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Five Things Movie Makers Should Just Stop

From the lazy to the ridiculous

By Charlotte StetsonPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Five Things Movie Makers Should Just Stop
Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

If you watch a lot of movies, and I do, you know that there are trends over time in how movies are made. Studios, directors, writers, designers - all fall victim to the tendency to look around and see what other people are doing, and then copy it. Occasionally this is a good thing, more often it just leads to lazy movie making. And every now and then, it's downright ridiculous.

Here is my list of the top 5 lazy and ridiculous things movie makers should Just. Stop. Doing.

1. Morning scenes in family homes where a full breakfast is laid out on the table but no one actually sits down and eats it.

You've seen this one a thousand times on screen but I'd bet you never saw it even once in real life. So here's the set up - mom (usually always mom) is up and DRESSED and in the kitchen going from counter to stove to table laying out dishes of eggs, and toast, and muffins, and a pitcher of orange juice (who puts their orange juice in a pitcher???) and coffee and a carton of milk and a box of cereal . . . basically every breakfast food you might want is prepared and sitting out for the taking, just like if you were at a hotel breakfast bar. Then one character will rush down the stairs, FULLY DRESSED, and be urged to sit down and eat, but the character will insist they are late and just grab one item they can shove in their mouth while they kiss one or more other characters a hurried good bye and rush out the door, briefcase or backpack in hand.

Is there any house anywhere that treats breakfast as the meal where the whole family sits down together and eats???

2. Scenes of characters out jogging, looking fit and lovely.

You know the shot - the camera soars over a trail along a river or through a park and eventually closes in on our film hero in body fitting clothes and a jaunty ponytail and ear buds, happily jogging. They are always looking beautiful, and that’s not how exercise works. People sweat and get blotchy and breathe hard. They don’t go running along riverside trails just to show off their fit bodies in the latest form fitting exercise wear. Well, in the movies they do. These scenes are rarely part of the actual storyline, and seem to only be there to show a beautiful skyline and a fit body in the latest activewear.

Even when the jogging scene is a part of the storyline, when the jogger runs into an old acquaintance or stumbles on the dead body, the jogger is not sweaty, or is sweaty only in a glisteny way, not an "I've been exercising and have pushed my body to sweatiness" kind of way. Their face is never red, let alone blotchy red, and they don't seem to have any fear of standing upwind of the person they are talking to.

If your character is going to exercise during the movie, at least make it real.

3. Casting romantic couples where the woman is significantly younger than the man.

I've been told this is a "thing" with some male stars, an intentional ploy to seem younger. Apparently Hollywood women plump their lips, Hollywood men stand next to younger women. (A metaphor for how men seem to always take credit for women's work?)

To be clear, I have no objection to age gaps between couples. But I do object to intentionally and regularly casting age gaps for the sole purpose of making a male actor feel better about himself. Gross. Stop.

(Should we speculate on why the new Top Gun movie was happy to include all the original male actors in the cast but Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan were not invited to reprise their roles?)

4. Scenes in which people are brushing their teeth.

Somewhere along the line, this became the magic scene to indicate the passing of a day. Changing clothes or showering mean sexual activity, brushing your teeth means time to chat or fight with your housemate/spouse with no hint of sexual activity.

Movie people brush their teeth in one of two ways - sometimes both. They either use too much toothpaste and foam at the mouth like a milk frother, or they wander around outside the bathroom while brushing their teeth, sometimes foaming as well. The worst is when they wander around talking and let the toothbrush dangle out of their mouth like a cigarette.

Toothbrushing scenes make me gag. Just close the bathroom door already.

5. Bowls of fruit on counters and grocery bags with french bread and celery sticking out.

Set dressers are lazy in movie kitchens. In the movies, people clearly waste a lot of food, because the amount of fruit sitting around on the kitchen counters of characters that live alone is way more than anyone is ever going to be able to eat before the fruit flies come around. And speaking of, why aren't there ever any fruit flies?

The other lazy set dresser thing done in movies is the grocery bag with the french loaf and celery or carrot fronds sticking out of the top. Movie characters all have grocery bags that look like they live in Italy! And come to think of it, they never walk in with a bag that is heavy enough to contain all the oranges and apples that will later be sitting in the center of their table. I go to the grocery store all the time and about the only time anything sticks out the top of my bag is when I bagged my own stuff and did a terrible job of it.

Are there other lazy or ridiculous movie cliches that need to stop? Comment below.


About the Creator

Charlotte Stetson

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • Paula Johnsabout a year ago

    OMG so true!

  • Joe Patterson2 years ago

    This was entertainingly true and enjoyable 🤣 I honestly can’t stop laughing and agreeing, great article, looking forward to seeing more from you.

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