Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Only In The Movies

Have you ever noticed that, in movies, actors do certain things that people never hardly ever do in real life? One thing I have noticed consistently is that someone will pour a boiling hot cup of fresh coffee, and then pick the cup up by the bowl -- not the handle. Have you ever tried to do that? If the coffee is really hot, you won't be holding it for very long, trust me. I was watching "Medium" the other night, and District Attorney Devalos was having breakfast in his favorite diner. The waitress poured him a hot, steaming cup of coffee and Devalos picked it up by the bowl rather than the handle. In every movie and every TV show I have ever watched where the character is drinking coffee, he/she never picks the mug up by the handle. So, I decided to try it. Ouch ouch ouch...!

Another thing I have noticed is that, when a movie or TV character goes shopping for groceries, they always carry the groceries in a paper bag, and there is always a baguette, some carrots and a bunch of celery sticking out the top. How many people actually eat baguettes? Celery? How many stores pack their groceries in paper bags? And of course, the paper bag is always being carried by a woman -- Meg Ryan? -- and the road is always slippery, and she drops the bag. This is when our hero swoops in and rescues her and her baguette groceries.

I love Chinese food. It is my favorite food next to Indian and Japanese. The spicier the food is, the better -- and I love eating with chopsticks. We have some wonderful Chinese restaurants here in Vancouver, and I often order take-out when the Munchkins are visiting. They're pretty adept at using chopsticks, too. But only in the movies do you see Chinese food being delivered in actual Chinese take-out boxes. Here in Vancouver our Chinese food is delivered in little flat, round containers with aluminum foil lids. There's something sort of je ne sais quoi about eating Chinese food out of the Chinese take-out container, with chopsticks. It's just not the same from the little flat, round containers. Only in the movies...

A few other things I have noticed only in movies -- if someone is having a nightmare, they sit bolt upright, panting, when they wake up.

No one ever says "Goodbye" after a telephone conversation.

You can always find a taxi when you need one, except if you are being chased -- in which case you must always run down a dark, blind alley.

You can see the Eiffel Tower from every location in Paris.

If a detective is "taken off the case", you know he is going to solve it.

In a war movie, if a fellow is writing a letter to his mother, you know there is a bullet with his name on it.

When you pull your car up in front of someone's house -- where there is always a parking spot -- you must honk your horn, twice.

If the Earth is being invaded by aliens from outer space, you never hide, but instead go outside to investigate the space ship hovering over your house -- especially if you're in Paris, and of course you have a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Only in the movies...

31 comments:

Leah Fry said...

My personal favorite movie "how come" is when someone (especially a woman) is alone at night in the house and hears a noise in the attic or basement, and they have to go see what it is, even though the power is out. And then when something comes after them, instead of trying to run AWAY, they run UP stairs and slam a door. Oh yeah, like THAT'S gonna help! Or they run up to the roof, where they are, of course, trapped unless they're willing to take a gainer off the side. Sheez!

J9 said...

but where I live, we do get Chinese take out in the containers!

Firefly said...

I always thought its just here in South Africa that we don't eat out of those little Chinese food boxes. LOL. And I agree with the alien thing. I watched Independence Day for the ?th (probably 10th) time this last weekend and there all the idiots went up onto the roof to welcome the aliens. Soon after they got fried.

the walking man said...

Cold hands warm heart is the only explanation for the coffee cup thing that I can think of...subliminal messaging from the screen to the audience.

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Rajlakshmi said...

very enjoyable read... :)
Bollywood movies are no better... you will be surprised at how many laws of physics and common sense it breaks ;)

reyjr said...

lol. and the policemen always arrive after the protagonist kills the bad guy....

greenpanda said...

So true. The dreadful dialogue is my biggest 'what?'
People never actually talk like that in real life.
Oh, and despite the fact you would notice in real life, people never perceive that a man is standing two feet away, watching them kiss or hand over an incriminating letter.

Russell said...

Great post! Reminds me of the first one I ever read of yours!! You were talking about the Wal-Mart mascots and plastic paperclips!

Okay, I have a confession. I never use the handle of a coffee cup. I have tried but I don't seem to have enough control over the cup if I use the little handle. Could we have a coffee cup controversy here??! Those that do and those who don't??!

Your observations are great and love the alien space ships flying past the Eiffel Tower!

Nicole said...

People never saying goodbye on the phone in movies has always been a pet peeve. How do they know the other person is finished talking? And I have noticed that people rarely pay for things either. This has become very noticable in toddler cartoons. Pay for your purchases!!

Jelica said...

It's even worse in those Latin American telenovelas--laws of physics, biology or just common sense don't hold much weight :)

Kimberly said...

As someone gets into a car (being chased) - the car doesn't start or the car keys are dropped or the keys are found over the sun visor.

Paula Slade said...

