Everybody knows Hollywood movies raise unreal expectations. There are even gross mistakes that keep popping up in films and we take them for granted. For example, if you find yourself in jail, you’re not guaranteed one phone call, prisons are entitled to deny you that privilege. Crazy, right? Even more, the classic plot for happy ending movies is highly inaccurate: insane training for a few months won’t let you take on experts who’ve been mastering it their whole lives. That never happens in real life. And I dare not even broach the topic of romantic comedies. Kissing in the rain, last minute love declarations and stumbling over your significant other when you go shopping for gloves. These sound more like fairy tale stories. Let’s look at other 5 bad influences from Hollywood movies that messed with our perception and made us set unrealistic expectations.
5. Movies make violence look like fun
A lot of fun. On-screen wars are epic, we get excited for the heroes, we boo at the bad guys and we’re ready for the action scene. Sure, the main character sometimes gets beat up. And how does he look like after he took on like ten enemies? There are some well-placed cuts and bruises on his face, but the one Hollywood never forgets to add is the cut on the bridge of the nose. Tom Cruise had it, Keanu Reeves had it, Robert Downey Jr had it, Brad Bitt and Bruce Willis had it. Why? Because it makes them look even more appealing. Sure, they’re at their lowest point, but the haircut still looks handsome, and the scars aren’t that painful. He’s practically as good as new. Hollywood had made wars look good by adding a sunset here and a touching monolog there. Sadly, all we take away from these battles is how to get as ripped as the main character.
4. Entertaining dialog equals pointless insults
You know all those one-liners from Hollywood movies? They’re only there to make us, the audience, laugh, and not to convey how a real conversation would sound like. All we have to do is remember Chandler’s sarcasm, mostly pointed at Joey. Do you think in real life they would’ve been friends? We’re used to characters being incredibly witty, always ready to counterattack. Look at Dr. House. Know anyone in real life who delivers as many “burns” per minute as he does? Thankfully, I don’t. Movies stopped trying to mimic real life conversation. Instead, now they aim for performance. The more sarcasm, the better.
3. Villains are charismatic
We’re not supposed to side with the villains, but we can’t help it when they’re so charismatic. Yeah, he killed all those people, but have you seen his perfect jawline? Tony Montana, Walter Heisenberg White, The Joker – Hollywood found a way to make us enjoy evil deeds. Maybe we live dangerously through them and get to pick up a few cool and funny badass moves. And villains don’t even have it bad at all. Jordan Belfort from “Wolf of Wall Street” is a handsome rich man who meets all the women he wants while he gets high on his private yacht. How horrifying, let’s hope we never end up like him!
2. Bad habits, no consequences
What makes it easy for us to relate to kickass cool characters? First of all, they need to be above us, the plebs. At the same time, they need a few flaws, to make them likable and easy on the eyes. Why did you think Tony Stark has a drinking problem? There’s a lot of drinking, smoking and eating unhealthy foods in movies. But we never see characters get lung cancer from chain smoking, or cellulite from snacking on ice cream. What is supposed to be the moral of a story in which a character overdoses and gets behind the wheel in a hilarious scene (“Wolf of Wallstreet”)? Certainly not “don’t do drugs, kids!” Don Draper also deserves to be mentioned here. He drinks like a fish and passes out on his office couch more times that we can count. And yet his liver doesn’t seem bothered in the least.
1. Every problem has a clear solution
Here’s the structure of 99% of Hollywood movies: we’re introduced to the main character, who faces an issue and proceeds to solve it. What lesson did we learn today, kids? That out there, in the real world, we’ll just meet the pretty, perfect girl, get rid of the bad guy and buy the right stuff. I’m sure we can all apply these pearls of wisdom to our own boring lives.