But if you’re talking to Ashley in a movie, you need to let Ashley know that you’re here for her if she ever needs anything, Ashley, and that she is going to survive this breakup because you know what, Ashley? She is one tough cookie, Ashley is, and her friends love her, Ashley. OK? OK. Bye, Ashley.
People reacting to explosions
Ah yes, the cinematic staple of every action-packed blockbuster that gets stolen by every action-packed wannabe. Film stars dramatically walk away as an explosion bursts forth behind them, and they carry on without so much as turning around to see what damage has been done. They don’t care whether they’re about to be hit by flying debris. They don’t fall down from the shock waves. It’s not how any normal person would react. But dang, does it look cool.
Women’s hair in action movies
Every woman shares the common struggle of trying to keep her hair in place. We use hair pins, hair clips, and hairspray, but even then, there’s always that one strand that pops back up. And that’s all before we leave the house. Yet when Scarlett Johansson or any other female action hero gets caught in an intense combat with the bad guys, they walk away with not only a win, but their perfect, in-place hair. It’s just not fair.
Women running in heels
The same strong female leads can, and do, perform all of their heroic stunts in heels because, well, I’m not really sure. Even in scenes where hordes of people are running away from a disaster, odds are the women are in heels because women wear them exclusively. Of course, the coup de grâce for female viewers is watching a stone-faced woman run away from an explosion in heels without looking behind her as her perfect hair blows in the wind.
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Back in the day, one screenwriter decided that a character needed to make a getaway. The doors and windows weren’t options, so the only available exit was an air vent. And so began the trend of making characters wiggle through air vents as an alternate means of moving between locations, even though real air vent openings are about the size of a toddler. And they would definitely collapse under a grown person’s weight.
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What people watch on TV
When film characters watch TV, they are almost always watching the news, because the news anchor is making some revelation about the zombie apocalypse or a murderer on the loose or whatever catastrophe is advancing the plot. Why can’t they just turn on Spongebob Squarepants and unwind for a change?
New York City
Many films, including the majority of all rom coms ever made, are set in the Big Apple—but not the real one. Actual New York City apartments are about half the size of the ones you see on screen. Green scaffolding covers most buildings, while the film industry’s alternate NYC has conveniently gotten rid of this eyesore. And real New Yorkers rarely talk or interact with their neighbours, much less turn to them for sage advice or a cleverly written punchline.
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Every other city
If aliens were to get ahold of our modern films and mistake them for documentaries, they would assume the only two cities in North America were New York City and Los Angeles. Which mainstream movies take place in Toronto or Montreal or Salt Lake City? None, but interesting things happen in those cities, too! And many other smaller cities around the continent!
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If I walked into a bar and said, “I’ll have a beer,” the bartender would lean forward slightly, raise his eyebrow, and wait for me to specify which of the many beers on tap I want. In the movies, you can order “a beer” and the bartender will give you your brew of choice without asking any follow-up questions, even if you’ve never met. Granted, if film characters were to use actual brands of beer, the studio could get hit with a defamation lawsuit, HuffPost explains, but the least characters could do is order a lager or IPA instead of “a beer.”
Teachers have an excellent time perception. They meticulously plan out how much material they can fit into one class period and adjust those estimates as necessary. In fact, that’s their job. So it’s unclear why the film industry has the impression that professors are always cut off by the bell right in the middle of their lectures. Then, to make things even more confusing, the profs shout that day’s assignments to their students, who are obviously not paying attention and most likely already out the door. If school were like that in real life, graduation rates would decrease significantly.
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Originally published as 12 Annoying Things Movies Always Get Wrong About Real Life on ReadersDigest.com.