Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hollywood Cliches

At the end of the day, cliches should be avoided like the plague. Honestly. There's simply no excuse for them!

Since I met Rachel I've been watching a lot of films. We go to the cinema every weekend, and I often watch a film at Nikki's during the week, so I guess I've probably seen about 25-30 films this year alone.

I have noticed that there are as many cliches alive and well in the movie industry as there are in every-day language.

I guess my film tastes are changing as I get older, but I'm probably also becoming more cynical. The movie industry is enourmous... a typical budget for a film nowadays is probably about $80m with many going way above that. As you can imagine, with that kind of investment, the investors want to play things safe - they don't want to invest money in a film which the audience doesn't understand, or is offended by and therefore stays away from the cinema in droves.

Over the years, the Powers That Be in Hollywood and elsewhere have devised movie templates, or recipes if you like, and they cling to these like a one-armed man hanging from a branch. For example:

  • a Hollywood movie should always have a happy ending

  • there should always be a love scene. Not only that, but the attraction between characters should be glaringly obvious (yet they often act as if in denial).

  • the main hero never gets killed*

*(there are a few rare exceptions to this but if the hero DOES die then it's always at the end of the film, and it's designed as a tear jerker to give the film some poignancy).

Personally I hate this her-never-dying rule because if, 20 minutes into the movie, he is confronted by seemingly impossible odds, his death is surely imminent, you just know beyond doubt that no matter what happens he is going to survive.

Not only that, he'll save the day at the end of the film, get the girl, and then she'll fall in love with him because he's so damn macho.

Mind if I vomit?

1 comment:

Rooby said...

I totally agree Jo..."True Romance" being a good example...I love this film, don't get me wrong, even if Christian Slater is still doing his "Hey, I'm Jack Nicholson, me" routine. Tarantino did the original screen-play (hence the pop-reference overloads), but he (Tarantino) had to sell the screenplay to pay the bills, as he'd already got the green light for Reservoir Dogs. ANNNNNYWAY, in the original screenplay, the main character (played by Christian Slater) actually dies after the shootout, and the whole story is left bitter-sweet. As it is, we get to see him and his son (Elvis, lol), playing on the beach, with Patricia Arquette's character, the mum, looking as ravishing as ever. N.B. Trivia tip...I developed a huge crush on Rosanna Arquette after seeing Desperately Seeking Susan (ok, one of my favorite films, I cannot tell a lie)....I managed to downplay this, but the girl who stole my (insert relevent fruit word here) was actually very like Rosanna Arquette in the face...mmmm happy days :)