Mobile phones ruin movies.
And not just in the ‘turn that fucking thing off before I make you eat it’ kind of way. I mean seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people? This type of conversation might just be acceptable:
“Mum’s been hit by a bus? I’m on my way.”
If it’s followed by a swift exit.
This type of conversation is never acceptable:
“Yeah, so me and Donna, you know Donna, yeah? … That’s her, real fucking slapper. Anyway, me and Donna, were at Burger King yeah, and you’ll never guess what? … No, they forgot the fucking chips!”
Why are these people in the cinema? What the fuck possessed them to think sitting behind me (and they’re always directly behind me) in a noisy cinema is the best place to make a call about Donna-the-slag’s lack of fucking chips? Have they not paid to get in? Do they select the movie to match the type of phone call they’re going to make?
Fuck off and leave me alone!
Oh, look – I’ve gone off on a tangential rant already. I’m not talking about this, I’m talking about mobile phones in movies.
It seems to me that a large part of a scriptwriter’s job in the 21st Century is coming up with new and inventive reasons why mobile phones don’t work.
Most horror films would be over pretty quickly if the hero could just ring the police.
Most Rom-Com would be a lot shorter if boy rings girl and tells her it’s all a big mistake, don’t get on the plane.
Most ‘falsely accused’ films would be scuppered by the hero taking a photo of the real villain and texting it to his mates.
It amazes me in movieland how often people can’t get a signal; particularly since the only place I can’t get a signal anymore is in my own fucking house.
What is that about? No radio, DAB, mobile or TV signals can penetrate my house. What the fuck is it made of? And why? I can get a signal at the bottom of the Dartford tunnel, but not whilst sitting on my sofa.
Yet in movieland, mobiles hardly ever work – and when they do, no one really uses them:
“I need to tell you something.”
“You do? I’m on my way!”
And the guy hangs up and races across London. I saw this three times in an episode of Eastenders a couple of weeks ago. Three times this idiot ran halfway across London so someone could show or tell him something. On one occasion, he’d just left someone to run somewhere and when he got there, she demanded he come back.
I know it’s not desirable to impart information over the phone, but come on!
“I’ve got to show you something.”
“Oh fuck, but I just got here.”
“No, you need to see this, now!”
“Can’t you just send me a photo?”
“No, I’ve got an iPhone.”
“Err … no, but you can get it to do stuff by touching the screen.”
“Just nothing useful?”
Maybe that’s the answer? Give everyone in your script iPhones, then they won’t be able to send photos, videos or call each other since they’re all locked to the same provider and had to change their phone numbers.
Or perhaps all movies should just be set in the late eighties/early nineties?
Or, my personal favourite, an alternate universe where the mobile phone was never invented? Seems reasonable to me, it can be the same universe where computers boot up instantly, hackers are cool dudes and brand new cars fail to start until you’ve sworn at them/slapped the dashboard/got the killer on the bonnet.