Oh that was funny!! Yes, yes, yes - only in the movies!

jozeygirl said...

you know, i was just thinking about the brown paper bag thing last week. and they always carry it with one hand, doesn't it ever slip. and our chinise take out comes in stiriphome containers. i thought in the americas it comes in the take out boxes. and do people really drink black coffee with no suger? and don't they use margarine of butter on there bread? or is it just us south africans to do that.

sometimes i think those movie making people, think we're dumb.

thanks for another mind boggeling insightfull blog

Leslie: said...

Trust you to notice all those things - No, I mean trust you to write about these things! lol I see a lot of inconsistencies in the movies, too, and echo everyone else's comments. Great post!

Mary Ellen said...

Wow, so much to take in! Ok...I do eat baguettes and buy them regularly. My husband is a real bread hound and prefers the stuff from the bakery. I do use celery a lot because I love to cook, everything from scratch. However...I haven't seen a paper bag from the grocery store in ages! I use the re-usable cloth bags which I bring with me.

Regarding the coffee, I do the same thing, I hold the bowl of the cup, not the handle. I guess the heat from the fresh hot coffee doesn't bother me,maybe because I've spent so much time with my hands in very hot dishwater for so many years. It also does't bother me to use very hot water when I wash my hair.

Now, if aliens invaded and hovered over my house,I'd be in the basement, but my husband would be on the front porch to watch the whole thing.

Our Chinese food comes in black plastic containers with plastic lids..except he rice, which always comes in the white boxes.

Another movie thing...all the phone numbers start with 555 and they never mention area codes.

Arley said...

What a great post! I love to watch movies and pick out all the stupid little inconsistencies.

We don't order chinese here in Henderson because the chinese food is one step about dog droppings, but back home in Boston, we had a great little chinese joint that did use those little take out boxes. I love those.

We but baggetts of french or Italian bread all the time. We also always have celery, but my husband is the only one who likes it. However, I have not seen a paper bag in years. Always plastic.

When drinking coffee, I usually hold my cup by both the base and the handle, just for extra support. I agree, the cup is usually too hot to grab by the base alone.

My personal favorite....those streamy love scenes...ya right, likes it's ever that good!!

Carol E. said...

They never wear their seat belts, even though they may be cops or attorneys who should know the law! When someone eats something, even if it's very small, it fills their mouth and makes it look like a man-sized meal. (no doubt as soon as the filming ends, they turn and spit it into the spit plate)

jackc50 said...

hot coffee, chinese food and space ships......you hit all the hot buttons. great post and keep on pointing out life's inconsistencies...your'e good at it, jack c

muthu said...

nice one......lol

esp about movies and most Indian movies are as predictable as this......

post more..... and hey i have written a few short stories in my blog, Could you read them and post your comments on them. thanks..

XUP said...

I eat baguettes and celery all the time. And my grocery store now has paper bag options again. I got one once, but it was really difficult to carry home. I guess that's why they always drop it in the movies. The circulation in your arms gets cut off, you go numb. I didn't drop mine though because I knew no handsome stranger would be by to pick things up for me and there would be no magic moment of instant attraction leading quickly to the apartment foyer scene where we're both ripping off our clothes and slamming each other against the apartment door in our impatience to copulate. NO! I just struggled home with my stupid sack of groceries. But there WAS a baguette

TheChicGeek said...

You've given me a giggle, Jo. So true....only in the movies. The coffee cup one has always bothered me too...funny the things we notice.

HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

That was a fun read. I did copy/paste the things that I do (easier than writing it out).

Maybe it's more common in the USA for us to do the following, because I've done this all my adult life, and as to the coffee handle thing, none of my parents or grand-parents used the handle. In fact, quite often they'd use a heavy clear glass rather than a mug - could be the Michigan winters and the nice warmth from the coffee mug or glass that we all appreciated after being outside taking care of the animals.

So, here's the other things I do (and did) long before I ever noticed this in the movies.

One thing I have noticed consistently is that someone will pour a boiling hot cup of fresh coffee, and then pick the cup up by the bowl -- not the handle. Have you ever tried to do that? If the coffee is really hot, you won't be holding it for very long, trust me. I was watching "Medium" the other night, and District Attorney Devalos was having breakfast in his favorite diner. The waitress poured him a hot, steaming cup of coffee and Devalos picked it up by the bowl rather than the handle. In every movie and every TV show I have ever watched where the character is drinking coffee, he/she never picks the mug up by the handle. So, I decided to try it. Ouch ouch ouch...!

Another thing I have noticed is that, when a movie or TV character goes shopping for groceries, they always carry the groceries in a paper bag, and there is always a baguette, some carrots and a bunch of celery sticking out the top. How many people actually eat baguettes? Celery? How many stores pack their groceries in paper bags? And of course, the paper bag is always being carried by a woman -- Meg Ryan? -- and the road is always slippery, and she drops the bag. This is when our hero swoops in and rescues her and her baguette groceries.

I love Chinese food. It is my favorite food next to Indian and Japanese. The spicier the food is, the better -- and I love eating with chopsticks. We have some wonderful Chinese restaurants here in Vancouver, and I often order take-out when the Munchkins are visiting. They're pretty adept at using chopsticks, too. But only in the movies do you see Chinese food being delivered in actual Chinese take-out boxes. Here in Vancouver our Chinese food is delivered in little flat, round containers with aluminum foil lids. There's something sort of je ne sais quoi about eating Chinese food out of the Chinese take-out container, with chopsticks. It's just not the same from the little flat, round containers. Only in the movies...

