Movie Cliches I Try to Ignore
I’ve always held to the belief that the average moviegoer can fit into one of two extremes: The Nitpicker or The Forgiver. The Nitpicker’s job is fairly self-explanatory. This person looks for, or at least notices, almost every little flaw. Nothing gets past them, and nothing is too trivial to complain about later in the car ride home from the theater. The Forgiver, on the other hand, is almost the opposite. This person accepts that what they are watching is, in fact, a film. For this reason, they tend to allow almost every little thing past the end of their nose. Depending on the movie, a person can go from one to the other. Of course, too much can also be too much. A person who starts out as The Forgiver can easily change into a Nitpicker if the movie continues to take advantage of their understanding. This is usually what happens to me.
I understand that what I’m watching is a movie, and that the characters aren’t real. But there’s still a limit to how much I’m willing to forgive and how much leeway I’ll allow. Here’s my list of most loved movie cliches. Movies with one or two cliches are usually easy and fairly fun. Movies with all of these (and even more)? It’ll be the only time I make that mistake.
I live in a small town. There’s not a whole lot of people. But trying to find a spot to park in front of the local coffee house at almost any time of day? Impossible. So nothing irks me more than watching a car pull into a parking spot, especially when the rest of the lot is clearly full. It’s also unrealistic to have them park so confidently and without surprise. If I was pulling into what was literally the last parking spot in the lot, you can bet I’d be excited about it.
I wish I could say I always looked fabulous no matter what time of day or death-defying danger I’m facing, but I’d be lying. And so, most likely, would every other woman on the planet (unless of course you’re a spy in real life — then it’s a whole other ball game). Women who have perfect hair and makeup waking up in the movies, be it after a wild night, coming in from the rain, after chopping a zombie and half, or any other kind of situation is not only unrealistic — it’s unfair.
In his film Corpse Bride, Tim Burton did a great job of animating a little blip of music that Victor plays on the piano, accurately and using the right piano keys. Of course, when he sits down to play the main piece, his fingerwork is atrocious. For starters, he’s playing a piece that involves all black keys with only white. I suppose transposing to a major chord could be to blame, but no one is that good. It doesn’t seem to matter whether a musician is hitting the wrong keys or strumming the wrong chords (if at all!). The song plays on, whether the person playing it can keep up or not. We need to give better direction to our actors when they’re pretending to play a musical instrument. Having a guy strum a guitar in a scene for an entire song without even moving his hand up and down? Kind of disappointing.
I know I’m not the only person to notice that in the majority of action films, one of two things happens: 1. The guy wielding the gun is able to shoot for just about forever before he finally changes the gun cartridge, and 2. Nobody seems to have any bloody aim. I know you’ve noticed it too. I always wondered when villains hire all of these henchmen if they have them aim at moving targets. I’m going to have to go with “apparently not” judging by how terrible a shot they usually seem to be. And of course, with the gun cartridge, I can often console myself with the thought that the director didn’t want to show me every single time the character changed the cartridge… which of course, only draws my attention to what a terrible shot he is in the first place.
What about you? What movie cliches do you hate?