Screen Junkies » you’ve got mail Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 07 Oct 2014 20:53:36 +0000 en hourly 1 6 Professions That Are Ridiculously Overused By Romantic Comedies Fri, 04 Nov 2011 14:05:36 +0000 Penn Collins Because nobody want's to see a movie about the people that manage Payless Shoes...except for me.

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I thought about titling this Jobs That Kate Hudson Characters Have Had, but it seemed a little wordy, so I went another way. Certainly, romantic comedies play on aspiration and familiarity. Audiences for these types of films don’t want to learn what a logistics superviser does; they want to see a man or woman working in cool-job and say, “I want that. I want the love, I want the job, I want the disagreeable roommate. I want all of it.”

Which is why romantic comedies almost always feature impossibly cool jobs that pay well and take place in smartly-designed offices. They never feature a dude sitting around on his couch, unemployed and browsing Reddit.

I’m not saying that it has to come to that, but, at the very least, we should put a moratorium on all the hackneyed jobs that characters in romantic comedies have. I think I’m meeting Hollywood more than halfway here. I mean, they even get to keep the sappy speeches at the end.

Event Planner

Offenders: The Wedding Planner, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Nothing is more indicative of the type-A control freak that needs to loosen up than a career as an event planner. It shows that the character thrives on stress and can juggle a million different tasks at once. You know what else can show those traits? That’s right. Thoughtful writing.

This also works well, because the same type of women (and men) that are into romantic comedies are probably also into huge events like weddings and fundraisers and the Catalina Wine Mixer. So, you know, two birds and whatnot.

This job makes sense though, as many women (forgive the generalization) seem to have an unhealthy fascination with event planning and all that it entails. I could not think of a career I would hate more than planning weddings professionally. I understand the allure, but at some point, don’t people who aspire to this realize that the novelty would probably wear off? It’s tantamount to working at Ft. Knox because you just love gold so much.

Magazine Editor/Employee

Offenders: Devil Wears Prada, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, The Proposal, 13 Going On 30, Confessions of a Shopaholic

Who wouldn’t want to work at a high-profile fashion or lifestyle magazine? Well, unless you’re Anna Wintour, pretty much everyone. Not only do romantic comedies only examine the most interesting jobs in the world, but they fall all over themselves to make those jobs seem like the most interesting things in the world. Sure, being a tastemaker in the media sounds great, but proofing copy until your eyes bleed is a more honest portrayal of the lifestyle.

Working as a magazine writer or editor or whatever also affords chracters the luxury of “investigating” some phenomenon for the sake of an article. Because in real life, Cosmo has a LOT of investigative journalism behind it. Tons.

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The Most Evil Businesses In Movie History Tue, 23 Aug 2011 17:27:13 +0000 Penn Collins The make Enron look like...well, Enron is probably still worse than these guys.

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While the past few years have presented us with more than a handful of evil real-world businesses, they still pale in comparison to those in film. Sure, Madoff swindled billions out of trusting investors, but he never sent Rob Lowe to shut down a brake pad factory in Ohio. That’s a special kind of sick.

This list is meant to focus on the other bad businesses that we’ve seen in film in the past 25 years or so. You won’t find Cyberdyne, Brown & Williamson, Zorg Industries, Weyland-Yutani, Umbrella Corp., Buy ‘N Large, and Rekall on this list. Those mega-corporations have had their day in the sun and have been done to death. Let’s examine some smaller and less obvious choices.

9. Cobra Kai Dojo – The Karate Kid

Most people think of Cobra Kai as just a collection of Aryan jerks that arbitrarily pick one kid and make his life hell. Which is true, they totally do that.

But bear in mind that Cobra Kai Dojo is also a business, presumably bankrolled by Sensei John Kreese (and possibly by his ponytailed billionaire friend in III). I mean, he’s not running a charity. So not only is someone teaching these kids to make Daniel-San’s life a living hell, but they’re getting paid to do it. Somehow, it seems much more sinister that someone was profiting financially from Daniel-San’s misery.

When Kreese went to the bank to get a small business loan do you think he listed as a bullet point in presented a flowchart that basically read “Just bully the hell out of a random 16 year-old kid =====> Financial Independence!”? I bet you do know.

This revelation also begs the question: Were Sensei Kreese’s motives strictly financial? This whole time, I thought he’d bee teaching his students to lash out at Daniel because of some misguided vendetta against weakness, or maybe some unresolved issues with his own step-dad, but what if he did this every year with a new class of students and a new victim?

It’s not altogether infeasible. And way more evil.

8. OCP (Omni Consumer Products) – RoboCop

As we kick this off, a note to those with the authority to offer government contracts to firms with Globo-, Cyber, or Omni in their name: Please don’t. It doesn’t end well. Go with firms with names like “Frank’s Security,” or “FamilyTime Cyborgs.”

Unfortunately, the fictitious civic leaders of Old Detroit in RoboCop predated this plea. No knowing any better, they outsourced their entire police force to OCP, a giant corporation that gets off to an ignominious start to the task at hand when their law enforcement robot prototype, ED-209, blasts the ever-loving shit out of one of their own board members during a conference room presentation. The project is tabled and they search for cyborgs on a smaller scale.

To make a short story long, OCP Senior President Dick Jones hires a criminal mastermind to kill a cop, thus providing a corpse for their newer cyborg prototype. Jones is one of those businessmen that only exists in the movies. Someone you could never believe anyone is that evil for any company.

Actually, Kurtwood Smith (the aforementioned mastermind) can sum this whole thing up was faster than I can.

Never mind that the plan is very circuitous and wildly impractical. If someone presented me on an investment opportunity that involved cleaning up Detroit, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. It’s also, just sinister. I mean, Dick Jones was a bad guy, but he couldn’t have launched the whole “kill a cop to secure a corpse for the cyborg program” plan without at least some administrative help, which leads one to leads one to believe that this kind of action wasn’t out of the norm of OCP’s daily operations. Can we get a spin-off to see what other sinister projects they had going down?

7. Initech – Office Space

What’s not evil about Initech? They make their employees park miles away from the office, they ask employees to work weekends late on a Friday, and during office parties, there is often a paucity of cake. Is it as bad as Omni Consumer Products (above), who murdered for financial gain? Yes. Yes it is.

At least OCP didn’t take away Milton’s Swingline stapler.

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