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7 myths Hollywood still believes

There are no more original stories, that’s a given. It’s a truth we’ve come to accept among films, music, and television shows. Nonetheless, there are tropes that have become rather stale at this point, as we often see movies fall back on these tired old stereotypes. These cinematic myths have become so ingrained in our culture that they’re pretty much expected and ignored. In fact it’s hard to find a movie that doesn’t fall victim to them, especially summer blockbusters. Here are seven of the most common.

 

 1. In the old days everyone had a British accent.

Gladiator, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Clash of the Titans, etc…

Why do we assume that because a movie is set in a time of antiquity that everyone must sound like Benedict Cumberbatch? Sure, we could all agree he has a sexy voice, but it would be cool to start seeing period pieces portray more regional dialects and accents that would be accurate to the historical time. Lord Of The Rings gets a free pass because Middle Earth is inspired by a mythological version of Western Europe. But Gods of Egypt? Nah.

 

2. Aliens always land in America.

DreamcatcherET, Superman, Transformers, etc…

Compared to other landmasses like Canada, Africa, and Russia, America isn’t that big of a target. Yet when little green men decide to pull over to take a leak, they always find themselves in good ol’ US of A. Nearly every film that involves extraterrestrials and flying saucers has them crash land mere minutes away from your favourite Hooters restaurant. What is it about ‘Murka that aliens find so attractive? Is it because it’s the home of Taylor Swift, the Golden State Warriors, or where you might spot Charlie Sheen dropping off a hooker at a freeway exit ramp?  Why don’t they ever land in Trinidad, or Newfoundland; I hear the lobster there is great! At least films like The Thing had the creature literally land in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere (Antarctica), and Predator was for the most part set in the sweltering Amazon jungle. Needless to say these are among my favourite  alien flicks. Can’t go wrong with Schwarzenegger and Russel.

 

3. Crashing a vehicle will always result in a spectacular explosion.

Fast & The Furious (franchise), Goldfinger, Mad Max, Final Destination 2, etc…

The Simpsons even had to lampoon this by having a milk truck burst into flames. As much as us guys love to see shit blow up, and for some of us, blow shit up ourselves, the sad truth is this rarely happens. Car manufacturers actually design their vehicles specifically to minimise this from happening in the event of a collision, and spend millions of dollars each year into research for new safety innovations alone. But of course when your goal is to fill as many cinema seats as possible, you won’t just have the front of the car crumple up like an accordion. Nah, You’ll get Michael Bay to set off some fireworks.

 

4. Heroes are typically straight.

Die Hard, 007 franchise, Spider-Man, etc…

Originally I was going to entitle this section Heroes are typically white, straight men, but then realized mainstream cinema is making serious headway in bringing more diverse heroes to the silver screen. This year, Wonder Woman  was met with great success at the box office along with critical acclaim. I’m even wondering if this would give DC the idea of giving Cat Woman another shot. Also, throughout the years we’ve seen numerous heroes of colour hit the big and small screen, with Black Panther finally on the way. We’ve also seen heroes with disabilities like Daredevil, and Professor Xavier.  Having said that, Hollywood has yet to deliver a kick-ass hero that could readily identify with the LGBT communities. Some folks might throw up Batman, especially after it was revealed (years after the fact) that Schumacher’s Batman, played by George Clooney, was gay. Nonetheless, since the character is almost always depicted as hetero in most iterations of the franchise, I won’t count this one. And yet, knowing how Hollywood loves to cash in on various markets until they’re milked dry, I bet it won’t be long until we start seeing more heroes who are out on the big screen.

 

5. Plus-size women are always the comic relief and can’t be the love interest of the protagonist.

Practically every movie except Shrek.

It’s not often we see full-figured women in film and television, and when we do they’re often designated the role of a pretty, young lady’s comical best friend; and if she’s black, she better have sass.  We all could agree that fat people have a reputation of being jolly, but hey, fat people need lovin’ too (I should know, I’m dating one).  Not only is this lack of diverse roles unfair for plus-size actors and actresses, but it also ignores the fact the many guys actually prefer full-figured women with curves and not just those with slender or petite frames. So perhaps it’s about time Hollywood relax all the pressure on women to stay thin.

 

6. Attractive women are usually single with no kids.

Bridget Jone’s Diary, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Happy Gilmore, etc…

And they always fall for the protagonist, no matter how self-centered or socially award he is. It’s just common sense.  Any dude who’s 30 and up– scratch that– 25 and up would know how absolutely untrue this is. If you’re part of this demographic then for sure by now you would have realized how increasingly difficult it is to find a stable woman who’s at least a 7 out of 10 who is both a) unmarried/single, and b) has no kids. If you do find one, chances are pretty solid that she’s crazy, or rather, crazier than most.

 

7. Black guys never end up with white women.

Flight, Hancock, Get Out, etc…

One of the longest running tendencies of Hollywood movies is to keep a black male protagonist from ending up with a white female protagonist, unless the film is about race or breaking  racial barriers and is marketed as such. As of yet, it’s nearly impossible to find a major film where the two leads just happen to be a black man and a white women and the issue of race isn’t brought to the forefront. Sure, there are numerous examples of this on television, but Hollywood in particular seems stuck in its old ways.  A good example of this was the 2005 film Hitch, where an originally intended white actress was swapped out for go-to Latina actress Eva Mendes at the last minute to star opposite Will Smith. As you would expect, the producers feared their film wouldn’t be received well by an American audience who still considered interracial couples taboo. It’s unfortunate to think that Hollywood is still accommodating such backwards sentiments.

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