Hollywood Lied To Me
Last night this big guy called Marvin Hollywood turned up at my house and forcibly charmed his way into my kitchen. He claimed he was an old friend of Clive’s, but I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone called Clive, let alone known them well enough for them to start sending their chunky American friends to my house at 2am on a school night. Anyway, against my better instincts that was what happened. We sat opposite each other in the kitchen, sharing total silence for almost half an hour, no sound except for Marvin’s effeminate sips from his chipped mug, brimming with bourbon.
Then suddenly, it began. In his nasal whine he started listing the names of my favourite films, an alphabetised biography of my cinematic history spat from his purple lips. Some of the films were embarrassing, some of them were brilliant, and too many of them featured John Cusack. Then as abruptly as he started, he stopped. He smashed the mug down on the peeling formica table and thrust a pointed finger into my left eye. When it was no longer watering he tried the same action again, making sure not to blind me for a second time, and growling as he did so, “I’m here to tell you something, missy. You’re a damned fool for loving those films, a straight damn fool. What the hell have they ever done for you?! Nothing, that’s what, they’re bullcrap, they’re meaningless. You’ve got to let them go, you’ve got to live your own life, God love it”. Then he shifted his imposing figure onto one foot, and pumped his arms like a kid mimicking a steam train, and in the next moment he was gone. Well, not completely gone, I could hear him clattering loudly down the stairs to the front door, and clumsily twisting the handle until my downstairs neighbour had to come and open it for him. As he made his way out of the building I ran to the bedroom window that looks out onto the street, just in time to see him throw himself directly into the path of an Addison Lee people carrier. He crumpled over like an obese deer and fell onto his back with a soft thud.
He was dead. I could tell that as soon as I reached his thick side. His eyes were wide open, staring blankly up at the moonlight sky, and his face was almost grey. When the paramedics arrived a few minutes later they quizzed me on this trolls identity, “His name is Marvin Hollywood. That’s all I know” I stammered. I turned to go back into my house when one of the ambulance workers shouted, “This man isn’t who you think he is, I just found his wallet. His name is Clive Cloutvenk”.
So there you go. Hollywood lied to me.
Hollywood Lie Number 1: Mean Girls Get What Is Coming To Them
Real Life: No they don’t! Excuse me, but when did that nasty girl from School who used to sing “U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi” to you in the changing rooms when you couldn’t untwist your bra after P.E. ever face her come-uppance? Did she get gunged at the school dance? No. Do you even have a school dance? No (and perhaps that’s the real tragedy here.) Did her boyfriend cheat on her with her best friend? No. Did she realise the error of her ways and become humble and apologetic on the last day of school? No. Did she get pregnant/really fat? No. Did you meet a scheezy yet darkly handsome psycho who helped you murder her and all of her friends, making it look like it was suicide? No.
Mean girls are mean for life, unless they face some sort of life-altering tragedy or experience, which suddenly throws their obnoxious behaviour into perspective and they realise the error of their ways. But even when that happens they just become more annoying as they feel that they are now a noble and wise human being who has seen so much, while in comparison you are a weak sap with no life experience and therefore your opinions are completely invalid. There is little worse than a smug ex-mean girl who cries on cue when you try and confront her ten years later about all the terrible stuff she did to you at School. She faces you with her bitchy clan of blonde clones around her, screaming, “How dare you! Do you not have any idea what I’ve been through? You haven’t felt the pain I’ve felt, you haven’t seen what I’ve seen, and now you try to compare your petty hurt feelings to my Real Life Experiences. You make me sick”. Then everyone at your ten year reunion looks at you like you’re a steaming turd who turned up in a urine soaked dress and tried to flash the librarian.
Although that would never happen as we don’t have ten-year reunions here in Britain. DAMN. Hollywood, you win again.
Hollywood Lie Number 2: You Can Become Ace At Something In The Space Of A Montage
Real Life: Yeah I am sure that if I practised Jujitsu for two weeks with the help of my dwarfish yet fiery teacher, I would master the ancient art of unarmed combat, and hence be able to (delete as appropriate): successfully take part in a state-wide competition and win/beat up the school bully/protect the world from the rise of zombie flesh eating ninjas while also winning the heart of the girl next door played by a nubile Sarah Jessica Parker. While I love the idea that someone living in American suburbia can stumble across a master so amazing that they can forego the 4 years basic training you need to do most things brilliantly, it’s probably impossible.
