By Sean Gardner
Usually, I try to suspend my disbelief as much as possible when watching movies. I know they’re not real. I know there can be discrepancies between real life and what we see on the silver screen. However, there are some things that I cannot overlook. These pet peeves always take me out of a movie. So for this post, I am going to be picking at the nits that bother me beyond all measure. Here’s my five most hated movie pet peeves:
1. People not looking at the road while driving. It can be seen it in almost every movie. This one is actually the reason I even wanted to make this list. I was watching a movie and someone was driving and they were talking to someone in the passenger seat. They took their eyes off the road for like 20 seconds and I was immediately taken out of the movie. I don’t even remember what the characters were talking about it was so distracting. No one takes their eyes off the road for that long unless they have a death wish. Surprise car crashes in movies don’t even surprise me anymore. I’m waiting for it, thinking, “of course they crashed. They’re not even looking at the dang road!”
2. People saying on the phone: “I have something very important to tell you. Let’s meet (here) at (this time) so I can tell you. If it’s so important, why can’t you just tell them over the phone? What’s even worse, in conjunction with this, characters often say “I don’t have a lot of time.” If they don’t have a lot of time, why don’t they just say what they need to say instead of wasting time planning to say it later. If I had something important to tell someone and I didn’t have a lot of time, I would lead with it in the phone call. Once they pick up I’d be like “Look, listen carefully, (important thing I want you to know)”
Side note: people also not saying goodbye when they hang up. Hardly ever happens in real life.
3. The TV is always on the exact channel, on the exact spot in the news, etc. as soon it is turned on. When I want to watch something specific, I’m never lucky enough to just turn on the TV and start watching. No matter what I’m trying to watch, whenever I turn on the TV, it’s always on the wrong channel. Especially when it’s news, I always have to wait for them to finish talking about some other story before they get to the one I want to watch. Not in movies thought. Everyone has excellent timing when it comes to turning on the TV.
4. Never having a cell phone signal/low battery on the cell phone. This one is a fairly current conundrum considering the long history of film. In this day and age, cell phones have made creating suspenseful situations a little more tricky, especially for horror movies. Whenever a character is lost, or in trouble of some kind, a cell phone would be a quick fix. Because this is the case, filmmakers have to work their stories around that. Most of the time they just throw in a quick and clunky line of dialogue: “I can’t believe you forgot the charger,” or “There’s signal out here.” You could never make a movie like Deliverance or The Blair Witch Project today. People lost in the woods? Can’t find the car? A few quick pin drops on Google maps would end those movies real quick.
5. People not eating breakfast. This one usually happens with a kid going to school or a parent to work. There’s this huge breakfast and all they do is take a sip of coffee, say “thanks for breakfast” and run out the door. I’m always left thinking, “But you didn’t even eat anything. Look at all those pancakes!” I wonder if these people waste all that food or are they just constantly eating breakfast leftovers for lunch and dinner? It’s just downright rude to not eat when someone took the time to cook all that food.
I know there are logical and reasonable explanations to all of these complaints. No one wants to watch a movie with 20 minutes of just eating or watch characters watch irrelevant news stories.