T Nation

How Hollywood Thinks We Live

I watched ‘The Savages’ with my wife this weekend. An obscure movie, set in Buffalo. I thought is sucked. In any event, I rantd to my wife about this and - of course - it pissed her off, but I absolutely believe it. Hollywood thinks that we (i.e. most of America) live in total shit.

As I was watching the movie I was searching ‘rottentomatoes.com’ for some of the movies that I am aware of as having been hailed as ‘gritty’ and ‘real’. “The Savages”, “Smart People”, “The Wonder Boys”, a few others. Reading the reviews, the critics hail them as ‘real’ and ‘true to life’. These films seemed have spawned a ‘style’ of filmmaking.

The one thing that strikes me is the pervasive theme that most of us live in shitty houses that are furnished by Goodwill. We dress in clothes that we picked up at a thrift store. We never clean our homes. We never exercise, but when we do…hilarity ensues. We drive shitty cars that barely run and break down all the time.

We eat shit like tuna melts and grilled cheese at every meal (or at depressing, shithole diners). We have depressing jobs in dimly lit buildings where everyone is miserable.

Anyone else notice this kind of thing? My wife thinks I’m nuts. Maybe I was just in a shitty mood. But watching this flick, it just clobbered me over the head and, next thing I knew, I was pissed-off.

You don’t linger out with the common folk much, do you? Your description is pretty accurate for how most americans live.

A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.

Who is “we?” What the hell are you talking about?

If you’re talking about an obscure movie, there’s a pretty good chance most of the people on the site haven’t seen it.

Please elaborate.

Fuck. It’s so god damn infuriating that other people suck more than I do.

What is that shit?

Bastards.

Well. Maybe I’m fucked six ways to Sunday on this one. And that’s cool…that’s…that’s cool.

The point I was making is that I do NOT actually belive that people suck more than I do. I believe that Hollywood assumes we all suck and that’s how they portray (what they think are) NORMAL people. Most of the people I know take some pride in the homes and in their personal appearance. I grew up in a household that was very typically middle class. My house, my friends houses were, at least, clean. Most had furniture that was under 60 years old, unlike the unlucky fucks I see in these movies.

If what I described is how most Americans live…well…then I stand corrected and God help us. My wife said I was full of shit and asked me to “please, please, PLEASE shut the fuck up!” So maybe she, and most of the respondents thus far, are right. I guess I’ve let my disgust for Hollywood get the better of me. So many shitty movies. So much bad dialogue. So many actors and directors with the agenda of telling people what they should think. Maybe it’s sending me off the deep end. I guess I’ll just stick to wathing shit like ‘Tropic Thunder’, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, and ‘Pineapple Express’. Those are the only movies I’ve liked so far this year (at least I’ve watched them on DVD this year).

I never heard of any of these movies.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
I never heard of any of these movies.[/quote]

You married?

[quote]ProwlCat wrote:
My wife said I was full of shit and asked me to “please, please, PLEASE shut the fuck up!” [/quote]

Really? That’s funny.

[quote]ProwlCat wrote:
malonetd wrote:
I never heard of any of these movies.

You married?[/quote]

Umm, sort of. Are they movies only married people watch?

[quote]MarvelGirl wrote:
A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.[/quote]

Agreed. I haven’t met the hoards of average people driving brand new cars who have spotless houses and live like the Huxtables. Most families are barely making 50-70k a year between them all so, yes, many people might just be shopping at Goodwill. I used to go there with my grandmother when I was a kid so the idea isn’t that unsettling as it seems to be to the OP.

I am more interested in where the OP lives that he thinks most people in the country are upper middle class.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
ProwlCat wrote:
malonetd wrote:
I never heard of any of these movies.

You married?

Umm, sort of. Are they movies only married people watch?[/quote]

Well…sort of. Kind of like how your wife/girlfiend will watch Transformers or Iron Man with you if she’s got nothing else to do or there’s nothing else on. They’re like that in reverse.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
MarvelGirl wrote:
A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.

Agreed. I haven’t met the hoards of average people driving brand new cars who have spotless houses and live like the Huxtables. Most families are barely making 50-70k a year between them all so, yes, many people might just be shopping at Goodwill. I used to go there with my grandmother when I was a kid so the idea isn’t that unsettling as it seems to be to the OP.

I am more interested in where the OP lives that he thinks most people in the country are upper middle class.[/quote]

It’s not about being upper-middle class or not. It’s about people taking some pride in what they have. I’m from a one income household growing up that never earned more than 50K in a year. We had a clean home, clean clothes and established grooming habits.

Most of these movies portray average Americans as slobs who come home from their shit-bag jobs and collapse on the couch amid a pile of filth. Am I being optimistic to hope that’s NOT the case with great majority of this county? Shit. I guess I’m wrong.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
MarvelGirl wrote:
A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.

Agreed. I haven’t met the hoards of average people driving brand new cars who have spotless houses and live like the Huxtables. Most families are barely making 50-70k a year between them all so, yes, many people might just be shopping at Goodwill. I used to go there with my grandmother when I was a kid so the idea isn’t that unsettling as it seems to be to the OP.

I am more interested in where the OP lives that he thinks most people in the country are upper middle class.[/quote]

x2

Not to mention it is Hollywood. Suburban middle class life is not especially interesting and usually ends in futile suicide or a killing spree.

