Movie Myths

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Submitted by brad on Fri, 07/30/2010 - 00:30

I was just watching a clip from the Expendables, and it reminded me of something I learned when I had my first daughter - Movies lie.  I have no reason to doubt what I see in movies. I'm not saying I expect to meet a girl who's afraid to date because her boyfriends spontaneously erupt.  Nor do I avoid riding a motorbike across the desert for fear I'll be accidentally sucked into a time portal where I'll unknowingly yet tenderly 'do it' with my great grandmother (Look it up, people! These are quality movies I'm referencing here). But show me a movie where a harried 20 something couple is hilariously coping with the birth of their first child, and I have no reason to doubt it.  Imagine my surprise then, when I learned that there is no 'baby room'. Y'know the one, the glass window with the 50 little glass bassinets, each holding an adorable baby. Doesn't exist. As far as I can tell, it's a complete fabrication.  For each of my three kids, the baby wasn't allowed to leave our room even if we wanted it to. Why make that up? What's the benefit of inventing a social construct in a movie that takes place in the 'real world'?

Take this clip. It appears to be a case of "Cad hits girl, girl's true love finds out, girl's true love schools cad". If I were to take it at its word, I would learn the following lessons:
- The best way to stop a wife beater is to hurt and embarass him in front of his peers, leave him feeling emasculated and I assume vengeful (with the obvious implication that the wife is responsible for his beat ), then leave the country to fight in some shadowy merc war with no way of enforcing your threat or even verifying what's happening. Not only will he leave her alone and some day thank-you for the lesson, but he will also:

  • Not report you to the police for assault, even though he has several dozen witnesses and your only defense is an unsubstantiated "Yeah, but he did it first'.
  • Convince his friends not to report you for assault, even though they likely knew nothing about his background and were only defending a friend they saw being attacked.

-  It also apparently posits the premise that it's ok to snap the neck of some nameless basketball player as long as he is standing beside a wife beater. He will understand, and his wife and children will proudly bear the burden of his total paralysis. "Johnny, ohmigod, what happened!?!" "Y'know Joe in accounting? Well he asked me to play a round of pickup over lunch.  I've only been there a week, I don't really know anyone, so I figured sure. Well we're not there 5 minutes when this guy shows up on the court and starts beating the crap outta Joe. So I grabbed the guy's shoulder to try and break it up and, next thing I know, I woke up here." "Ohmigod! Did the police catch him?" "Well, no, turns out, Joe had hit his wife, or maybe it was his girfriend, I don't really know, and this guy was a friend of hers, so, y'know - it's cool." "Oh, well, ok then. He did the right thing. So...change your colostomy bag?"

I'm beginning to think there are some other true movie facts that aren't quite true, such as:
- The best bure for asthma is to be in a critical situation requiring your peak game.  You will be puffing on the inhaler right up until the moment the bad guys almost beat you to the lost pirate ship, the bully has your girl pushed to the ground, or the football's spiraling towards you in the final game of the season. You will go to puff, stop, throw it away, and never look back.
- You can punch through a car window without injury or, at most, a slight pain you shake off. You can also run/jump/fall through plate glass windows without a cut.
- Everyone in the states, even unemployed families struggling to pay the bills, have a bigger house than I do.
- Nail guns can be pointed like guns and fire projectiles 50 feet across a construction site with enough force to embed themselves in the wall/person/alien.
- Any security expert with their salt will hide confidential information, such as the existence of project Daedalus, by programming flashing red warning boxes that provide secure information such as: "Warning! Level 10 security clearance required to access secret project Daedeulus, managed by William Wilson in office 341 (jiggle the handle on the desk drawer, it sticks), if it existed.  Which it does not."