Nitpicking Realism: When is it OK?

Ever find yourself annoyed with things that happen in a movie that you found to be “unrealistic”, or groan in frustration at someone who pointed out some obviously silly thing is in fact silly? Those are the conventions and consequences of nitpicking, which is basically a movie watching staple. But when is it OK, and when is it redundant? What is the line between legitimate criticism and a sad attempt to make yourself appear to be insightful? Here, I’ll briefly attempt to clear it up.

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The Trojan Gay Dude: Pop Culture’s Dumbest Trope?

The answer is yes, yes it is. The basis for so many comedies, coming-of-age stories, and stupid decisions made by several people in real life are plans to “get the girl”. These range from harmless shows of affection, to full on stalker-like attempts, and even to things that make me question whether or not we as a species should be writing fiction. But some of them just reach a level of stupidity that cause me to stop and reflect a little before saying anything about them. In this case I am talking about the occasionally used tactic of pretending to be a gay man to get the girl. This was seen in films like If You Only Knew, Home of Phobia, and even Kick-Ass (an otherwise great film). My question for people who write these stories is… why? There is no light at the end of the tunnel here. Your main character pretends to be gay, to what, show the girl his sensitive side? Hear all her deepest darkest secrets? Watch her as she changes with no fear of repercussion (which definitely breaches into creepy stalkerish behaviour territory)? Taking advantage of every girl’s deep seated desire for a gay best friend is one thing, but straight up lying to her for an extended period of time with the expectation of sex she thinks you can’t possibly want makes zero sense. And since movies are generally wish fulfillment for the writers, the guy usually gets the girl in the end (like in the film version of Kick-Ass but thankfully not the original comicbook) which is all kinds of stupid. But the question I always have for these “heroes”, these masters of disguise if you will, is well… What’s your endgame? Because I can’t see it no matter how hard I try. Sure you may luck out in the end, but I always wonder what the basis was for coming up with the plan in the first place. This is definitely a case of tropes writers never need to do again.

She’ll never see it coming…

Quote of the Day:

You know what the worst thing about being a slave is? They make you work but they don’t pay you or let you go.

– Philip J. Fry, Futurama