Sci-fi visionaries like Jules Verne and Gene Roddenberry get all sorts of credit for predicting the future via fiction. But you know who doesn't get credit? Weekend at Bernie's.
As it turns out, lots of movies turn out to be prophetic, seeing even the most ridiculous plot points turn into real headlines months or years later.
While Idiocracy is often cited as the under-appreciated Mike Judge film that is most likely to come true, Office Space already has. After performing poorly at the box office, Office Space became a massive hit on DVD, inspiring many a wage-slave to rip their apron off and tell their boss to kindly go fuck himself.
The films protagonist, played by Ron Livingstone, takes office rebellion a little further than that and decides to rip off the company he works for. His scam involves stealing fractions of pennies from financial transactions that would usually automatically be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. The idea is that the company would never miss such small amounts but that over a long period of time the pennies would add up.
The Real Life Event
Michael Largent, a 22-year-old who had presumably never seen the second half of Office Space where the scheme goes to shit, decided that this sounded like a pretty neat idea. In 2007, Largent used an automated script to open up 58,000 accounts with online brokerage firms. Once the account was opened, the firm would send micro deposits of a few cents to verify that it had opened properly. Soon Largent had gained $50,000 as well as the attention of the FBI.
Jennifer Aniston is only vaguely relevant to this story, but is also incredibly attractive.
Largent was bad at choosing source material. He stole the idea for his criminal conspiracy from a comedy about a failed crime, and opened his accounts under the names of cartoon characters including Hank Hill and Rusty Shackelford. He was eventually caught when the Patriot Act required the brokerage firms to take a closer look at the identity of their customers, and they presumably noticed one of them was named Spongebob.
Largent later said "that he needed the money to pay off debts" and stated that this was "one way to earn money," proving that he was unskilled at generating aliases and defining the word "earn". Instead of following the plot of a carefree comedy, Largent wound up spending his best years imitating the darker, more prison-rape themed scenes from Shawshank Redemption. Speaking of which...
Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy Dufresne, an innocent man in jail who splits his time between filling out the guard's tax forms and getting gang raped; his only solace being that all the horror is narrated by the soothing disembodied voice of Morgan Freeman.
One night, a depressed Robbins retreats into his jail cell with a length of rope, leaving Morgan Freeman's voice to worry that Robbins is going to hang himself. The next day, the prison warden opens up the cell, finds it empty, smashes the place up and looks behind a poster of Raquel Welsh to find--SPOILER WARNING--Gwyneth Paltrow's severed head.
Oh, wait, sorry. He discovers a hole in the wall through which Robbins has escaped. Robbins has in fact spent his decades in jail meticulously chiseling himself an escape route in preparation for one day becoming a heavy handed metaphor for the human spirit.
The Real Life Event
On December 15, 2007, the cells of Otis Blunt and Jose Espinosa were opened at New Jersey's Union County Jail and found to be curiously lacking in Otis Blunt and Jose Espinosa. What the cells did have were two posters of what the newspapers called "bikini clad woman".
The prison guards looked behind the posters and discovered a hole linking the cells to each other and another hole in the external wall, linking the cells to the outside world.
The two inmates had spent the previous weeks chiseling away at the wall with a length of wire. They then crawled into one cell, covered the holes with the posters and piled blankets under their bed sheets to make it look like they were sleeping, an idea so rudimentary, they had to steal it from a Baby Sitter's Club novel.
They then escaped through the hole, climbed a fence and parted ways, one of them going to Mexico City, as in every jail break film ever, the other going to hide in a nearby basement, as in being a fucking idiot.
Not that it mattered; the guy in the basement was caught a month later, the criminal in Mexico the day after that, presumably while sanding his boat on the beach.
They were brought before a judge and charged with third-degree escape, to which they hilariously pleaded not-guilty. We don't know if they were convicted or not, but we expect the prosecution's evidence was along the lines of: "Here is the defendant in Mexico City, here is an empty fucking jail cell. The prosecution rests."