Thursday, March 24, 2011

Realism = over-rated

Can anyone out there name a movie that accurately describes their profession?

I'm not saying a movie that portrays you and yours positively -- because as much as I love To Kill a Mockingbird, I know that the likelihood my career will ever resemble Atticus Finch's is basically zero, and not just because I don't live in the segregated south.  I mean a movie that sorta-kinda gets it "right."  Philadelphia, The Pelican Brief, Liar Liar, A Civil Action, The Rainmaker, The People Versus Larry Flynt?  Not so much.  They may be good,  bad, ludicrous, inspiring, whatever, but not one of them is realistic.

How about the teachers in the house?  We have Dead Poet's Society, Mr. Holland's Opus, Mean Girls, Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, Stand and Deliver -- which of those would you ladies and gents say is your life on the silver screen?

It's safe to say that if you asked any given priest, very few would say their lives resemble Father Karras in The Exorcist

Computer programmers have The Social Network and The Net, doctors have Patch Adams and Cider House Rules, cops have SWAT and Bad Boys, writers have Misery, firefighters have Backdraft and Ladder 49, and Barack Obama has Air Force One. Yet as far as I know,  few doctors cure their patients with pools of spaghetti. If President Obama is fighting off terrorists at 35,000 feet, I suppose that's being kept as closely under wraps as his Kenyan birth certificate.  (Oh snap!)

So how about we all give it a rest on the "realism" argument?  Sure, it's fun to laugh at Demi Moore "strenuously objecting" in A Few Good Men.  But while I find my job enjoyable in the day-to-day, I imagine a lot of people would not.  And because of that, they DO need to put Jack Nicholson on the stand, even though they have no earthly idea what he might say.

The Tudors is not historically accurate.  The guys in The Hurt Locker?  Probably would have been court martialed.  And I hate to break it to the people at The Vampire Diaries, but vampires sparkle.  Duh.

But if entertainment were exactly like real life, it wouldn't be quite as entertaining, now would it?

A song I know all the words to: "The Bad Touch," Bloodhound Gang


  1. Technically my "job" is SAHM. And I have yet to see anything that resembles my life in the movies. Now TV has come close, because you just know I am wearing high heels and pearls while I vacuum. [Shout out to Mrs. Cleaver. :)]

    And my husband's profession would never be portrayed in a movie. heehee - as silly as it [the clients] can get sometimes - it is basically a snoozefest.

  2. One of the funniest things my husband has ever said to me is that his job is EXACTLY like The Office. Except, you know, everybody's Phyllis.

  3. I remember reading The Time Traveler's Wife, and every time the timer traveler dude was at work, I though, yeah, shelving books at the library was never that exciting/weird.

  4. I now have a profession movie!!!!! My life is like The King's Speech EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  5. All The President's Men has a pretty authentic feel to it, to the extent that I think Woodward and Bernstein could watch it and think "Hey, this isn't totally ridiculous." (Unlike Zuckerberg Re: Social Network, in which the pace of the witty dialogue is completely absurd.) But when I'm copy editing stories about watermelon contests and rock science, I think Office Space more accurately relates to my experience.