4 Products That Only Exist in Movies
Movies ask a lot of us. They want us to believe that the same cop can be in the wrong place at the wrong time every day for his entire career, they want us to believe vampires roam among us and they want us to believe that children are cute and precocious (instead of miserable, shrieking poop harvesters). Suspension of disbelief is part of the contract you sign with a movie when you buy your ticket. And for the most part, I have no problem doing that. Sometimes, however, some totally absurd and unrealistic events just pull me out of the fantasy world and ruin the experience. And I'm not talking about the impossible fantastical stuff that is common in a science fiction or superhero flick. I will believe that getting bitten by a spider gives you super powers in a movie (and, indeed, life). I can accept a character doing or saying something that's specific to their fictional universe. It's when the characters do or say something that's specific to being actors in a movie that gets to me. Whenever someone makes an unreasonable decision simply because they're in front of a camera pretending to be a human, I call "bullshit," usually out loud, usually in a theater.
Well, I'm sick of it. That's why I've designed a series of products to apply to the real world. If we had these products, movies would finally make sense. You're welcome, movies.
His n' Hers L-Shaped Bed Sheets
What it is:
How many times have you seen this:
If you answered every movie, that's not exactly a proper answer for the way my question was phrased, but I still understand your point. A couple has sex and even though they've (presumably) both seen each other incredibly naked, the woman still decides to cover up her boobs, while the man proudly displays his chest to the world. For any 14-year-old boy who is desperate to catch the slightest of boob glances (that is to say, every 14-year-old boy), it is the single most frustrating thing to happen to cinema.
Why it Happens:
In accordance with the MPAA's archaic and nonsensical rating system, only a small percentage of any given R-rated movie is allowed to be titties, (and that percentage shrinks as the rating lowers). An extra eight frames of boob turns your movie from a PG-13 to an R, and an R to an NC-17, (thus limiting your chances of reaching a wider audience). Now, it's important to note that the MPAA isn't against the idea of sex, they just specifically don't want to see anyone's breasts or genitals. So to cover their asses, boobically speaking, filmmakers try to convince their actors and audience that this...
... is a totally reasonable and comfortable way to behave after sex. This odd, L-shaped sheet arrangement, has become accepted among movie makers as a thing that humans actually do, even though no one I know has ever admitted to doing this or even considered doing it. Additionally, it's pretty uncomfortable and freaking difficult to arrange bed sheets so that they only go up to the guy's waist but all the way up to the chick's armpits. Movies want you to ignore all that and pretend, for just a second, that this is a thing that people like you do all the time.
Well I don't accept the idea that couples awkwardly manipulate their bed sheets to preserve an at-that-point un-preservable level of modesty, so I've decided to create my own, naturally-L-shaped sheets for the couple that loves, at any given time, only two out of four of their collective nipples.
You're in bed with an amazing woman with whom you've just had tremendous, beautiful-people-sex. All is going well until you realize that, post-coitus, you'll still have to share a bed in your combined nudity. It's too warm to go completely under the covers, but that doesn't mean you should have to stare at her disgusting, perfectly sculpted breasts while you're trying to sleep, right? His n' Hers has the answer.
The "Whatever You Have On You" Taxi Service
What it is:
Literally any movie that has ever included a ride and a taxi has done this: our protagonist is desperately behind schedule, so he hops a cab, speeds off to his destination at the last minute and pays by throwing a wad of sweaty bills at the cabbie, sometimes yelling "Keep the change!" or "The girl I love is about to marry the wrong guy!" or "There's no time, there's a bomb in the president!"
Oh-Bomb-a would have made so much more sense.
Why it Happens:
Filmmakers are very selective about where exactly reality will show up in their movies. Some pay more attention to detail than others, but none of them want to waste a second watching someone actually pay for a cab. Usually, your hero is either on their way to a romantic rendezvous or a badass action showdown and, in either case, you don't want to slow that pacing by showing your Johns of both the McClane and Cusack variety fumbling around with their credit card or searching for the correct amount of bills. And I get that. Watching our hero pay would be boring and it would kill the momentum of a tense moment, but I guess my question is Why show it at all? Enough movies have used the trick so it's beyond stale at this point, and it's not like throwing a fist-full of cash is an exciting visual. You're the director, you have the power to cut right from the taxi to the next scene. Why perpetuate this bullshit? As a child, I thought cabdrivers were animals that ate sweaty wads of green paper and, as long as you quickly yet absentmindedly fed them when you left, they'd take you anywhere.
