Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Throwing Up, Labor Pains and High School...Let's Go to The Movies

My wife says it's us.  I say it's Hollywood. My wife is really annoyed by scenes involving women in labor.  It is to say the least almost always melodramatic.  I, on the other hand, could go happily the rest of my life without watching another actor pretend to throwup or I suppose if the actor is Method, actually throwup.  We could both do without watching another actor pretend or not (again Method) to urinate.

Come on, Hollywood.  It's not realistic. It's cheap. It has nothing to do with the plot.  It has now been done so many times, it is far from creative but a "bag of trick" sort of acting and directing.  "Oh my, look.  He is so upset he threw up." or "Wow, is he cool.  He stops to pee just like the rest of the population of the world."

How about, "I have never seen the pain of such excruciating magnitude until I watched Glenn Close give birth to what must be at least a 30 pound bowling ball." I actually see my wife's point.  I was in the labor room for both my children and my wife certainly never acted like any woman I've ever seen giving birth in the movies.

This brings me to another point.  Has anyone in Hollywood actually ever been to a real high school?  I taught in high school for over 30 years.  I've been in more schools than most regular folks have ever been.  I am not referring to movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but movies which pretend to be real schools.  Why are all principals apparently evil and bald? Why is there that one kid who roams through the hall with a group of lackeys publically terrorizing at will? Why is there always two or three couples caught in eternal lip lock leaning against the protagonist's locker? Does any one in these schools ever go to class? Why is every teenager in the movies either very witty, incredibly dumb or, worst of all, angst ridden?

Is it just me or is the guy in the tee shirt like a little old for
high school?
What few of these views of schools are is real.  We all want Robin Williams for a teacher so we can stand on our desk defiantly or to have Spiderman go to our school taking out bullys, but both are a long ways from reality.  Why are all the teachers either incredibly cool or incredibly inept, except that one guy with the bean bag chairs and guitar? As a teacher, there were days I was incredibly cool, and there were also days when I was lame.  I am human.  Schools can be great places and no so great places, but I have never seen ones that exist in the minds of a Hollywood writer anywhere except on the screen.

Great movies are created not from a bag of tricks.  Pretending to be in labor or peeing or throwing up does not make characters more real or human.  It only makes it look like there is a shortage of creative writing and great actors in the industry.  Character moves plot and always start with what you know.  What made Fast Times work is we all knew a Mr. Hand or Spicoli in a very make believe school that wasn't ever intended to be realistic, but for the most part, Hollywood wouldn't recognize a real school or teen  or teacher if they walked in with a video of a real school populated by real teens and teachers.

My point is don't believe the hype. It seems to me is too many folks seem to think what these folks are doing is reality.  It isn't.  It is still fiction.