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Life Should Imitate Art, But Often Doesn't
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
I don't watch "Lost," but I saw a promo for it and it left me wondering how on earth that really fat guy manages to stay so fat on a deserted island? Is anyone else wondering about that too?
Or is it just I'm supposed to believe that despite all the "reality" shows, there are certain things about movies and television I'm supposed to accept, even though as much as they like to try and depict "real life," they end up failing? Don't get me wrong-I love "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," but somehow I can accept characters having blue hair and talking dogs who enjoy martinis in cartoons a little easier than some of the things Hollywood tries to palm off as being "typical." Here are just a few of my not-so-favorite things when it comes to entertainment:
*If a character is portrayed as being blue-collar, or perhaps just pink-collar, earning maybe $30,000 a year, why do they live in a house that probably costs $700,000 or more? You know the story: the central character is a cocktail waitress and has a three-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Sure she does. The television show "The Honeymooners" at least seemed fairly realistic in portraying Ralph and Alice Kramden's living quarters: A kitchen/dining area and a bedroom. Which seems entirely appropriate for a bus driver living in a big city in the 1950's.
*If a woman is playing the ugly duckling, they slap glasses on her and give her a huge, unruly mane of hair. Then, magically, during the makeover, the glasses disappear and her hair is arrow-straight and glossy. This is where Hollywood shows its laziness. At least they didn't do that to the female lead in "Date Movie" (one of the funniest movies I've seen in
the past year). Her unattractiveness was perhaps a bit exaggerated, but the scene where they "pimp her out" was truly hilarious. And her hair wasn't huge, and they didn't put glasses on her either.
*The homely guy always gets the beautiful girl, but as far as I know, there hasn't been a movie or television show where the homely girl gets the gorgeous guy. If she does, it's long after the makeover. I'd like to see some homely guy get "overhauled" before he ends up with Jessica Simpson. It probably won't happen because Hollywood is run by wealthy old misogynistic men. There! I said it!
*If the guy keeps trying, he will always get the girl. In real life, it's called harassment. Can you say, "restraining order"? I knew you could!
*If the hero is confronted with six bad guys, and he only has one gun with six bullets, he will successfully execute the baddies quickly and accurately. We all know in real life, he'd shoot his foot off, and then get his ass kicked.
*By Hollywood standards, any girl in a movie who is considered "fat" is a whopping size six. Anne Hathaway's character in "The Devil Wears Prada" was sneered at by her boss (Meryl Streep) as being the "smart, fat girl." Puhleeeze!
*If the main character needs to talk to someone on the telephone, the person he is calling most likely will pick up on the first ring. Yup, happens to me all the time.
*Movie/television sex is always great and there are no awkward moments, even though it's painfully apparent they've had unprotected sex. No one in Hollywood gets a disease or pregnant unless it's relevant to the story line. If only real life worked that way!
*Why don't the enemies in the James Bond movies just shoot him immediately?
*Why is it that when people in the movies or television are in a scene where they are just waking up, they manage to look stunning? One time in high school, my mother saw me just after I got out of bed and asked if I was sick. No, I just looked that way.
*If the heroine is lonely and on the verge of suicide when her washing machine breaks down, the repairman who shows up is perfectly gorgeous AND single AND interested in her.
*If the character's car breaks down, it always starts to rain.
*If handcuffs are introduced into a scene, the two characters who hate each other the most will be bound together without any sort of implement to free them.
*If two adversarial characters are the main thrust of the move/sitcom, eventually they will wind up sleeping together. All their bickering beforehand is just foreplay.
*Despite their income, newspaper columnists in New York can afford cute apartments, drinks and dinner out several nights a week, and Manolo Blahnik shoes costing hundreds of dollars a pair.
*No one on television or the movies works a second or third job to survive-but if it's part of the plot, it will be a factor.
*If you lose something on the bus or subway, someone will find it and return it to you and you'll fall in love and everything works out just right.
*An idea for a business will take off immediately and the business owners will make thousands of dollars within months.
*A first-time contest entrant will win a fabulous, life-changing prize.
And that, ladies and gents, is why we watch television and go to the movies. We want a life less ordinary than our own, and the reassurance that lower-middle class people can have fabulous houses, and the good guys can shoot straight under pressure.