I feel like having fun this week so let’s talk about something fun: Movie Clichés! Some people were given extraordinary talents in life. Unfortunately, I was given the ability to guess how entire movies will end within the first 30 minutes of sitting down to watch them. I have managed to annoy many people with this talent. Others, like my brother-in-law Nate, I have passed this ability on to so that they can annoy themselves. How do I do it? The fact that I have an unusually high IQ and am full to the brim with common sense doesn’t hurt. But, the fact of the matter is, I just watch a hell of a lot of movies! When you do this, you find that most films follow the same conventions and plot techniques… making predictions fairly simple. That’s why when a film like The Sixth Sense comes along it is truly enjoyable to watch because it plays on these conventions and techniques. Sadly, these films are far and few between. Most follow the industry standard. Many of these are comical because of just how often they are used. So, for your enjoyment, I present you this week’s list of some the most often used MOVIE CLICHÉS.
Here we go, in no particular order:
If anyone goes on vacation to Paris, their hotel room will have a direct view of the Eiffel Tower. Often the same will happen in Egypt with the pyramids, New York with the Statue of Liberty or Central Park and California with the Hollywood Sign.
Everyone who has just been grocery shopping will be carrying a paper bag with a large baguette protruding from the top.
When drinking whiskey, a cool character will take the shot, whince briefly and grit his teeth. A nerdy character will take the shot, spit it out, cough uncontrollably and nearly vomit.
When ordering a drink in a movie, there’s no need to be specific. If you order a beer, the bartender will give you a beer.
A cup of coffee and a cold shower can sober up even the most seasoned alcoholic.
Bartenders are never too busy to have a long conversation with the film’s protagonist.
Cab drivers never give change and movie characters never ask for it.
In a restaurant, the total for the bill, along with gratuity, will always be equal to the first bill a movie character pulls out of their pocket.
A movie cop will never get along with his superior officer. This was made fun of brilliantly in So, I Married an Axe Murderer.
The main character’s superior officer will often have open dialogue with the Mayor who will most likely be “chewing their ass” over the case that makes up the plot of the film. Regardless of how many unsolved crimes are on their docket.
A movie cop will never be able to properly solve a case until his superior officer throws him off the case or takes his gun and badge. At his point, it is likely, the cop will have to work “outside the law” to accomplish his goals.
All movie cops keep a manila folder full of newspaper clippings that tell us their whole back story.
All movie cops can pick any lock with a bobby pin or paperclip. The cool ones keep them, all ready filed down, in a business card holder.
All retired movie cops live on boats.
If the movie cop is older, his partner will be killed just days before he is about to retire.
Villains always know how long they can talk on a phone before the trace is complete.
If a hit man needs to finish the “job” he screwed up early in the film, he will most likely do so at the hospital the victim was taken to. He will go about this by ducking into a broom closet and donning a white lab coat, stethoscope and clip board. Never mind the fact that there’s a staff, which probably works 60 hours a week on that floor, who would probably wonder “Who’s that guy?”
Upon capturing the hero, a villain will always divulge their plans in elaborate detail.
A villain never hangs around to make sure the hero is dead.
If there is a crazy monster on the loose, killing everyone it comes in contact with, and potentially being a threat to all of mankind, there will always be one scientist who wants it captured… ALIVE.
If there is a virus outbreak of any kind, there will always be a scientist somewhere who can concoct a cure if the hero can find one person who is immune.
Even if you shoot a car in the windshield, it will blow up.
If a plane crashes, even if it’s because it ran out of gas, it will blow up.
SIDENOTE: If you blow something up, you are not allowed to sit and enjoy it… you must turn and walk away from it in slow motion!
If you are in a car chase, it is required that you drive into oncoming traffic and, at some point, hit a fruit stand.
If you are alone in the backseat, you must sit in the middle.
If you are being chased, once inside the car, you will either drop the keys or the car will not start.
SIDENOTE: In a horror film, both will happen.
If a bad guy is shot on top of a building, he is going over the side. Even if that requires making an athletic move while flying backwards at a 4 foot wall.
If you fall off a building, you will land on a car.
SIDENOTE: In the Dark Knight, this was apparently a good thing as Batman somehow used the car as cushion to save Maggie Gyllenhal’s character.
If the hero is hanging off the side of a building, someone will grab his hand just as his fingers slip.
If a villain is falling off the side of a building, he will grab onto the foot or belt of the hero, his best friend or love interest and pull them over the side.
If the hero needs to jump off a building, there will always be a dumpster, garbage truck or pool.
If the hero and his love interest need to jump off a building, the love interest will need to be tricked into jumping or pushed.
If you have a flashlight, it will need batteries.
If you bang on your flashlight, when it works, it will be shining on something scary. More often than not, the scary monster that’s been chasing you.
If you are having sex, or walk around topless, you are dead.
If a character can run to a house or car mere feet away, they will still head for the creepy forest at the other end of the field.
When they reach the creepy forest, they will most likely trip on a branch or in a gopher hole and run with a limp.
Psychopaths can walk as fast as anyone can run.
Never read out loud from a creepy old book… unless it’s the Bible.
Aliens of the same race always dress the same.
When being chased on a space ship, shooting the key pad to a compartment door will either cause the door to immediately open or jam the door to stop the people chasing you.
SIDENOTE: If you jam the door shut, “It’s not going to hold them off for long.”
If you are traveling through time and aren’t sure how far you’ve gone back, or forward, just check the date on that discarded newspaper floating by on the wind.
I think we’ll stop there. I’ve literally got a million of these so maybe I’ll revisit this topic in the future. I also apologize to my regular readers as we had some family emergencies this week and I was forced to throw this blog together in a jiffy. Still a fun topic if you love movies though!
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