Did you ever have a life experience and think, “That seemed a lot cooler in the movies?” Well, you’re not alone. Hollywood has been leading us on about life for decades, now. Here are nine lies the movies taught me:
1. There are no awkward silences.
In real life there’s some kind of unspoken rule that anyone who pauses to gather her thoughts must be the most awkward, slow person on the planet. (Can we just take a second to acknowledge how bizarre and unfair that idea is? ) But in movies, people who pause in conversation — even for an actually awkward length of time — are considered deep, mysterious thinkers. Double standard much?
2. Anything worth fighting for will be completed in under a minute…
…and there will be a song to go with it! It’s a classic staple in any movie, regardless of genre: The Montage. Our leading character wants to lose weight, to study for a test, to write a book… any feat which would normally take weeks if not months to complete is turned into a snappy tune and a few clips of the protagonist working hard.
Suddenly, voila! We have a fit main character, an aced test, or a full-fledged manuscript. Wish I’d had a montage to take me through studying for the GRE!
3. There are only two kinds of women in the world.
Either you’re really into fashion and are a kindhearted (if ditzy) gal, or you “go against the grain” by being a jerk to everyone and insisting that it’s OK because it just means you’re strong and independent. No middle ground. No personalities. Don’t ask.
4. There is no need to resolve a fight.
Have you been fighting with your best friend for months with absolutely no perceivable solution? That’s OK — just have a touching vague apology scene and pretend nothing bad ever happened! (Yea, I’m looking at you, Bride Wars.)
5. After said fight is swept under the rug (and not resolved), everything will go back to the way it was.
Speaking of pretending nothing bad ever happened… in the movies, past hurts are erased and grudges disappear the moment the end song starts playing. “Happily ever after” is literal here.
6. It is totally healthy (romantic, in fact!) for men to pursue you aggressively.
He chases you through airport security to stop you from getting on the plane. He quits his impressive, well-paying job so he can move to Paris with a woman he barely knows. He makes inappropriate comments while she rolls her eyes — yet the sexual tension just heightens.
This kind of behavior sounds like a stalker, but it’s really just your typical romantic movie relationship. Yikes! I’m glad this one isn’t true in real life!
7. When a woman focuses heavily on her career, it really means she’s lonely and desperate for a man to fix her.
You know you’ve seen it: 27 Dresses, The Wedding Planner, Hitch. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these movies, but there’s no ignoring the fact that they don’t exactly portray reality. Every time a woman in a movie focuses on her work, we know that the movie is just setting the scene for her to realize that she’s really been trying to fill the lonely hole in her heart.
You have to wonder, why does the lonely hole always need to be filled by a guy? Why doesn’t this woman need friends or a loving family? I guess it just makes for a more romantic storyline.
8. Being poor is fun!
Ah, what I wouldn’t give to be a poor person in a movie. Because according to the movies, being poor means having an enormous apartment decorated with quirky decor like beaded curtains (though the really poor characters live in lofts divided up by Asian-inspired privacy screens) and are able to afford venti triple lattes every morning.
They never wear the same outfit twice (though they occasionally whine about having to shop at thrift stores that sell beautiful vintage pieces for five dollars), expensive cocktails every other night are not a problem, and they’re always, always brilliantly intelligent ambitious hard workers. Please sign me up for this “poor” thing!
9. Mind reading is possible.
Ever notice that characters in movies never say “Goodbye” on the phone? Both people just hang up at the same time as if they instinctively knew that the other was done talking! Real life phone conversations are exactly the opposite: Both people start talking at the same time, then there’s an awkward pause while each waits for the other to finish. Definitely not the smooth and witty exchange that happens on screen.
Some of these “lies” are better in movies, some in reality. But there’s no denying that the best way to figure out what’s true is to have your own experiences and live your own life! That’s all for now, folks!
What lies did the movies teach you about life?