While we are not a “poor” country most Americans need to get the “clean” house/“decent” car image out of there heads. A much larger population than we are willing to admit lives from pay check to pay check, rents their home, has a grocery budget that would not feed 1 person, much less a family of 4 and are under-educated.

I think you should be pissed off but not for the reasons that you are talking about.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
You don’t linger out with the common folk much, do you? Your description is pretty accurate for how most americans live. [/quote]

I think of myself as being one of the common folk. That’s why I thought it was kind of odd. But, hell, maybe I’m missing it. My wife did remind of when we were looking at houses about ten years back and the state of some of the homes. Not a lot of cleaning being done and these people were hoping to sell the place.

Regardless of where the OP lives and his relative income level, I’d have to agree with him about Hollywood being completely out of touch with the average citizen.

What bothers me is the fact that a large portion of our population puts these fucksticks up on a pedestal. People magazine and E! Entertainment profit on the stupidity of the masses.

And the machine grows stronger…

[quote]RWElder0 wrote:
Professor X wrote:
MarvelGirl wrote:
A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.

Agreed. I haven’t met the hoards of average people driving brand new cars who have spotless houses and live like the Huxtables. Most families are barely making 50-70k a year between them all so, yes, many people might just be shopping at Goodwill. I used to go there with my grandmother when I was a kid so the idea isn’t that unsettling as it seems to be to the OP.

I am more interested in where the OP lives that he thinks most people in the country are upper middle class.

x2

Not to mention it is Hollywood. Suburban middle class life is not especially interesting and usually ends in futile suicide or a killing spree.

While we are not a “poor” country most Americans need to get the “clean” house/“decent” car image out of there heads. A much larger population than we are willing to admit lives from pay check to pay check, rents their home, has a grocery budget that would not feed 1 person, much less a family of 4 and are under-educated.

I think you should be pissed off but not for the reasons that you are talking about.[/quote]

Should I pissed off at the people who live like this? The people who take no pride in themselves and what little they may have? Or should I pissed off at the system or Bush or the vast right-wing conspiricy that’s sealed their fate…and spawned a bunch of shitty art movies.

[quote]ProwlCat wrote:
Professor X wrote:
MarvelGirl wrote:
A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.

Agreed. I haven’t met the hoards of average people driving brand new cars who have spotless houses and live like the Huxtables. Most families are barely making 50-70k a year between them all so, yes, many people might just be shopping at Goodwill. I used to go there with my grandmother when I was a kid so the idea isn’t that unsettling as it seems to be to the OP.

I am more interested in where the OP lives that he thinks most people in the country are upper middle class.

It’s not about being upper-middle class or not. It’s about people taking some pride in what they have. I’m from a one income household growing up that never earned more than 50K in a year. We had a clean home, clean clothes and established grooming habits.

Most of these movies portray average Americans as slobs who come home from their shit-bag jobs and collapse on the couch amid a pile of filth. Am I being optimistic to hope that’s NOT the case with great majority of this county? Shit. I guess I’m wrong.

[/quote]

You are. My dad was military. We didn’t keep a dirty house. However, I was able to tell even as a kid that not everyone was raised anywhere near that level of consciousness about cleanliness. We didn’t have much when I was real little but my clothes were always clean.

Most people DO have jobs they don’t like but work at anyway. They have to in order to make ends meet.

Maybe I am reading you wrong, but you seem to be lumping having a “shit-bag job” with being a slob.

[quote]ProwlCat wrote:
It’s not about being upper-middle class or not. It’s about people taking some pride in what they have. I’m from a one income household growing up that never earned more than 50K in a year. We had a clean home, clean clothes and established grooming habits.

Most of these movies portray average Americans as slobs who come home from their shit-bag jobs and collapse on the couch amid a pile of filth. Am I being optimistic to hope that’s NOT the case with great majority of this county? Shit. I guess I’m wrong.

[/quote]

Did it ever occur to you that the filmmakers actually grew up in filth and are using that experience as material for their movies? Because they do. It’s not like these men and women pluck these settings and plotlines out of thin air. Writers and directors either have first hand knowledge, or know someone who did. Add in a small amount of exaggeration (you’d be surprised what’s really true BTW), and you got yourself a movie.

[quote]RWElder0 wrote:
Professor X wrote:
MarvelGirl wrote:
A lot of people do live like that. I cleaned houses when I was younger, and many people are just fucking disgusting.

Don’t take it so personally.

Agreed. I haven’t met the hoards of average people driving brand new cars who have spotless houses and live like the Huxtables. Most families are barely making 50-70k a year between them all so, yes, many people might just be shopping at Goodwill. I used to go there with my grandmother when I was a kid so the idea isn’t that unsettling as it seems to be to the OP.

I am more interested in where the OP lives that he thinks most people in the country are upper middle class.

x2

Not to mention it is Hollywood. Suburban middle class life is not especially interesting and usually ends in futile suicide or a killing spree.

While we are not a “poor” country most Americans need to get the “clean” house/“decent” car image out of there heads. A much larger population than we are willing to admit lives from pay check to pay check, rents their home, has a grocery budget that would not feed 1 person, much less a family of 4 and are under-educated.

I think you should be pissed off but not for the reasons that you are talking about.[/quote]

Well said. Most people are barely able to pay bills. I am not sure “clean nice looking car” is top of the list of priorities when you don’t know if you will be kicked out of the apartment.