New movie releases like Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World: Dominion, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, have audiences flocking to the theater to see the newest installments of several popular franchises. These films are full of action and excitement that keeps fans coming back for more and allows them to live vicariously through the characters and their exciting adventures.
Of course, the real world is never quite as interesting as the ones on the big screen. The exhilarating reality within movies can significantly impact an audience’s perception of life. Even genres based more on reality can mislead audiences, as high school, college, work, and romance are rarely as appealing as they are on the big screen. For this reason, movie fans often feel let down or otherwise surprised when an experience doesn’t live up to those in film. From what mundane life experiences should look like to the troubles one should face while performing everyday tasks, some things in life have just been ruined by the excitement of Hollywood.
Someone watching some of the best teen movies like Mean Girls could easily believe that high school would be the best experience of anyone’s life. Student Council makes all the rules, homecoming is a beautiful ballroom spectacle, and there is an awesome house party every Friday night.
In the real world, high school is often something that is endured. Student Council has very little control over how the school is run, homecomings are thrown in a balloon-covered cafeteria, and most of a student’s time is spent sitting through classes (with a few extracurriculars on the side).
There is no doubt that sporting events can be very exciting. Whether watching high school, college, or professional games, people will travel from all around to watch a good competition. However, for a sporting event to do well in a movie, the drama must be taken to unrealistic levels.
Someone going to a baseball game for the first time after watching Moneyball will likely be disappointed to see that the game typically proceeds in a fairly standard way. There will be no swelling music or a closeup of a coaches gleaming eyes, and sometimes, nothing dramatic really happens.
Movies make a blind date seem like the first step toward endless possibility. Maybe the date will end up being a secret spy, or even just an entitled jerk that will slowly let down their guard and reveal themselves to be the perfect soulmate over the following 20 scenes. One thing is guaranteed, the chemistry between the couple is always there.
However, in the real world, blind dates are rarely anything but awkward. Meeting someone for the first time at a restaurant means small talk, uncomfortable laughs, and hopefully any sign of a connection. There will definitely be no firefights, and the idea of falling head-over-heels in love is still several dates away.
Summer camps in movies are likely to give audiences two very different impressions. Either the camp will be full of kids running the show as their counselor helplessly looks on (possibly tied up), or a serial killer will slowly pick off a group of teens. Either way, real camps are very unlikely to meet these expectations.
More than likely, a summer camp will be filled with kids playing games, singing songs around a campfire, and eating mediocre meals. They are typically good fun, but anyone expecting an adventurous, free-for-all like in The Parent Trap, which made no sense in several other ways as well, will be greatly disappointed. On the other hand, someone expecting a murderer’s playground will be happy to find that summer camp is typically safe.
Office jobs in movies are typically used to demonstrate an unhappy work life. For some reason, someone who works in a cubicle has become synonymous with a person who has given up on their career goals and has entered into dormancy. Movies like The Incredibles have made audiences believe that joining one of these jobs means the end of their dreams.
Of course, in real life, every office job is different. While some may be filled with bored employees chatting at the water cooler, others are lively and energetic, full of happy workers. Some people can find fulfillment in a cubicle office environment, but movies have made it seem like that is the worst possible place to be.
Whenever a young couple buys a run-down little house in a movie, there is guaranteed to be a montage of the pair turning the shack into a beautiful home. This will likely include cute moments of dabbing paint on each other’s noses or collapsing with giggles on a freshly laid carpet. But one thing is clear, it will be a beautiful experience, just like in that sad montage in Pixar’s Up.
This has led many to dream of the day they would be able to create a home with their soulmate. But, the second it happens, it becomes clear that the real-life version of events is very different. After fights about paint color, arguing while trying to make furniture fit through the door, and stress about the ungodly amount of money spent, it becomes clear that home renovations are no place for romance.
Going To The Bar
Before turning the legal drinking age, a young person will take notes from movies about how to conduct themselves in a bar. The film will show a character sitting directly at the bar, saying, “get me a beer,” and then enjoying the beverage that was quickly provided to them. Then, perhaps, a stranger will order them a shot, and the evening will end with someone getting on the bartop to have a dance.
Of course, these actions will get at least a raised eyebrow in a real bar. While movie bartenders will provide a generic beer and a little advice, real ones will want their patrons to specify the kind of beer and then get out of the way for the next customer. While movie bars seem more fun, it would be a disaster to expect that experience in reality.
Weddings in movies are always an exciting event. More often than not, someone will end up left at the altar, and the bride can reliably be found running in slow motion through a nearby field like in one of the best wedding movies, Runaway Bride. If that doesn’t happen, an ex-lover is guaranteed to object to the union dramatically or something more dramatic will go down.
As often as this happens on the big screen, audiences should be able to safely assume that they will attend at least one wedding that ends in chaos. Unfortunately, most ceremonies simply end in a married couple. There may be some sound system mishaps and perhaps an uncle that snores loudly from his seat, but mostly it’s just a straightforward affair.
Movies make it seem like a person should experience more car explosions in their lives than they do. Everyone knows that if there is a fire anywhere near a car, the main character better run as fast as possible to avoid the detonation that is doomed to occur.
Of course, car problems are far more of a nuisance than a dramatic event in real life. While movies have taught us that fire equals an explosion, a real person will look rather ridiculous running away from their barely-smoking vehicle at full speed on the side of the road. Moving a safe distance away is likely a good idea, but there is no need for too much drama.
Driving On The Expressway
Anything can happen to an unsuspecting expressway driver in a movie. Maybe a semi-truck will drive by with two martial artists battling it out on top of the trailer. Perhaps a pedestrian with a gun will step in front of the vehicle and demand that the driver let them use their car for a dramatic chase. Or, perhaps a series of unfortunate events will cause a logging truck to lose its load.
Movies like The Final Destination have made driving seem like a major risk, with many movie fans now unable to comfortably drive behind a vehicle with seemingly precarious cargo. In the end, the real dangers of speedy travel are nowhere as high as they seem in films, but the experience has been ruined for many nonetheless.
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