The other day I realized with a shock, at the youthful age of 30, that the movies I’d been watching since I was in the tween demographic were full of crap. You see, I’ve been reading a physics textbook I found in a dumpster recently, and it says that in Transporter 2 Jason Statham couldn’t have flipped his car upside down and scraped a time-bomb from its undercarriage with a hook hanging over a junkyard before it exploded. This stunned me. Up until that point I’d taken Transporter 2 as something like a documentary. It made me wonder: what else has Hollywood lied about? With this goal in mind, I painstakingly compiled the following list of things that occur with frequency in films, yet never take place in real life.
1 People stare at their passengers for long periods of time while driving You’ve seen it before: the driver discusses something of great importance, for minutes at a time, with the passenger, and without watching the road in the least. Rarely, a crash occurs like in The Box or Adaptation, but usually everyone makes it to their destination unharmed, and with a greater understanding of the film’s plot. Field Test: I tried driving like this down Murray from Central to the 101 in McKinleyville and ran over two dogs, a crossing guard, and five Jehovah’s Witnesses.
2 People hacking computers never use a mouse Movies like The Net, Live Free or Die Hard, and Hackers all showcase people with deft IT skillz busting some illegal moves with their computers, but the films are all dated by the time they’re released. (I.e. The Net’s use of the 3.5- inch floppy disk as a plot device.) Most dated of all is the idea that any nerd can sit at a computer and just hammer out some code on the keyboard without once clicking a thingy on the deal with the mouse. I obviously don’t know anything about computers, so maybe this one is real. Field Test: I attempted to break into the CIA mainframe by typing furiously for 15 minutes with no programs open, and now my computer doesn’t work. I’m writing this in pencil, and I’m submitting it to my editor by carrier pigeon.
3 People order food, then don’t eat it Does this mean they don’t pay for it? What kind of restaurateur would allow repeat business from someone who orders Lobster Thermidor at 28 bucks a plate then leaves, furious at her fiancé, before the food arrives? Does the wait staff just eat it later? What kind of loss is that for the restaurant? I understand the person who left might have been angry, but is she still hungry? Is she just going to stop at Arby’s on the way home? What exactly is Lobster Thermidor? Field Test: This one was really stupid, so I just ordered Lobster Thermidor, ate it, and didn’t pay. I was arrested, but the judge said it was “fine!” Ha, ha! Seriously though, he fined me.