Just think about the number of hours you would actually get to practise in two weeks – you need to factor in food, watching 30 Rock, maybe having a nap on Sundays, going to school/uni/work, browsing Facebook while eating Hobnobs, looking for your top only to realise you were wearing it all along, talking to your Mum on the phone about the searching-for-the-top-you-were-wearing incident, perhaps maybe crying because you’re such a flaming moron, drafting texts back to your fiery master to explain why you can’t come to practise that night thanks to your sudden realisation that you’re an utterly hopeless human being… Basically, it’s not going to happen. Even if you manage to overcome all those distractions, after a few weeks you’re still only going to be quite good. What would actually be more impressive is if instead of than facing your enemy only to get your ass whooped, you just filmed a montage of you training, and sent the YouTube link to them rather than meeting them at the designated fight location. Because, to be honest, the montage is the best bit of these films. By the time they’re actually fighting we know what’s going to happen, and the music is never as rousing, the emotions never as intense.
Hollywood Lie Number 3: People Who Hate Each Other Fall In Love
Real Life: Hollywood films like to perpetuate the idea that when (hetero) people hate each other it’s not because they ACTUALLY hate each other, but because of a deep-seated lust that can only be relieved by vitriolic spats and angry sexual tension. We fight because we’re attracted to each other. That’s bollocks. When I hate someone, I hate someone. I’m not sitting there thinking, “Hmm I know he’s mildly racist, and the way he talks about women is ridiculously ignorant, but God damn I can’t help but want to rip his clothes off”. Never, not once in my life, have I been engaged in a screaming row with a member of the opposite sex, and then suddenly found myself dropping all the papers I am inexplicably carrying and throwing myself into their arms.
Maybe people in Hollywood are just rubbish at hating people, and only do so in a half-hearted way that means they find it easy to forget their principled and self-righteous argument upon noticing taut abs or glossy lips. Maybe people in the UK just aren’t as physically attractive, so we don’t know what it’s like to be overcome with lust. Maybe I just haven’t experienced the love/hate phenomenon yet. Actually, now I think about it, that drunk skinhead on the night bus last week who stank of white lightning, called me a posh tart and then tried to lick my face… Maybe we ARE destined to be together.
(This also applies to the Buddy/Cop genre where people who hate each other suddenly become best friends in a high stress work environment. Yeah, when I’m about to shot and need someone to cover my ass, I’m gonna be so glad it’s that moron with the mullet who spills his sandwiches all over my car and flirts with my wife. Yeah, he and I are going to be best buds for life when this mess is over)
Hollywood Lie Number 4: The Makeover Works
Real Life: This is perhaps the most evil machination of Hollywood’s master lie-creator. When I was a teenager I would have given anything for this to be true. I used to dream of turning up to school with a sassy new haircut and bootcut jeans (they were in at the time) and walking through the corridors while heads turned left and right, “Wow check out the dowdy one who’s always fiddling with her bra after P.E., what’s she done to herself?” In truth my own self-styled makeover consisted of getting this weird haircut that made me look like a Lego doll, and wearing a huge duffel coat with DM’s which I thought made me look like an elfish member of Elastica, but in reality it was more KD Lang’s uglier sister. Yet I still watched those makeover movies with hope – despite knowing that the girl who was supposed to be unattractive was actually on the cover of GQ that month with her glasses removed, her lips plump, and her boobs out for all to see, the headline reading, “You thought she was actually ugly?! You silly fourteen year old girl who stupidly believes makeovers on normal people work! Ha ha ha ha ha” Or something along those lines. It was the biggest sack of crap since we were asked to believe Lois Lane wouldn’t guess that Clark Kent was Superman just because he was wearing NHS glasses and stumbled over his words.
What’s most ridiculous about the geek-to-chic concept is that it relies on the male protagonist being a nice guy who can see through the girl’s snorting laugh and thick lenses and realise the amazing and naturally beautiful girl she is underneath. This is lame for two reasons, firstly that a lot of guys like dowdy and geeky girls anyway because they’re (stereotypically) more spunky, less arrogant and more grateful thanks to their low self-esteem, and secondly that even really nice boys aren’t going to be bothered to take the time to see the beauty within some stubborn shrew who never wants anything to do with them in the first place. Nice boys are too busy doing nice things. So they always have to rely on some dumb plot device like a bet or that he’s blind in one eye or she reminds him of his dead mother or something.
RIP (MARVIN) HOLLYWOOD.