A few other things I have noticed only in movies -- if someone is having a nightmare, they sit bolt upright, panting, when they wake up.

No one ever says "Goodbye" after a telephone conversation.

What I have noticed in the movies that seems strange is the women never wash their hair; curl it - it always looks perfect in each and every scene.

Also after a rowdy fight or miserable battle, the key actors and actresses look just a tiny 'touseled' - never totally wiped out (but the enemy is bloody and a terrible mess).

The cowboy movies allow men to ride day after day; no deodorant - you don't see them bathe, and you wonder what they really smell like.

When you watch movies like DIEHARD, the actors beat each other up; drop from buildings - get the crap kicked out of them and most of us would be dead, but they get up and keep going with just a few bloody spots and bruises yet tons of energy to leap over cars, etc.

The one that tickles me the most is when it's obvious if someone steps inside a darkened building, they're going to get grabbed; stabbed, or hurt in some way but they do it anyway.

Then again, it's all about the suspense and entertainment, so doing the 'logical' thing would be boring.......

Deedee said...

Here in the Northeast U.S. we actually do get Chinese take out in those white cardboard cartons.
You're right about the phone, no one says goodbye on TV or in the movies.

Donnetta Lee said...

In the old movies when the girl was running from the monster, she always had on high heels. That made her fall quite a bit, too. How about the foreign "dubbed in" movies where the words don't fit the mouthings! My son and I used to really get a laugh out of those. D

Canarybird said...

Also when people jump out of bed in movies, they reach for their clothes on a nearby chair, never go into the bathroom, wash, brush their teeth or change their underwear.....just throw on their yesterday's clothes and run out the door.

They still ask ...'paper or plastic'?..in the supermarket on southern Vancouver Island when I'm there visiting, so you have the option of a big brown grocery bag. No such thing here though.

In our house we always use the handles on cups or mugs, but the small after dinner espressos are served here in bars and restaurants in little glasses with no handles so we burn a finger and thumb each time!
Sharon.

Jo said...

Leah, yes! People never seem to run out the front door, do they!?

J9, gosh! I haven't seen one of those containers for years!

Firefly, yes, they went up to the top of a highrise to "greet" the invaders. Strange!

Mark, well, that would be one explanation, yes.

Ed, I wish I could read what you wrote. *heh*

Rajlakshmi, oh, yes, I can well imagine. :-)

Reyjr, oh, yes, of course! *heh*

Greenpanda, oh, goodness yes -- the dialogue. Do screen writers live in the real world?

Russell, you never use the handle of a coffee cup!? Don't you burn your hands?

Nicole, I have noticed that too. Or they pull out a bunch of bills and never ask for the change.

Jelica, I have never seen a telanovela. Are they like soap operas?

Kimberly, LOL - yes! Why are the keys always over the sun visor?

Paula, yes, *heh, heh*

Jozeygirl, butter on their bread. Yes! I never see them butter their bread or their toast. Good observation!

Leslie, thanks. :-)

Mary Ellen, yes -- 555. It always makes me laugh. You hold your coffee cup by the bowl too? Amazing!

Arley, LOL. It's a wonder they don't break a tooth in some of those steamy "love scenes". :-)

CarolE, oh, yes -- the food! It does always fill their mouth, and they chew and chew and chew... :-)

Jackc50, thanks! I love to notice little things like that.

Muthu, thanks. And yes, I will be over to read your blog.

XUP, LOL. Oh, yes, the apartment door -- and they're usually already half undressed when they open the apartment door and fall inside. Too funny. :-)

TheChicGeek, yes, I have never noticed anyone in real life picking up a cup that way -- but apparently people do it.

Happy, yes, *heh, heh* I guess that's why they call it entertainment. We don't go to movies to watch our own "logical" lives do we?

DeeDee, gosh, I miss those Chinese takeout containers. Somehow food tasted better in them. You're lucky.

Donnetta, oh, yes, I love the dubbed in movies, and I love the commercial spoofs on them.

Sharon, I have noticed that too. They throw on their clothes and go to work -- or whatever -- and they hair is always perfect, and their breath is kissing-sweet. *heh*

Daryl said...

Well, here in NYC the Chinese take out comes in those exact containers ...

Cedar said...

AND IT ALWAYS RAINS in American Movies...ALWAYS...

Jo said...

Daryl, you're so lucky. I love those containers. :-)

Cedar, oh yes, and it rains like it NEVER rains here in the Pacific Northwest, right!?

Andrea said...

It has bugged me for years to watch actors drink anything - it's so fake looking - you just know there's nothing in their glass/cup/mug. I love to catch little screw ups in movies or on TV - like a woman's scarf knotted on the left, break away for a few seconds, and when the camera returns, the knot is on the right!