Watching movies in the United States has taught me a lot about the culture and the language. When I first arrived to this land 11 years ago, movies were the single most useful tool in learning about America. Not only was watching movies educational, it was also fun.
In college it was the best escape. I had no trouble locking myself in my dorm room and playing movies back to back. Some days, I recall watching as many as three movies a day. Sad I know, but to be frank, I think my communication skills have gotten better as result of this addiction.
However, a gazillion movie later, I have begun to figure out the Hollywood formula for making movies. There are so many templates and characters most movie-makers incorporate in their movies. Movies are about stereotypes and such personalities make a point. Sometimes marketing is to blame for such cookie cutter roles.
If movie-goers can relate to a role, then they are most likely to go see the movie. Filmmakers use such characters because they know they work and that audience have loved such clichés in the past. So next time you watch a movie, chances are you will find one or two of those props. When it comes to Hollywood, creativity is not dead, but it comes with a lot of risks. Movie investors want to make money with little risk. Thus comes reincarnation of movies.
Here's my list of movie characters that feel tired.
- The hooker with a heart of gold
- The funny minority guy/gal
- The writer who hates people and loves dogs
- The quiet but strong ethnic mother
- The beat-up white homemaker married to an army officer
- The nerd/Southwesterner who spills the beans on those conspiracy and secret government programs
- The rude, yet charming, New Yorker in search of romance
- The gun-touting Southerner
- The thick-accented, history-aware militant Arab
- The easily-drunk, mace-carrying white chick
- The fictional "noble savage" who apologizes to the animals and trees
- The club-owning sleazy Eastern European, Greek, or Persian
- The passionate, educated white person who wants to spare the life of a minority person
- The sperm-spreading, starving and good looking artist
- The jerk who interrupts the dude/gal when they are about to confess something of significance
- The young man who has to choose between a gang lifestyle and getting an education
Originally published on Hanistan