(I didn't have parents growing up.)
Where are you going? You know what? Save it. We go there. The center of the city in the middle of a disaster? A vague destination like "the tunnel?" An airport in rush hour? A Chinese casino in Rush Hour? We go to all of those places. And if you're trying to get to the bank but you want us to take a bunch of one-way streets and drive through public parks because you're a cop and you think that makes us legally obligated to do what you say, we do that, too! And when you reach your destination or when you realize you don't care about your destination and you just want us to "Stop right here," just toss whatever assortment of bills you can fit into your palms. Sometimes it'll only be about three dollars, and sometimes it'll be several hundred. That is the risk you take for what is essentially the low-end prostitutes of the Taxi World. Yeah. We do the weird stuff.
Beer Brand Beer!
What it is:
A man walks into a bar, sits down, looks at the bartender, (who is standing in front of an assortment of taps and bottles), and says "I'll have a beer, please." And then, astonishingly enough, the bartender hands him a beer. Just a beer, just the idea of beer, the perfect manifestation of beer, as a concept, in a glass. That's like walking into a restaurant and ordering "a sandwich," or telling a store owner "I'll take six candies, please!"
"Two meats, one of your vegetables and eight foods, my good man!"
I used to tend bar, and if anyone ever walked in and asked for "a beer," they'd get a nice, cold glass of "I'm not moving until you make a goddamned choice." Beer isn't like water or milk. There are lots of different brands of beer and, broader than that, lots of different kinds of beer; light beer, dark beer, ales, lagers, IPAs, whatever. And when a bartender pulls "a beer" out from wherever, what is he even handing over? Should we assume, of all his beers, that that one is the... beeriest? It is the most beer-like of all the beers?
Why it Happens:
Mentioning a brand by name requires tricky advertisement negotiating, and simply inventing a fake beer name for a movie requires tricky creativity, and neither of these are things that modern filmmakers want to trouble themselves with. So, to make everyone's lives easier, I've taken it upon myself to create a new beer, called beer, that comes in one flavor, (beer), and it's made by Beer Company in the Beernited States of Beermerica. Any director can feature this product in their movie, free of charge.
Finally, a beer emerges on the market with that smooth Beer taste, but none of the hassle of character! Also available in an unlabeled, tinted bottle or comically giant jug with X's printed on it. Remember, just look for the beer with the slogan "Beer beer? Beeeeeer!"
What it is:
We see a couple of best friends sitting around their apartment, depressed. They've both recently been fired, they're late on their rent payments and they've got student loans out the ass. All they have is their music, but that won't pay the bills. They're about two weeks away from getting kicked out of their apartment and right as they're openly wondering how they're going to get out of this mess, they turn on the TV at the exact moment that an MTV personality is announcing a local Battle of the Bands with a grand prize of holy shit your rent money and student loans!
Or a mother is cleaning her kitchen, idly wondering where her wacky, rambunctious son is, when the TV comes to life, already tuned to the news. "Where's that wild boy of mine" is almost overlapped by the news anchor alerting us that "This just in, local boy broke into zoo and freed all of the animals, and boy it sure was zany and unpredictable. If I were the mother of this boy, I'd probably drop a plate in the kitchen and then comically faint due to the shock."
Then that would happen.
Why it Happens:
Because the people who run movies are terrible and they have no faith in you. They can't just show you characters in trouble, they need to have the characters explicitly say "We need money" or "We need jobs" or "We need to find our friend." And they can't have the answer appear casually in the background, they need to smash cut to the TV and spell out a solution just seconds after a problem is stated, because they think you're incapable of retaining any single piece of information for more than a second, because they think your brain is goldfish.
Sick of not having your answers conveniently broadcast directly to your face immediately after you run into trouble? Worry no more! Our chief scientist, Daniel O'Brien, recently discovered a way to read minds, and he refused to use the technology on anything except televisions. For you! Every TV comes with 900 channels and a fairly invasive satellite that uses a complex mixture of radiation and tumors to scan your brain functions. Whenever it notices a problem or, really, any thought you have, the TV will turn on and instantly switch to a channel that is handling something relevant to your current thought! (If no program is covering your specific problem, the machine will self-destruct.) The time of actively thinking about ways to solve your problems is over! Do this other thing now!